NEW DELHI: Why are India's COVID-19 cases flaring up so sharply? Just like there were no answers to why there was a slide earlier this year, there is no clarity on why the numbers of COVID-19 cases are rising at an alarming rate. While there are no clear answers to it but top scientists believed that complex interplay of mutant strains, a hugely susceptible population made more vulnerable by-elections and other public events and the lowering of guard are primarily to blame. Top scientists say the complex interplay of mutant strains, a hugely susceptible population made more vulnerable by elections and other public events and the lowering of guard are primarily to blame.
COVID protocol violation led to surge in cases?
While there are many imponderables and many things unknown, virologists Shahid Jameel and T Jacob John agreed that not following COVID-19 protocol, including informing people they must continue with precautions even after being vaccinated, and a sluggish vaccination drive are responsible. PTI quoted Jameel saying the interplay of mutants and vaccines over the next couple of months will decide the future of COVID in India and the world.
Variants first identified in UK, South Africa and Brazil have been found in India.
Large part of population susceptible to virus
NITI Aayog Member (Health) VK Paul said the pandemic situation has worsened with a sharp rise in cases and a large part of the population still susceptible to the virus, without giving any clear explanation on why this is happening. The fact that people lowered the guard and didn't follow COVID protocols after the first wave was over is 'certainly one valid explanation' for the surge, Jameel told PTI.
"The intensity of the surge also suggests that there were a huge number of susceptible people after the first wave," the director of the Trivedi School of Biosciences at Ashoka University in Haryana told PTI.
The Centre had warned last week that the next four weeks are critical. In a statement, PM Modi on Sunday urged people to keep four things in mind -- "each one, vaccinate one", "each one, treat one" and "each one, save one".
The active COVID-19 cases in India breached the 11 lakh-mark for the first time after a record high of over 1.52 lakh new infections, threatening to stretch the health infrastructure to the brink. The active caseload was at its highest at 10,17,754 on September 18, 2020 and had dipped to 1,35,926 on February 12, 2021, before rising again.
Five states, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala, cumulatively account for 70.82 per cent of India's active COVID-19 cases, while Maharashtra alone accounts for 48.57 percent, the Union Health Ministry said.
(With PTI inputs)