India’s epidemic death toll tops 250,000, when it will peak still unknown

A patient with the Chinese Communist virus (COVID-19) lies on a stretcher waiting to be admitted to a hospital in New Delhi, India, April 23, 2021.

The epidemic in India is continuing to grow, as the Chinese Communist virus (COVID-19) has invaded rural areas in large numbers. On Wednesday (12), India’s cumulative death toll surpassed 250,000, making the past day the deadliest 24 hours in India since the pandemic began, with a record 4,205 deaths.

Data from India’s Ministry of Health showed that on Wednesday, the number of deaths from the CCP virus in India rose by 4,205 and the number of infections increased by 348,421, with the total number of infections surging to more than 23 million. And experts believe the actual number could be five to 10 times higher.

The rise in daily infections is even higher in rural India compared to the big cities. This week, more than half of the cases in the western state of Maharashtra came from rural areas, compared with just 1/3 a month ago. government data show that in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous and mostly rural state, the rate is closer to 2/3.

In its latest weekly report, the World Health Organization said India, with a population of 1.4 billion, accounts for half of the global cases of the common virus and 30 percent of the global deaths.

Shahid Jameel, India’s top virologist, said that while the infection curve may be showing early signs of leveling off, the number of new cases may be declining very slowly.

We seem to be leveling off at around 400,000 new cases a day,” Jameel told The Indian Express. It is too early to say whether we have peaked or not.”

The Indian variant of the CCP virus has raised concerns as the outbreak continues to spread in India. Indian scientists say their work has been hampered by bureaucracy and the government’s reluctance to share important data. India is sequencing about 1 percent of its total cases, and not all of the results are being uploaded to a global database of the CCP virus genome.

If sequencing is inadequate, there are blind spots and worrisome mutations are not easily detected until they are more widely disseminated, said Alina Chan, a postdoctoral fellow at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University.

In its latest report, the World Health Organization said the virus variants first identified in India appear to have a higher rate of transmission, and preliminary evidence suggests that the effectiveness of some antibodies may be reduced. WHO has designated the B.1.617 variant found in India as a variant of global concern, but the full impact on it is unclear.

The more contagious variant of the CCP virus that triggered the catastrophic outbreak in India has been found in 44 countries, WHO said, and urged more research to understand its severity and trends in causing reinfection.