India records over 92,000 fresh COVID-19 cases, govt calls lockdown successful

New Delhi: Amid 92,071 COVID-19 cases and 1,136 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours, the government on Monday maintained that nationwide lockdown imposed in late March helped in saving over 37 thousands lives and prevented 14 to 29 lakh people from getting infected.
According to official data, India’s case tally has now reached 48,46,427, highest outside United States, while fatalities stand at 79,722.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, while making a statement over COVID-19 management on the opening day of truncated monsoon session, stood firm on government’s decision of nationwide lockdown which was announced on March 25 and lifted in phases with certain activities still restricted.
Mr Vardhan said 92 per cent cases were with mild symptoms and the oxygen support, till now, was required only in 5.8 pc cases and intensive care in just 1.7 per cent.
According to the Opposition, including Congress, the nationwide lockdown did not bear any fruit in India as it shattered the economy completely with COVID-19 cases still on rise. Senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram recently said “India is the only country not reaping benefit of the lockdown”.
In what is being termed a historic first, the monsoon Session of Parliament saw limited attendance of MPs and media with mandatory COVID-19 tests, curtailed shifts and socially-distanced seating arrangements. For the first time, several members sat in visitors’ row.
But in total 18, including 17 members of the Lok Sabha and eight from the Rajya Sabha, tested positive for coronavirus. Among the infected, 13 are from Bharatiya Janata Party, two from Yuvajana Sramika Rythu (YSR) Congress Party while one each from Shiv Sena, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP).
Those who have tested positive include Meenakshi Lekhi, Parvesh Sahib Singh and Anant Kumar Hegde.
Inside India, the active cases are 9,86,598 while recovered stand at 37,80,107 in numbers and approximately 78 in percentage.
It also said that more than 60 per cent of active cases, as well as recoveries, are concentrated in five states – Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Maharashtra has 21.9 per cent of cases, followed by Andhra Pradesh with 11.7 per cent cases, Tamil Nadu with 10.4 per cent cases, Karnataka with 9.5 per cent cases, and Uttar Pradesh with 6.4 per cent cases, the Union Health Ministry said.
Bengaluru has now emerged as the city with the third-highest caseload in the country. The total number of confirmed infections in the IT city, 1.70 lakh, overtook that of Mumbai and is now behind only Pune and Delhi.
However, on a slightly brighter note, India overtook Brazil to register the highest number of recoveries in the world at 37,80,107 on Monday. According United State’s John Hopkins University COVID tracker Brazil has recorded 37.23 lakh recoveries while US 24.5 lakh.
Data released by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI) showed that the retail inflation growth across the country eased to 6.69 per cent in the month of August.
As for updates on COVID-19 vaccine that are currently undergoing trials, chief executive of the Serum Institute of India — Adar Poonawalla has said that adequate vaccine will not be available for everybody in the world to be immunised until the end of 2024 as the pharma firms were not ramping up production capacity swiftly to be able to innoculate the world population in less duration.
The clinical trials of a vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, which had to be halted last week, will resume in the United Kingdom.