India records most COVID cases in two months, Kerala worst-hit with 32,097 new Covid-19 cases recorded with deaths rise by 509.
With the Delta variant lurking at large, new infections surge at 47,092, deaths rise by 509 as Kerala accounts for 70 percent of new cases. In fact, India has reported the largest single-day surge in COVID-19 cases in two months.
In fact, Kerala reported nearly 70 percent of the 47,092 new infections and a third of deaths, a week after it celebrated its biggest festival Onam where massive social gatherings are the norm.
“With cases rising in Kerala, adequate steps should be taken to contain the inter-state spread of COVID-19,” Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in a statement on Thursday after speaking with his state counterparts in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, which border Kerala.
He asked them to increase vaccination in the districts close to Kerala.
India has thus far administered 662 million doses, with at least 54 percent of its 944 million adults having received one dose and 16 percent having taken two doses.
Vaccination drives have improved in recent days as supplies have increased. More than two-thirds of Indians already have COVID-fighting antibodies, mainly through natural infection, and medical experts believe that another national surge will be less deadly than the lethal second wave April and May when tens of thousands of people died and hospitals ran out of beds and oxygen.
The good news is a recent non-peer-reviewed study done in Kerala revealed that one dose of the AstraZeneca shot, the mainstay of India’s immunization drive, generates 30 times more antibodies in previously infected people than fully inoculated ones who never contracted the virus.
“A decently managed vaccination program, along with the hybrid immunity we’re seeing now, makes a massive third wave unlikely,” said clinical immunologist and rheumatologist Padmanabha Shenoy, who led the study and was referring to the immunity from natural infection and one vaccine dose.
The government, nevertheless, has warned that, like in Kerala, the rest of India could also see a rise in infections around the festival season starting this month and ending in early November.
While some state governments are thinking of reopening schools and the season of festivals is about to begin, they may need to restricting schools opening and festivals where mass gatherings would be grounds for spreading.
India has so far reported about 32.9 million infections, the most in the world after the US. Deaths went up by 509 on Thursday to a total of 439,529, which experts say is a huge undercount.