NEW DELHI: After a swift decline in Covid-19 cases over nearly a month and a half, daily numbers in India again seem to be slightly rising over the last two days. Experts, however, say that this is too early to see a pattern and the numbers need to be watched for the coming few days to reach a conclusion.
On Wednesday, 54,069 new cases were reported in the country. On Tuesday, this was 50,848. In comparison, on Sunday 42,640 fresh cases were registered, the lowest single day tally in nearly three months. The weekly rolling average of Covid test positivity rate, on the other hand, was 3.2% on Sunday and 3.1% on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
While about 54,000 cases reported on Wednesday are still lower than the cases recorded on various days last week, the concern is that the last two days so far are occasions when the cases have risen in comparison to previous days.
In Maharashtra, total cases reported on Wednesday were 10,066 the highest since June 17. In Kerala, which is leading the states in daily infections, 12,787 cases were recorded, also highest since June 17.
These two states are among the five so far, apart from Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, where the Delta Plus variant, which has been associated with immune evasion, has been detected in limited numbers of samples.
Some experts cautioned that while the pandemic has been on a downward trajectory for a while, signs like this should be taken seriously, in the context of new information. “Given that the slight increase in cases is from states that saw early rises in previous surges, it would be prudent to be prepared and ensure optimal testing to be able detect simillar transmission signals across the country,” said public health researcher Oommen John.
Health systems and public policy specialist Chandrakant Lahariya, on the other hand, said it should be seen as a normal pattern. “We need to remember that in a pandemic, especially when we know that the virus is still around and circulating, it is unlikely that cases would decline every single day,” he said, adding that the country has reached a stage when weekly rolling average of new daily Covid-19 cases would stabilize gradually.
Fall unlikely to be steady and uniform
Health systems and public policy specialist Chandrakant Lahariya thinks cases will not keep declining rapidly. “Now onwards, the decline would be relatively slower and we may see a few days when cases would go up and a few days when cases go down,” Lahariya said, while pointing out that at this stage, the key would be to focus on the districts concerned rather than national and even state averages.