NEW DELHI: October saw the first monthly fall in Covid-19 infections since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country, with both fresh cases and deaths declining by nearly 30% from the previous month’s figures.
Fresh infections as well as fatalities from the virus have been steadily falling since mid-September, which is reflected in Covid-19 numbers in October. Around 18.3 lakh new cases were recorded during the month, down from 26.2 lakh in the month of September. In fact, October’s case count was lower than the numbers logged in August, when 19.9 lakh infections were reported, pointing to the dramatic fall in the coronavirus graph since mid-September.
Covid-19 deaths have followed a similar trajectory. In October, a little less than 23,500 deaths were recorded, 29% less than the toll of 33,255 in September. As in the cases of fresh infections, October’s death toll was less than that recorded in August, when 28,859 people had succumbed to the virus across the country.
Before October, Covid-19 cases as well as fatalities had shown a rise in each successive month since the outbreak of the pandemic in multiple regions of the country in March.
On Saturday, 46,899 new cases were recorded, the lowest count in four days. The day’s death toll, at 468, was the lowest since July 5.
Along with a dip in new coronavirus infections, Maharashtra recorded a drop of over 40% in deaths on Saturday, the clearest indicator that the Covid-19 wave was waning.
A state government update said 74 patients died because of Covid-related complications in the last 24 hours compared to 127 the previous day. The new deaths took the toll to 43,911. The latest state figure for fatalities was the lowest in 159 days. On May 25, authorities had reported 60 deaths.
With 32 fatalities, Mumbai accounted for 43% of the deaths in the state. Fatalities in Maharashtra have been below 200 for 14 days now. “The downward trend has been noticeable for a few weeks and it is not surprising that we had a lower number of deaths to report on Saturday,” Dr Pradeep Awate, who heads the epidemiology cell of the state public health department, said.
On a day Tamil Nadu announced a series of unlock measures, the state added 2,511 cases and 31 deaths to the Covid-19 registry. This took the case tally to 7,24,522 and cumulative death toll to 11,122.
Over the last one month, the number of fresh cases reported dropped to 1.2 lakh compared to 1.6 lakh in September. The state also reported an increase in recoveries and decline in daily deaths. “We saw a decline in certain key indicators that reflects declining infection rate in the state,” said health secretary J Radhakrishnan.
The positivity rate dropped from 7.8% in September to 3.5% in October. With the positivity rate coming down, the doubling time for the infection went up from 70 days in the last week of September to 224 days on October 31.