Increase in COVID-19 cases results in new curfews and lockdowns in India

by | Apr 20, 2021 | Headlines, International

NEW DELHI — Earlier this week the Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal imposed a week-long lockdown in the capital of the country after a sudden increase in the number of cases.

Currently, there are 877,146 cases in the capital of the country with more than 20,000 cases being recorded daily.

“I think this was very essential and needed to be done in order to get the cases in control in the capital, given the sudden and mysterious increase in cases,” said Vinesh Kumar, who works at the Punjab National Bank.

This news came shortly after the Chief Minister imposed a number of restrictions, including the shutting down of restaurants and imposing a weekend curfew in order to get the cases in control.

Uttar Pradesh is another state that has seen a massive increase in coronavirus cases. The northern state saw recorded more than 28,000 cases on April 20, taking its total tally to 879,831.

Along with New Delhi, the state of Maharashtra also imposed a lockdown earlier this week for 14 days. Maharashtra is the worst-hit state in the country, with a total of 3.8 million cases and more than 50,000 cases recorded daily.

States like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, and others have either imposed a night curfew, a weekend curfew, or both in order to get the cases in check.

The reasons for the sudden increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country have been linked to a new homegrown mutant variant of the Sars-CoV-2. Genome sequencing in Maharashtra attributed over 60 per cent of fresh cases to an India-grown mutant variant of coronavirus, also known as B.1.617 and as a double mutant.

Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, claimed the variant is now also affecting younger people in the country, as opposed to the first wave which seemed to affect the older people more often.

Patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) get treatment April 115 at the casualty ward in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital, amid the spread of the disease in New Delhi, India.

Patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) get treatment April 115 at the casualty ward in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital, amid the spread of the disease in New Delhi, India. Photo credit: REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Apart from the new variant, festivities taking place in the state of Uttarakhand, mainly the Kumbh Mela, the world’s the largest religious gathering, could be another reason for the sudden increase in cases. The Kumbh Mela brings Hindu holy men together to discuss their faith and disseminate information about their religion.

“At a time when everyone should be more cautious, you see these festivals taking place and people gathering in masses. It’s scary and just doesn’t feel safe anymore,” said Katha Ray, a resident of Uttarakhand, a northern state in India.

Even though governments have assured the general public there is no shortage of beds and oxygen at the hospitals, it is a completely different picture at the hospitals across the country. The public is using social media to help out anyone in need of medical assistance.

Doctors are setting up appointments with their patients virtually and are asking people to stay at home as much as possible.

“We don’t when the cases will go down, till then everyone needs to follow the proper protocols, wear a mask, two if possible, maintain social distancing, and if possible, staying at home completely,” said Dr. Sharat Latta, head of the Ear Nose and Throat Department at Jaypee Hospital.

India is the second worst-hit country in the number of cases, with 15.3 million cases in total and more than 200,000 cases daily, overtaking Brazil.