Covid Cases and Deaths Surge in India After Lifting Lockdown Restrictions

A road in New Delhi during the coronavirus lockdown in India. Photo: Rakesh Raman / RMN News Service
A road in New Delhi during the coronavirus lockdown in India. Photo: Rakesh Raman / RMN News Service

Health experts warn that if lockdown is lifted by May-end, India will witness a peak in Covid cases and deaths in July 2020.

By Rakesh Raman

India registered nearly 6,088 new coronavirus cases on Friday (May 22) – the country’s biggest jump in 24 hours – after allowing widespread relaxations in the lockdown on May 18.

The unprecedented increase in Covid cases in India is consistent with the global trends, as a record number of more than 100,000 cases were recorded in a single day on Thursday (May 21). The main reason for increasing number of cases is the relaxation in lockdown restrictions in most countries.

The governments in different countries have decided that they will reopen their business and other activities to save their political futures instead of saving the people from coronavirus.

India is one of those countries. Although the data being released by the Indian government is not accurate as it hardly performs any tests on the infected people, the country added 5% new cases on Friday as compared to a day before.

[ Coronavirus Returns After Relaxation in Lockdown Restrictions ]

In the absence of proper healthcare resources in the country, India performs only 1.82 tests per 1,000 people as compared to 36.38 in Canada, 36.96 in the U.S., 43.59 tests in Australia, and 51.93 in Russia.

Obviously, the Covid figures (118,000 cases and 3,600 deaths as of May 22) released by the Indian government are false and misleading. Even at this low level of testing, India is at No. 11 in the world in terms of Covid cases.

If India increases its test numbers comparable to other countries and records the Covid deaths transparently, even today the maximum number of coronavirus cases and deaths are in India. It is estimated that currently India has nearly 2 million Covid cases and thousands of deaths which are not being recorded as Covid deaths.

[ Covid Infection Spreads Rapidly in Delhi After Lifting Lockdown Restrictions ]

Still, the Central and State governments in India recklessly decided to relax lockdown restrictions while the people are wandering aimlessly in the congested streets without wearing masks and without following social-distancing guidelines.

The carelessness of the Indian governments has imperiled millions of lives and thousands of people are already dying which are not being reported as coronavirus deaths. The governments in India are committing large-scale data frauds to understate the Covid calamity in different states.

There are frequent discrepancies between the Covid death figures released by the Indian government agencies and the records at the cremation, burial grounds.

[ Amid False Coronavirus Data, India Becomes Global Epicenter of the Pandemic ]

According to a detailed media report, the Government of India has asked the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme – a government initiative under the health ministry’s National Centre for Disease Control – not to reveal Covid pandemic data.

The Indian government headed by PM Narendra Modi as well as various State governments are telling blatant lies because if they tell the truth, the blame will come on them that they are not able to control the damage from coronavirus.

But during the past couple of months, the Central as well as State governments could not make any arrangement to deal with the crisis which is exacerbating. Health experts warn that if lockdown is lifted by May-end, India will witness a peak in Covid cases and deaths in July 2020.

In order to check the free flow of virus and save lives, the Indian government must reimpose complete lockdown for a few more weeks and utilize this period to improve the healthcare system, increase the number of tests, trace contacts, set up quarantine centers, etc. to deal with the crisis in a holistic manner.

Research reports suggest that if the lockdown measures are not implemented properly, the total number of coronavirus cases in India will be 300 million in the next couple of months and hundreds of thousands of Indians will die.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications and research reports on different subjects. These publications include the “Covid Health Bulletin” that covers global coronavirus news and views.

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