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Coronavirus in India July 20 Highlights: Centre, states should work together as team to fight Covid-19, says PM Modi; Kerala extends Covid restrictions by 1 more week

The last 24 hours have been the most promising for India’s recovery from the second wave of the coronavirus. All major numbers of Covid – be it daily caseload or the fatalities due to viral complications have been recorded at a marked decline. Even albeit the slow pace of vaccination saw an uptick on Monday. The latest numbers say that 52.6 lakh doses were administered on July 19, the health ministry data says. This a significantly better than what we have seen in the recent past. Only trouble – this daily jab tally is nowhere near what China has been achieving. A Reuters update says that on July 19, China gave over 1 crore Covid jabs, just double of what India managed.

And here lies the problem. Both India and China are no.1 and no. 2 on the world ranking in terms of population. So, whatever we do, it automatically translates into mega-scale operations. Even though the Wuhan Lab Leak theory and other issues with China’s handling of the Covid’s initial phase are still debatable, what the current numbers show is that the Xi Jinping administration is maintaining the brisk rate of vaccinating every eligible beneficiary.

India on the other hand, has seen the highs and the lows in the national vaccine rollout. After what was seen as a calibrated reboot on June 21st, the daily doses administered in India remain somewhat unimpressive.

This may upend the recovery and gradual return to normalcy. Worst-hit regions such as Maharashtra are already thinking about imposing lockdowns in some areas. While Monday’s encouraging numbers – 30,093 fresh cases and 374 Covid deaths – show the trend of receding second wave, the problem lies in what happens next.

On the global front, the UK saw the ending of the legal lockdown, also dubbed as ‘Freedom Day.’ British PM Boris Johnson has urged people to exercise all Covid protocols, health experts say that the UK is being pushed into yet another pandemic-related disaster due to the lifting of the curbs and rising Delta cases.

Back home, after the major North Indian states called off this year’s Kanwar Yatra after the Supreme Court’s intervention, the focus is now on Kerala and the easing of the lockdown due to Bakrid celebrations. With Supreme Court clearly saying that it wants Kerala to follow the Kanwar Yatra order, it would be interesting to see what the state government does next.

Health experts have been repeatedly warning about the alarming rate of mutation and poor vaccination pace. If people don’t pay heed to these and mass gatherings are organised, India may, unfortunately, see another Covid explosion.

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