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COVID-19 Explained: How Can Winter Season Impact India’s Current Declining COVID Trend?

Dr Randeep Guleria, the Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), says that despite the downward trend in COVID-19 cases, it is important to sustain this in the coming festive season and winter months

COVID-19 Explained: How Can Winter Season Impact India’s Current Declining COVID Trend?
Highlights
  • India has over 71 lakh confirmed COVID-19 cases, nearly 9 lakh are active
  • Sustaining the decline trend is the biggest challenge: AIIMS Director
  • Cold temperature enables virus to survive for longer period: Dr Guleria

New Delhi: On a positive note for the nations’ fight against COVID-19 pandemic, India has seen a declining trend in the percentage of active cases and a rising percentage of recovered cases. Despite the confirmed cases being over 71 lakh, there are nearly 9 lakh active cases. Furthermore, the number of cases being reported daily, which had touched 90,000 marks four weeks ago, is now reduced to 66,000 cases, as October 12, saw 66,732 fresh cases. Dr Randeep Guleria, the Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), says that despite the downward trend in COVID-19 cases, it is important to sustain this in the coming festive season and winter months.

Also Read: Coronavirus Explainer: What Is COVAX Initiative?

Talking about if India has crossed the peak of COVID-19, Dr Guleria told NDTV,

The current trend of the COVID-19 situation in India is encouraging. We need to see the downward trend for two weeks or so, to be more confident. But we should also be a little more vigilant, because we are heading for two situations that can be crucial and may lead to a rise in cases. One is the festive season, where people may start going to functions and could lead to crowding. It could be Dussehra, it could be Durga Puja or Chhathh, we have to be extremely careful about that. Secondly, we are heading towards the winter months and a lot of respiratory viruses tend to have a spike in the season. These two situations are a cause of concern, but we are showing a downward trend which is extremely satisfying.

Also Read: Coronavirus Explained: What Are The Phases In The Clinical Trials Of The COVID-19 Vaccine?

Further highlighting the season change and onset of winters, Dr Guleria explained how this could impact India’s COVID-19 situation.

Data suggests that respiratory viruses and infections, mainly influenza, tend to become much more prevalent during the winter months. Not only in our country, but even the data from countries like Europe and America suggests the same. India’s data suggests that our influenza spike takes place either in Monsoons or in Winters. Therefore, it is likely that there could be an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.

He says that this could be due to two reasons, first being the cold temperature enabling the virus to survive for a longer period in the environment. And during the winters, we tend to stay indoor and may crowd indoor, without proper ventilation to keep warm, which leads to a higher chance of the virus spreading from one individual to another.

Also Read: One Of The Puzzles Of COVID-19 Is The Large Proportion Of People Who Are Asymptomatic: Dr Vincent Rajkumar Of Blood Cancer Journal

It is important to note that India’s cases are decreasing despite a rise in testing. On October 11, the country tested close to 10 lakh samples. Highlighting the dip in the daily recorded COVID-19 cases, from 90,000 to 70,000, Dr Guleria says to sustain the trend is the biggest challenge right now.

The biggest challenge right now is to sustain this downward trend on all fronts and figuring out how to sustain it. It is very satisfying that we have been able to decrease the daily cases significantly, despite the fact that we have been scaling up the testing. So, even though we are testing more, the cases have not dramatically increased. There was a time where we were worried that we will cross the 1-lakh mark in daily cases. I think to sustain it, we can do two things. Firstly, be really aggressive in having COVID appropriate behaviour among the general public. We need to start a mass movement for this, as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said. Secondly, we should focus on the hotspots, delve very strategic and strict strategy of testing, tracking, treating and containment in the areas where the number of cases are rising.

Dr Guleria says that we must remember that there’s a large part of our country are still vulnerable to the coronavirus and that we can’t afford to let our guard down.

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NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

26,14,68,997Cases
22,22,61,229Active
3,40,08,183Recovered
51,99,585Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,14,68,997 and 51,99,585 have died; 22,22,61,229 are active cases and 3,40,08,183 have recovered as on November 29, 2021 at 3:42 am.

India

3,45,72,523 8,774Cases
1,05,6911,328Active
3,39,98,278 9,481Recovered
4,68,554 621Deaths
In India, there are 3,45,72,523 confirmed cases including 4,68,554 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,05,691 and 3,39,98,278 have recovered as on November 28, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,33,612 507

11,905 248

64,80,799 738

1,40,908 17

Kerala

51,29,359 4,741

49,152 957

50,40,528 5,144

39,679 554

Karnataka

29,95,285 322

6,783 143

29,50,306 176

38,196 3

Tamil Nadu

27,24,731 740

8,382 36

26,79,895 765

36,454 11

Andhra Pradesh

20,72,446 248

2,158 5

20,55,856 253

14,432

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,373 5

86 5

16,87,377 9

22,910 1

West Bengal

16,14,152 701

7,820 27

15,86,882 717

19,450 11

Delhi

14,40,834 27

290 11

14,15,448 37

25,096 1

Odisha

10,48,492 264

2,222 6

10,37,864 255

8,406 3

Chhattisgarh

10,06,733 27

326 7

9,92,814 20

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,741 26

187 13

9,45,599 13

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,382 28

291 17

8,16,999 45

10,092

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,120 23

112 9

7,82,480 14

10,528

Haryana

7,71,654 11

159 1

7,61,441 10

10,054

Bihar

7,26,212 3

39 6

7,16,510 9

9,663

Telangana

6,75,479 160

3,545 11

6,67,946 148

3,988 1

Assam

6,16,435 123

2,720 71

6,07,624 189

6,091 5

Punjab

6,03,190 17

313 22

5,86,284 39

16,593

Jharkhand

3,49,216 20

109 0

3,43,967 20

5,140

Uttarakhand

3,44,183 14

150 6

3,36,626 8

7,407

Jammu And Kashmir

3,36,386 149

1,724 5

3,30,189 141

4,473 3

Himachal Pradesh

2,26,941 82

809 18

2,22,287 97

3,845 3

Goa

1,78,839 40

275 9

1,75,183 31

3,381

Mizoram

1,34,279 358

4,117 110

1,29,672 466

490 2

Puducherry

1,28,860 35

326 5

1,26,662 30

1,872

Manipur

1,25,117 19

673 1

1,22,474 18

1,970 2

Tripura

84,784 13

89 9

83,874 3

821 1

Meghalaya

84,414 20

308 27

82,635 44

1,471 3

Chandigarh

65,443 5

52 4

64,571 1

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,269 9

37 4

54,952 5

280

Sikkim

32,211 4

114 5

31,694 9

403

Nagaland

32,100 4

135 1

31,269 5

696

Ladakh

21,494 27

249 6

21,032 21

213

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

1 0

10,678

4

Lakshadweep

10,394

28 1

10,315 1

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,680 2

5 2

7,546

129

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