India recorded 1,340 deaths from Covid-19 in a single day on Friday, setting a new daily death record as devastating statistics in recent days have come into focus with a constant stream of bodies pouring into the scene of cremation and burial, and people have been seen queuing in desperate wait for beds outside hospitals.
The country added 233,869 cases on Friday – the most it has ever recorded in a single day.
The crisis has forced much of the country to retreat into one form or another of Borders, which will limit more than half of India’s population (57%) to their homes as Borders in 15 states and territories in the Union come into effect in the form of overnight or weekend curfews.
Before Friday, the last time India recorded the highest number of deaths in one day was September 15, when 1,284 people died from the disease. Granted, as of June 16, more than 2,000 deaths were recorded, but that was due to Delhi and Maharashtra reconciling pending death data into a single day.
According to an analysis by HT, over the next two days, more than 700 million people across the country will either be subject to a curfew for a limited period or a curfew that will extend 24 hours a day and 7 days a week with mostly only essential services authorized.
Such wide curfews were needed as the second wave of Covid-19 in India is spreading across the country at a rate never seen before. For the week ending April 16, India reported 188,400 new cases every day, double what was seen at the height of the first wave (93,617 average daily cases for the week ending September 16, 2020 ).
Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have imposed curfews that extend throughout the day and every day of the week. In Maharashtra, curfew will be imposed in all districts for 15 days. In Chhattisgarh, restrictions are limited to 20 districts and in Madhya Pradesh to 15 districts. Weekend curfews will be enforced in Delhi, Chandigarh, Rajasthan and urban areas in 10 Odisha districts. Uttar Pradesh imposed a statewide curfew on Sunday. Nighttime curfews, meanwhile, will be in place in hundreds of districts across the country with six states and UTs – Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Chandigarh – completely closed at night. In Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir and Odisha, night curfews are limited to urban areas or districts that report a high number of cases.
Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are the three most affected states in terms of the extent to which their second wave has so far exceeded the first wave peak. The fourth such state is Gujarat, but it has only imposed a nighttime curfew so far. The current weekly average of cases in Chhattisgarh is 410% of the state’s first wave peak, that number is 290% for Madhya Pradesh, 265% for Maharashtra.
True, most states have imposed only different versions of nighttime curfews. About 35% of the country’s population is currently under a nighttime curfew. The regions which have imposed only night curfews are Karnataka, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir and Bihar. On April 15, the weekly average of Covid-19 cases in those states was 99%, 157%, 128%, 110%, 398%, 67% and 103% for their first wave peaks, respectively.
Delhi and Chandigarh have also imposed variants of a weekend lockdown across all of their administrative regions with a nighttime curfew. Here, the average case for the week ending April 15 was 168%, and 127% from their largest peak before wave two. In Rajasthan and Odisha, nighttime restrictions extend to urban areas only and in Uttar Pradesh to just 47 districts, but weekend restrictions apply statewide. The weekly average of Covid-19 infections in Rajasthan is 168% of its past peak and the Uttar Pradesh average is 243% of its past peak. Odisha’s current weekly average is only 43% from its last peak. These states’ weekend restrictions make up almost a quarter (23.8%) of India’s population.
In Chhattisgarh, 81% of the population, 34% of the population of Madhya Pradesh and the whole of Maharashtra – which totals 13% of the Indian population – are also subject to restrictions that extend to all days of the week. In addition, 3% of the population of Chhattisgarh and 28% of the population of Madhya Pradesh are also subject to a nighttime curfew.
Experts say such restrictions on human movement will slow transmission, but the impact of these curfews is unlikely to be visible for at least a week, if not several days later, and that too, only if the Progress made due to the brakes is more than what disease transmission occurs during hours when mobility is unlimited.
“Weekend curfews will slow down transmission for at least the 48 hour period. Transmission occurs from person to person and if mobility is restricted, transmission will decrease. But this will have a minor impact on the total incidence, ”said Dr GC Khilnani, former head of the Department of Respirology at the Indian Institute of Medical Sciences. He said any impact on the number of cases will only be visible seven to ten days after the measure is implemented.
“If infections go down 10% in those two days, but between Monday and next Monday, they go up 10% again, then you won’t be able to see the difference this weekend’s lockdown will make. If the infection rate stays this low during the week, only then will we see an impact. If the infection increases between now and then, the lockdown will only mask the magnitude of the increase over the week, ”said Dr Lalit Kant, former head of the epidemiology department at the Indian Research Council. medical (ICMR).