RANCHI: Covid-19 cases have dropped considerably in the state with only 208 active cases recorded on Tuesday — a figure last observed in the first month since the outbreak of the pandemic on May 23, 2020, when the number of active cases was 206.
While some experts are hopeful of coming out of the dark tunnel, others want to exercise caution in being over-optimistic. Professor of pulmonary medicine at Rims, Dr Brajesh Mishra, said that it was little premature to imagine that the pandemic is over. “We all had observed strict lockdown norms and Covid-appropriate behaviour, cutting the chain of the viral spread but now schools and business establishments have started to reopen. We must wait and watch till the end of August, because the incubation period of the virus is around 10 days,” he said. He, however, agreed that new infections have considerably come down and high seropositivity prevalence can also play a role in stemming the spread.
“In case of Bihar, the seroprevalence rate is 78% whereas in Jharkhand
it was 62% in the latest survey which indicates that the chances of the viral spread is higher here in comparison to Bihar,” he cautioned.
Head, Preventive and Social Medicine (PSM) at Rims, Dr Devesh Kumar, who has been a part of several researches conducted on Covid
-19, is, however, hopeful that a third wave could be avoided. Even if there is one, “it is going to be far less virulent than what we experienced during the second wave,” he said.
Kumar also said that for any definitive conclusion, experts have to wait for a couple of months more. “It is true that the number of new cases has come down considerably and there could be two reasons — the virulence has actually come down or the RTPCR is failing to detect the virus,” he said. Pointing to a large number of cases in the recent months with Covid-like but milder symptoms, Kumar said a proper study is required to find the cause of such infections which is mostly being ignored as seasonal influenza.
The first case of Covid-19 was reported in Jharkhand on March 31 last year and since then the active cases crept up and reached its peak of 15,726 active cases on September 9, 2020.
Considered the first wave, the number of cases started coming down gradually and the graph touched the bottom line at 428 active cases on February 6 earlier this year. Though people hoped that the pandemic was about to get over, it was far from the truth.
Cases started increasing once again since March 10. All through the month of February, active cases remained around 500, lowest being 428 on February 6. The second wave started peaking and reached the pinnacle of 61,195 active cases on May 9. Once again, the number of new infections were fewer than the number of recoveries and the graph of active cases fell sharply.
While the lowest number of cases was 428 in the first wave, it is even lower in the second when the number of cases came down to 202 on August 9. Though it again increased slightly to 208 the next day, the high number of tests being conducted (around 50,000 every day) and fewer new infections, which has been under 30, is a positive sign.