Covid fourth wave in India? Here's what we know so far

Updated: Apr 20, 2022, 08:19 PM(IST)

After reporting low cases, India is seeing a sharp uptick in new Covid infections, forcing the government to reintroduce some of the restrictions that were lifted a few weeks ago.

Although it remains to be seen whether Covid fourth wave has entered India, the government has been taking strong measures to keep the cases low.

Here's what we know so far. 

India's Covid cases see sharp uptick

After weeks of registering low cases, India's Covid infection saw a 65 per cent jump on Wednesday with 2,067 new infections, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said, adding that the country's active caseload stood at 12,340.

The number of deaths reported in the last 24 hours reached 40. These included 32 backlog deaths added by Kerala.

A fresh spike in Covid cases in some states is forcing the government to re-introduce certain restrictions that were placed during the first wave. 


India's R value crosses 1 for first time since January

India's effective reproduction number (R) for Covid, an indicator of how quickly the infection is spreading, has increased to over one for the first time since January, estimates a researcher from Chennai's Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

The country's R-value, steadily increasing over the last few weeks, is 1.07 for the week between April 12-18, according to Sitabhra Sinha. In the preceding April 5-11 week, it was 0.93.

The last time the R-value was above 1 was in the week between January 16-22, when the value was 1.28, Sinha said.


What is causing the latest spike in India?

The Indian government is yet to determine which variant is triggering a spike in Covid cases. Latest samples are being sent to INSACOG, a multi-laboratory, multi-agency, Pan-India network to monitor genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2.


Centre writes to 5 states recording higher cases

Unlike major cities in India Delhi has continued to report a significantly higher number of cases, over 100 per day on an average. On Tuesday, Delhi detected more than 200 new cases for the first time in a month.

The cases have continued to rise every day after that, and on Saturday 461 cases were detected, the highest in six weeks

Same is the case with Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh Haryana, and Mizoram where the Covid-19 positivity rate has been spiking in the last few weeks. 

The Centre has asked these five the states to monitor clusters, intensify genome-sequencing, monitor severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) and influenza cases in hospitals and urged stricter vigil on the pandemic


Schools to remain open

Despite registering more cases, Delhi has decided not to shut schools. Officials will be issuing SOPs separately for better management.


Delhi reintroduces mask mandates

In the wake of new cases, Delhi reintroduced mask mandates, making it a penalising offense. According to the latest order, a fine of Rs 500 (US$6 approx.) will be imposed on violators.


Flight operations

After several months, India opened flight travel to foreign countries. So far, there is no order on suspending its operations. 


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