New Delhi: The lethal second wave of Coronavirus will likely claim nearly 1,750-2,320 lives per day in India by the first week of June 2021, if proper steps are not immediately taken to curb its spread, warned a report by the Lancet Covid-19 Commission.
Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat will likely remain the most affected, according to the report titled “Managing India’s second Covid-19 wave: Urgent steps”.
The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hit India hard with the number of new infections rising from 11,794 in the first week of February 2021 to 152,565 as of April 10, 2021. Death rate also touched new heights daily — from 116 in the first week of February 2021 to 838 as of April 10, 2021.
The second wave also took less than 40 days to reach the 80,000 mark. From 10,000 new cases per day in February to 80,000 new cases per day in April. In September, this journey took 83 days. Many positive cases are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, the report said.
Fiscally, India may need to spend more than $7.8 billion on testing and $1.7 billion on health care utilisation due to Covid-19 infections leading to death by September 2021, it added.
“All efforts need to be made to break the transmission chain and reduce the rate of new infections, with minimum disruption to the economy and to the livelihood of its people,” the report said, noting that accelerating vaccinations is key.
“The past year has shown us, both within India and in other countries, that strong political will, together with building preparedness in the health system, and individual and community behaviour change can yield powerful results. We hope that strong, decisive actions taken now will spare India a long second wave and set in place actions to prevent further waves of Covid-19 infections,” the report said.
To combat the spread of Covid-19, the report suggested measures such as ensuring vaccinations for all adults, including those below 45, need to ramp up manufacturing capacity, address vaccine hesitancy among others.
In the last 24 hours, India reported over 2 lakh new Covid-19 cases, the biggest single-day spike ever, according to the latest Health Ministry data. The overall number of confirmed cases stands at 1,40,74,564.