The Covid tally in India on October 5 stood at 60,128, the lowest in the past six weeks, since August 24. But daily numbers can be deceptive as the curve for new cases tends to whipsaw, depending on the number of tests conducted.

The seven-day moving average for the daily new cases, which smoothens the curve, reveals that there is a perceptible decline over the past two weeks, since September 18. Furthermore, the seven-day rolling growth rate for cumulative cases also has been falling. It was in single-digit, at 7.37 per cent, on October 5.

Though the numbers have been dropping, experts caution that it cannot be conclusively stated that India has crossed the peak in Covid-19 cases.



‘Too early to celebrate’

Himanshu Sikka, Lead, Wealth, Nutrition and WASH, IPE Global, says it is too early to celebrate because new cases have been peaking in different parts of the country at different times. That is, while the infection rate has come down in certain cities and States, which had registered high levels of infections in the earlier months of the pandemic, new cases could be just beginning to increase in other regions.

He said that people should not lower their guard but continue to take precautions. Sikka added that with the cold weather setting in, if people are affected by influenza, malaria or dengue, their immunity will be much lower, and chances of being infected by Covid will increase.

“We don’t know if the decrease is due to effective testing and isolation or increased use of low-sensitivity rapid antigen tests. Nevertheless, the decline has been slow and steady,” said LS Shashidhara, Dean of Research and Professor of Biology, Ashoka University, adding, “Our aim should not be to keep the total number of cases per day low; instead, we should increase tests in tier II and tier III towns across the country.”