(TibetanReview.net, Dec22’20) – Daily Covid-19 cases in India have, for the first time since Jul 1, fallen below 20,000 even as the country’s shrinking tally of active cases have gone under the 3-lakh mark after 163 days, noted the timesofindia.com Dec 22.
However, the detection of a new mutant strain in the UK has raised new cause for worry not only in India but in many other countries as well which have cancelled flight services to and from the country. The new strain is said to be up to 70% more transmissible, although there are no suggestions yet that it is more deadly or that existing vaccines will not be effective against it.
India has cancelled flight services from the UK from Dec 23 to 31. However, as there are no quick diagnostic tests to check for the new ‘UK Covid strain’, it is impossible to completely rule out the possibility of it already circulating in parts of the country, noted another timesofindia.com report Dec 22.
In fact, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at the World Health Organisation, has told the ndtv.com Dec 22 that the mutant strain of the novel coronavirus – first identified in the UK in September and which is rapidly replacing other variations of the virus – may already be present in several countries.
“The UK is one of those countries that is doing a lot of whole genome sequencing and is therefore able to track this very closely in real time. I suspect that as more countries look at their data, they might find this variant, or a related variant, might already be there,” she has said.
Meanwhile the latest data from India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare show that there were 19,556 new cases and 301 new deaths in the country in the past 24 hours as of Dec 22 at 8AM, taking their cumulative totals to 10,075,116 cases and 146,111 deaths.
A total of 9,636,587, or 95.65%, had recovered while the number of active cases was 292,518, or 2.90% of the total. The case fatality rate was 1.45%. These percentage figures were mostly improvements over the previous day’s figures.
The latest daily number of new cases, at 19,556, was less than the daily number of those who had recovered, at 30,376, leading to a decline in the number of active cases by 11,121.
India is currently the country with the world’s second highest number of Covid-19 cases and the third highest number of deaths.
After remaining unchanged for four days, the cumulative total of Covid-19 cases among Tibetans in India, Nepal and Bhutan had increased to 1,426 (↑34), of whom 133 were active, 1,277 had recovered and 36 (↑1) had died, according to the latest tally of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) as of Dec 22.
Across the world the number of Covid-19 cases totaled 77,456,985 and the deaths 1,704,680, according to the tally of Johns Hopkins University as of 3:52 PM on Dec 22, 2020.