Experts stumped:The rapid decline of India in virus cases
As the coronavirus pandemic took root in India, there were concerns that the world’s second-most populated country’s precarious health infrastructure would sink.
Infections climbed dramatically for months and at one point India looked like it might overtake the United States as the country with the highest case toll.
But in September, infections started to plunge and now the nation is registering about 11,000 new cases a day, compared to a high of almost 100,000, leaving experts perplexed.
India misses certain diseases, like other countries, and there are concerns about how it counts deaths from viruses. But the pressure on hospitals in the country has also decreased in recent weeks, a further indication that the transmission of the virus is declining.
But researchers have warned that even though the loss is partly responsible for herd immunity in some areas, the population as a whole remains vulnerable and must continue to take precautions.
Experts are considering whether variants in cases in the southern state of Kerala that had previously been lauded as a blueprint for combating the virus could be causing a rise. Kerala currently accounts for almost half of the present COVID-19 cases in India.
“With the reducing numbers, I feel that the worst of COVID is over,” said M. B. Ravikumar, an architect who was hospitalized last year and recovered. “And we can all breathe a sigh of relief.”