India has more than 1.35 billion people. China has a population of more than 1.4 billion. On Thursday, India had 83,883 new infections, a new record. No other country had reached that figure in 24 hours. That’s only 1,219 fewer cases than China has officially reported in the past eight months since the coronavirus began to shoot up in the city of Wuhan. If we continue with the comparison: in three days, India’s infections have doubled all those reported by its Asian neighbor since January.
China has not detected a case of local infection for 19 days. India has been exceeding 75,000 cases per day for eight days. Its infection rate is the fastest growing in the world. And that it took almost six months to register one million cases. It took another three weeks to reach two million. And in just 16 days it has reached four million. India is 100,000 away from overtaking Brazil and becoming the second country in the world most affected by the coronavirus. Experts predict that it will soon overtake the United States (6.17 million). In addition, it has become the third nation with the most deaths from Covid-19, with more than 68,400 deaths. It’s going to record every day.
It has been almost six months since the Indian Prime Minister ordered the largest lockdown ever. At that time, there were less than 800 people infected. This strict blockade exacerbated the country’s inequality and economic problems. Millions of people living from street commerce were left without work and decided to return, even on foot, to their states. The British writer and scientist Ed Yong, published an article in the magazine Atlantic in which he explained that in India the virus has spread so much after the confinement by the millions of informal workers who fled the cities after the blockade left them without money.
The country continues with its strategy of returning to normalcy and activating its economy. The authorities have called it “Lockdown 4.0”. Services like the subway will resume this week, and starting on the 21st, meetings of up to 100 people will be allowed at sports, entertainment, cultural, religious and political events. Schools and universities will remain closed until the end of September.