Should India’s rising coronavirus numbers surprise anyone?
The last few days have seen fearful numbers as far as the corona virus cases in India are concerned. On May 25th, India witnessed 6977 positive cases with an addition of 154 deaths.
On May 24th, the tally was 6767, with an addition of 147 deaths. On May 23rd, it was 6654. On the 22nd, it was 6008. The overall number now stands at 1,39,000.
Further, since lockdown 4.0 was imposed on May 18th, the lowest cases in a single day have been 4970, which was seen on May 19th.
The last time India saw a day when the cases were below 1000 was April 17th. A total of 957 cases were reported that day.
The public will have worried thoughts running in their mind over the rise in the numbers with each passing day.
The reaction is an understandable one, considering the numbers recorded in other developed countries, worldwide.
India’s prevailing situation demands to address one important question: Should it be surprised by it?
The three lockdowns gone-by have had several differential features to them, but one aspect has remained the same: social distancing.
The public was told not to form clusters on roads, they were advised to not form crowds anywhere and even in places like supermarkets, supervision was maintained to ensure when they stood in a line, they did so by keeping a distance.
The fourth lockdown has seen a relaxation in that aspect, albeit to an extent. Folks got the freedom to move around, to return to leading a life as close to normal as it could be.
That has meant that knowingly or unknowingly social distancing norms have been broken as more and more people have come in some form of contact. The numbers were going to rise in such a circumstance.
Adherence to certain rules that still remain firmly in their place is also questionable. Buses in Karnataka, for instance. The limit on the passenger number has been put 30 by the government with no one permitted to stand and only one passenger allowed to sit per seat.
Yet, visuals of seats with more than one person have been of common viewing in certain parts of the city.
However, the steep rise has coincided with enhanced testing across India- a facet not observed in the earlier lockdowns.
So, even if social distancing measures were broken in several parts, the testing numbers countered that. That helped India identify how many skeletons were left in the cupboard and when they came out, they did so, at a stretch.
With five days left for this lockdown to end, all eyes will turn to the government in days to come.
Will these giant numbers hold them back from saving the economy or are we staring at a lengthy phase of social distancing yet again to prevent any more steep rise in numbers?
The answer is anybody’s guess.