India's heave a sigh of relief as Covid-19 cases keep falling as experts believe pandemic may have run its course

Men riding bicycles on a bridge amid smoggy condition in New Delhi on Friday (Oct 30, 2020). - AFP

NEW DELHI, Oct 30: India's active caseload of Covid-19 fell below 600,000 for the first time in nearly three months on Friday with 594,386 active cases registered between Thursday (Oct 29) and Friday.

The country saw its active caseload of almost 595,000 on Aug 6, which rose significantly thereafter, reported Xinhua.

According to a statement issued by the federal health ministry on Friday, at present the active cases comprise 7.35 percent of the total positive Covid-19 cases of the country, which has strengthened the trend of a steady decline.

As per the latest figures, the total COovid-19 recovered cases stand at 7,373,375.

As many as 57,386 patients were recovered and discharged in the past 24 hours. The national recovery rate progressed to 91.15 per cent.

The difference between active cases and recovered cases is consistently increasing, and stood at 6,778,989 on Friday, said the ministry's statement.

dpa, meanwhile, reported that on Tuesday, India recorded 36,470 new infections, its lowest single-day increase since July 18, when 34,884 cases were reported.

The number of new cases rose steeply in iIndia between June and September as the country emerged from a strict lockdown and started opening up various sectors of the economy.

But the average number of daily infections has been declining over the past five weeks in what the Health Ministry have characterised as "a landmark achievement." The ministry has not offered any explanation for the decline so far.

A government-appointed panel of scientists recently said that india may have peaked in mid-September and the virus may have run its course by February.

But independent scientists also warned that there could be fresh surges like the ones currently taking place in Europe, particularly as the festival season ends and winter sets in.

Virologist T Jacob John said although Covid-19 may have peaked at the national level, "many epidemics in local areas" had not yet done so in the vast country of 1.3 billion inhabitants.

Experts are concerned that cooler and drier air in November, which is said to facilitate infections, in combination with Diwali - the Hindu festival of lights, which usually includes mass movement of people - could cause the caseload to spike again.

The Oxford University coronavirus vaccine being produced by india’s Serum Institute could be ready as early as December and the first batch of 100 million doses should be available by the second or third quarter of 2021, Adar Poonawala, chief executive of the company told domestic media.

Globally, Covid-19 has infected more than 45 million and killed more than1.17 people, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

The number of new coronavirus cases in India crossed the 8-million mark on Thursday (Oct 29) as a downward trend in the number of new infections per day continued, Health Ministry data showed.

India is the second country reach 8 million cases after the United States did so earlier this month. The country logged 49,881 new cases since Wednesday, taking its total to 8,040,203, according to the ministry's website.

There were 517 fatalities connected to the virus in the same period, bringing the total death toll to 120,507, the world's third highest after the US and Brazil.

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