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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: The cases of Covid-19 in India are rising fast. Seeing the pace of escalation, PM Narendra Modi in his address to the Nation gave a clarion call to all citizens for Janata Curfew the coming Sunday. The message was clear - Social distancing, not socialising, is the need of the hour.

The transmission speed of Covid-19 is growing fast in India. The country took  nearly 41 days (Jan 30 – Mar 10) to reach the 50 mark. In contrast, the nation took a mere 5 days to report 50 more to touch the 100 mark. In simple words, Covid-19 cases on March 10 were at 50, but crossed 100-mark on March 15.

Significantly, the total number of Coronavirus positive cases took only 3-days to add another 50 cases, only to cross the 150 mark on  March 18. And, in just a span of 2 days, the country reported 50 new cases to cross the 200-mark on March 20.

As per the ICMR data, the total proportion of Covid-19 positives in India stood at 1.5 per cent of the total individuals tested. The total Covid-19 cases reported in India as on the evening stood at 223. But the active or hospitalised cases stood at around 191.

The above analysis shows how the Covid-19 cases in the country acquired a virulent turn from the 2nd week of March.

A state-wise glance shows a handful of seven states and a UT (Ladakh) account for a massive over 78 per cent of the Covid-19 tally in the country. Maharashtra alone has contributed 24 per cent of the Covid-19 burden. The other high-burden states are: Kerala (28), UP (23), Delhi (17), Haryana (17), Telangana (16), Karnataka (15) and Ladakh (10).

The states that have posted a rise today are: Maharashtra, Kerala, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.

But the positive sign for India so far has been, in the yardstick of number of cases per million population, a mere 0.16 . In contrast, the number of cases per million in top 10-worst hit countries are: China – 59, Italy – 679, Iran – 219, Spain -387, Germany – 183, US – 43, France – 168, S Korea – 169,  Switzerland – 488 and UK – 48 .

The above comparative data on cases reported per million population shows how the Covid-19 situation in India is well under control.

However, it’s the high spurt in cases within a short span of time (which is technically termed as the speed of transmission) that looks disconcerting for the country.

History of the disease shows, after attaining the speed of transmission, novel Coronavirus attains the peak of transmission. And keeping this in mind, PM Modi made the appeal of ‘Janata curfew’ this Sunday.

Though a day’s curfew may not be a big deal, the messaging is clear. Social distancing is the need of the hour, and people have to inculcate this into themselves to fight the virulent Coronavirus. Reiterating it today, the Union government has appealed to make it a people’s revolution to break the Covid-19 transmission cycle.

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