KOLKATA (India) — Novel coronavirus cases in India has surpassed the grim 9 million milestones, becoming the second nation in the world to cross the mark, after the United States.
Over 45,882 new infections recorded in the last 24 hours took the national total to 9 million infections, federal health ministry data showed Friday.
564 people died from the virus that originated in Wuhan, China in 2019, with the cumulative death toll of the nation standing at 132,162, the health ministry said.
The spike in new cases comes amid half the number of COVID-19 cases were recorded in the last months, as compared to the summer and September peaks.
Fresh infections have dropped significantly in India, but the new milestone hit on Friday has sparked concerns about the nation’s testing regimen.
India’s COVID-19 was skyrocketing in September with analysts fearing the caseload will top the US milestone to become the world’s worst-hit nation, but from early October, fresh cases started to dip.
A Bloomberg report noted, while the trend should ideally reflect an improved overall condition of the pandemic in the US, there are questions of flaws in India’s recent testing rate.
A huge supply of self-testing COVID-19 kits in India also raises questions about their efficacy, and experts doubt if the numbers of the new infections recorded are authentic, per se.
Bloomberg News noted, India, which picked up on the number of testing in early pandemic days, is now currently testing up to or little over 1 million a day — a number not significant in a nation of 1.4 billion population.
Nations with similar caseloads are testing in much higher numbers. And in India’s case, half of the 1 million tests are done via the less reliable and speedy antigen testing that gives a false negative report as much as 50% of the time.
According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 12,95,91,786 samples have been tested up to November 20 while 10,83,397 samples were tested on Thursday alone.
Experts have opined, rapid antigen testings can give a quick idea about the worst-hit regions in a country where the outbreak has started taking place. But for a more robust and detailed overview, reliable and time-consuming RT-PCR tests are a must.
In Bihar, up to 88 percent of the tests conducted in the state of 100 million was rapid antigen. This is one example of how some Indian states with massive populations could be hampering access to an accurate reading of the pandemic in India.
Novel coronavirus cases are rising in states like Haryana, Manipur, Rajasthan, and Gujrat. The Indian government sent high-level teams to assist in strategizing the fight against COVID-19.
As per fresh reports, the Government of India is mulling plans to send high-level teams to other Indian states as well to assing in the fight against the virus.
In the last 24-hours, the states of Kerela, Delhi, West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan have reported a high number of cases.
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