Coronavirus Pandemic

India: Covid-19 pandemic is shrinking overall, head of virus task force says

Web report/New Delhi
Filed on May 19, 2021
Health workers at a banquet hall turned into a Covid care center in New Delhi. Photo: AFP

About 200 districts have reported a decline in Covid cases over the past fortnight

India’s ‘pandemic curve’ is stabilising and the reproduction number has fallen below 1, Dr V.K. Paul, head of the Covid-19 task force said on Tuesday. This reflected the overall shrinking of the pandemic.

This was the first seven-day period since February 16-22 when the country reported a decline in case positivity over the previous period. About 200 districts have reported a decline in Covid cases over the past fortnight. India’s overall case positivity has also registered a decline over the past seven days after increasing consistently for 13 weeks.

Depicting a ‘mixed’ picture, Paul affirmed there was ‘overall stabilisation.’

“What we know from scientific analysis is that the reproduction number is overall below 1 now,” he said.

“Which means the pandemic is shrinking overall. That has happened because of the huge and comprehensive containment effort, in addition to managing cases in home settings and hospitals.”

According to him, the pandemic curve is stabilising in many states because of the comprehensive efforts, containments, restrictions and testing. But there are a few states causing concern in terms of trajectory including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha.

He also pointed out that these were early signs and if complacency in containment and testing set in there could be a renewed surge. “We have to be mindful that when we are achieving a decline in positivity rate it is because of what we are doing, and that cannot be slackened; we cannot let this get out of hand,” he added.

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