India coronavirus : People on the move behind spurt in cases
For the second consecutive day, Kerala reported more than 50 new cases of novel Coronavirus on Sunday, as many people coming back from other states continued to test positive. Some among those who returned from abroad recently, in the last round of evacuations made by the Indian government, have also been testing positive.
Kerala now has 847 confirmed infections, 322 of which are active cases, all of these having been discovered after May 10 when a fresh surge began in the state following the influx of people from abroad and also from other states. Just before that, the number of active cases in the state had gone down below 20, and there were occasions on which the state did not report even a single new case in a day. On other days, it was reporting mainly in single digits.
In the last one week, however, Kerala has had almost 250 new infections, most of them concentrated in the northern and central districts of Kannur, Palakkad and Mallapuram. Of the 53 that were found to be positive on Sunday, 30 came from other states, mostly from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. The state had registered only three deaths of Coronavirus patients till May 21, the lowest case fatality ratio in the country for a state with significant caseload, but after that, three more deaths have been reported.
The people on the move, following the easing of restrictions on movement on May 4, have been the reason for a spurt in the number of cases in several states, including the ones like Bihar and Odisha, who contribute a large proportion of the migrant workforce in the country. Bihar, in the last two weeks, has emerged as one of the fastest-growing states in the country, its confirmed infections having jumped from less than 700 on May 10 to over 2,500 now. A majority of the new cases are people who have travelled from other places.
Odisha reported over 100 cases on Sunday, again mostly amongst migrants or their direct contacts. About 1,450 people in the state have tested positive till now.
Almost 7,000 people across the country tested positive for Coronavirus on Sunday, taking the total number of confirmed infections to more than 1.36 lakh. In keeping with the trend, Maharashtra contributed more than 3,000 of these. For the last two weeks, Maharashtra has been accounting for more than 40 per cent of all cases in the country. This number has been rising steadily for the past two months. Just before the first phase of lockdown was imposed on May 24, Maharashtra accounted for one-fifth of the total national caseload. Now, it accounts for more than one third.
(Input and image from theindianexpress.com)