Is India heading towards a 5th wave of COVID-19? According to the latest report by the Health Ministry, the country has reported over 1,800 new cases of infections in the last 24 hours, taking India's total COVID tally to 4.47 crore (4,47,05,952). The active cases in India have also increased to 10,300, with six more COVID deaths reported in the last 24 hours, taking the country's total COVID death tally to 5,30,837.
State-Wise COVID-19 Report
Take a look at the state-wise COVID rise:
Karnataka: The state is witnessing a sharp rise in daily COVID cases. As per reports, Karnataka witnessed the average weekly positivity rise up to 3.05 per cent from 1.65 per cent.
Delhi: The national capital is also seeing an uptick in its daily COVID numbers. In the last 24 hours, Delhi has seen the weekly positivity rate rise to 4.25 per cent from 0.53 per cent.
Gujarat: The state is witnessing a sudden surge in numbers, and in the last 24 hours, the positivity rate of COVID in the state has increased to 2.17 per cent from 0.07 per cent.
Kerala: One of the worst-hit states in the four back-to-back COVID waves in India, Kerala is also witnessing a surge in cases. As per data, the state's weekly positivity rate shot up to 4.51 from 1.47 per cent.
Maharashtra: On the other hand, the weekly positivity in Maharashtra has gone up to 4.58% as of 24th March 2023 from 0.54% in the week ending 3rd March 2023.
Which Variant Is Driving The New Cases?
COVID is here to stay. The virus will mutate and come back stronger than before -- These words of caution by the expert are indeed coming true. In the last 3 years (since the pandemic) the world has seen the rise of several lethal and contagious variants and sub-variants of COVID-19. Currently, one variant which is driving new cases in India is the XBB.1.16 -- a sub-variant of the XBB strain of COVID-19 (a combination of Omicron and its sub-variants). The XBB.1.16 variant is currently the most contagious strain of COVID-19 circulating globally. It has several mutations in its spike protein that allows it to evade vaccine-induced immunity.
Taking cognizance of the sudden rise in daily COVID-19 numbers, the government of India has advised states to undertake mock drills to ensure operational readiness of Hospital Infrastructure including oxygen cylinders, PSA plants, ventilators and human resources. A virtual meeting was held in order to check the preparedness of the states to handle any further COVID outbreak in the upcoming days. The centre has also cautioned states/UTs against any complacency and advised them to follow up on the priorities listed in the joint advisory issued today by the Department of Health Research and the Department of Health and Family Welfare on 25th March 2023.