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Not just India, Covid-19 cases are rising globally

In the last one week, India recorded around 50,000 Covid-19 cases – the biggest jump in the number of daily cases since January. The infections have been increasing across the map from Delhi to Maharashtra to Mizoram.

The daily rise in Covid-19 cases has alarmed the bells for the fourth wave of the pandemic. The situation is more or less similar in other countries with a steady rise in infections. Is this the fourth wave scientists warned about? How bad can it be? What are the governments doing to control the spread? Let’s find out:

Covid situation in India
India logged a single day rise of 6,594 new coronavirus infections taking the active cases to 50,548, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday.

The recovery rate is now at 98.67 per cent, while the daily and weekly positivity rates are 2.05 and 2.32 per cent respectively.

Several cities across the country have been registering an uptick in daily Covid cases. With 614 new cases reported on Monday in Delhi, the city’s positivity rate stands at 7.06 per cent.

Taking note of rising Covid cases in Delhi, LG Vinai Kumar Saxena directed officials to conduct genome sequencing of all positive cases to check for any new variant. He also directed the health department and other departments to remain vigilant and be prepared with hospital beds and other facilities to tackle any rise in cases.

Seventeen districts in the country, including seven in Kerala and five in Mizoram, are reporting a weekly Covid positivity rate of more than 10 per cent, while in 24 districts, including seven in Kerala and four each in Maharashtra and Mizoram, the weekly positivity rate is between five and 10 per cent, an official source said.

As of Sunday, six states and Union territories — Maharashtra (14,858), Kerala (14,518), Karnataka (3,387), Delhi (2,247), Haryana (1,548), Tamil Nadu (1,231) and Uttar Pradesh (1,087) — have over 1,000 active coronavirus cases.

Covid situation around the world
Several countries around the world are facing a surge in Covid cases, including the US, the UK, Italy, and China,

According to CNBC, UK Covid-19 cases have risen for the first time in two months, which warns of a possible further spike ahead.

A total of 989,800 people tested positive for the virus in the week from May 27 to June 2 — up from 953,900 a week earlier — estimates from the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed Friday. This figure equates to around 1.5 per cent of the population, or one in 65 people.

The United States too reported nearly 111,000 new Covid-19 cases every day the past week, according to the National Geographic.

According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a majority of Americans should be wearing masks while in indoor spaces or considering the measure.

It said that more than 67 per cent of the population was in a “high” or “medium” Covid-19 community level, which is a measure determined by new cases, hospitalisation and hospital capacities.

At a high level, people should wear masks in indoor public places, according to the CDC. At a medium level, people should consider wearing masks inside if they are at high risk for severe Covid-19.

The Chinese administration will impose fresh lockdowns on residents in several city districts this weekend during a mass testing drive, as President Xi Jinping called for China to stick “unswervingly” to its strict zero-Covid strategy.

Parts of Beijing have also reimposed some restrictions after loosening work-from-home orders and allowing restaurants in the capital to reopen for indoor dining earlier this week.

Two central districts on Thursday ordered the closure of bars, nightclubs and internet cafes, local media reported, after the capital reported a cluster of infections linked to entertainment venues.

Beijing has reported nearly a dozen recent cases connected to nightclubs, after several days of no new cases outside of restricted areas.

What do the experts say?
Some health researchers and physicians have warned that the uptick suggests a new wave of infections is coming.

“A new wave is now starting,” Christina Pagel, director of University College London’s Clinical Operational Research Unit and a member of the scientific advisory group Independent Sage, said during a virtual press conference Friday, as reported by CNBC.

“Given where we are now, I expect that to go up again next week,” she added.

Another expert, Professor Rowland Kao, chair of veterinary epidemiology and data science at the University of Edinburgh, noted that the lack of Covid testing combined with an increase in positive cases is not a good combination.

“The number of people taking tests is going down and the positivity is going up, and that is never a good combination,” he said.

However, he added that the most serious effects of another outbreak may not be felt until the winter months.

“Short-term it may be OK,” he said, citing concern for vulnerable groups. “But it’s really looking four, five months ahead [that’s concerning].”

Experts in India, however, have said that there is no need for panic highlighting that no new variant of concern has been found and the rise so far is limited to a few districts.

“First of all, we have not found any new variant of concern. India now has BA.4 and BA.5, in addition to BA.2, which have a slightly higher transmissibility as compared to the other Omicron sub-lineages,” Dr N K Arora, chairman of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), told PTI.

“There is no need to panic, but one must remember that Covid is very much around us and we need to adhere to Covid-appropriate behaviour and particularly, avoid crowded places and also make masks an integral part of our day-to-day living,” Dr Arora said.

AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria said although there is a rise in the number of cases, there is no associated increase in hospitalisation or deaths. Also, the rise is limited to certain geographical areas.

“So the rise in the number of cases is not a cause of worry at the moment. But we should not let our guard down and must focus on aggressive testing so as not to miss out on any emerging variant. First Post

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