Even as India is on the verge of a possible COVID-19 third wave, the country has witnessed a decline in Coronavirus cases by 4%.
The data provided by the Union Health Ministry shows a sharp decline in the Covid-19 cases in the North-Eastern states, but a plateauing Covid surge in Kerala last week is a matter of concern.
Over the last week, Kerala has reported a marginal increase in the Covid cases by 1%. However, the state will reopen its tourist destinations from today (August 9) for people who have taken at least one dose of vaccine.
The country has reported 35,499 new Coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking its overall tally to 3,19,69,954. On Monday, the data from Union Health Ministry has clearly shown that the death toll has climbed to 4,28,309 with 447 new fatalities.
Amidst all this, the good news is that active cases declined to 4,02,188 and account for 1.27% of the total infections in the country.
Positive Developments So Far
The vaccination drive has picked up in August in the country. According to the data, the daily average has gone up to 51.45 lakhs from 48.26 lakhs during the week from July 31-August 6.
The country’s cumulative vaccine coverage has crossed the 50-crore mark on August 7, the second-highest after China.
In another positive development, a recent study conducted by ICMR- Indian Council of Medical Research has shown that mixing Covishield and Covaxin vaccines provide better immune protection.
Recent Relaxation in Lockdown
Meanwhile, as the Covid-19 situation in the country is improving, several states and UTs have announced the reopening of schools for offline classes.
The Delhi government has allowed schools to reopen and conduct classes offline from class X to XII. Maharashtra government has also announced the reopening of physical classes in schools from August 17 in rural and urban areas.
UP government has also announced the reopening of schools for intermediate students from August 16. Meanwhile, the Odisha government had reopened schools across the state on July 26, after a gap of almost three months.
Meghalaya is looking to reopen its educational institutions after mid-August. Karnataka is resuming offline classes for students of classes 9-12 from August 23.
Maharashtra government has also allowed fully vaccinated citizens to travel in local trains from August 15 in Mumbai. The government has also granted relaxation for shops and restaurants in Pune. ‘
From August 9, shops can remain open till 8 pm, while restaurants can remain open till 10 pm, with 50% capacity, said Ajit Pawar, Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, on Sunday. Maharashtra state has also opened malls for fully vaccinated citizens till 8 pm in Pune.
The Deputy CM has also appealed to traders to keep commercial establishments and markets closed on any day of their choice, once a week.
Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, has also announced the opening of weekly markets on August 9. On Sunday, the Minister stated that the government is concerned about the livelihoods of poor people and has thus decided to reopen the weekly markets.
He has also urged people to adhere to Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. It must be known that weekly markets were closed by the Delhi government on April 19 after a sudden surge in Covid-19 cases.
Although Covid-19 cases are overall decreasing in the country, the rapidly increasing issues in the southern states are alarming a threat of a third wave of hopefully less intensity.
It is time for the schools to be reopened to build the basics for children who have not been to schools for over 18 months. However, schools should be reopened in a staggered way, particularly in the districts with a positivity rate of less than 5%.
Same should be followed to open any public amusement place viz malls, restaurants and gardens. A plan needs to be there to ensure quality education along with child well-being after reopening.
We need to develop models to maintain education standards amidst Covid-19 chaos in convergence with the government