Why India has not Seen a Big Covid-19 Wave, and What Lies Ahead

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It has been more than 10 months since the third wave of Covid-19 infections subsided in India.

The high vaccination coverage, especially among the vulnerable groups, has also had an important role to play in India’s Covid trajectory (File Photo)

Except for a relatively minor surge during June and July last year, the spread of infections has been very low. In fact, this is now the most prolonged phase without any major rise in infections during the three years of the pandemic.This period of relative calmness is remarkable considering that many other countries continue to report large numbers of infections even today. Europe is still reporting over 80,000 new infections a day, Japan more than one lakh cases a day, and the United States about 40,000 cases a day. They have had worse periods in the past six months. China has been in the midst of its worst phase of the pandemic, with about 80 per cent of its population likely to have got infected in the past three months.In comparison, India is currently reporting barely 125 new infections a day. The daily count of cases has remained below 1,000 since the start of November. Even during the surge of June and July, the case count did not go beyond 22,000 a day. Hospitalisations and deaths have been extremely low. Since December, the reported death count has remained in single digits every day.Unique trajectoryThe virus is not treating India in any special manner. Nor has India done anything unique to curb the virus from spreading. The fact that the pandemic has been largely relegated to the background in the past ten months has a lot to do with the way the second and third waves — powered by the Delta and Omicron variants respectively — affected the Indian population. The high vaccination coverage, especially among the vulnerable groups, has also had an important role to play.Scientists say that though there has indeed been no major surge in cases in the past six months, the reported numbers are not a true reflection of the actual infections. Far greater number of people have been getting infected, and that is actually not a bad thing

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