India is nearing ten million cases total cases of COVID-19.
Monday saw the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announce an increase of 32,981 infections with the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in the preceding 24 hours. This takes the overall caseload to 9,677,203. Of those cases, 396,712 are active. The death toll, meanwhile, rose to 140,573.
India remains the second worst-affected country in the world in terms of confirmed cases, behind only the United States. However, in terms of active cases, it is the seventh worst-affected country behind the United States, France, Italy, Brazil, Belgium, and Russia according to Worldometer. In terms of death, India trails the United States and Brazil as the third worst-affected country.
The country continues to boast a high recovery rate, of 94.37 percent. The country has also recorded fewer than 50,000 cases in a single day for the 28th day in a row according to the Health Ministry – a far cry from a peak in the daily new cases of 100,000 in mid-September.
With a number of vaccine candidates showing promise – and both the Serum Institute of India and Pfizer seeking emergency use authorisation for the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine and its own vaccine candidate respectively – many are optimistic that the end may be in sight. Such optimism is bolstered by forecasts of an economic rebound for India that will occur faster than expected. However, some scientists – such as a group of experts in the United Kingdom – do caution that a vaccination campaign at the end of this year / beginning of next does not mean an immediate return to normalcy.
Nonetheless, the vaccines show considerable promise in terms of curbing the spread of COVID-19. “I’m very confident that transmission between people will be reduced by such a highly effective vaccine – maybe not ninety percent but maybe fifty percent – but we should not forget that even that could result in a dramatic reduction of the pandemic spread,” said BioNTech chief Ugur Sahin.