India on Sunday became the third worst-hit country by COVID-19 pandemic in the world after it surpassed Russia with close to 7 lakh positive cases. Until Sunday, Russia was the third worst-hit country by coronavirus with 6.8 lakh positive cases. The US with 28.52 lakh cases continues to remain the worst-hit country in the world, while Brazil occupies the second spot with 15.77 lakh positive cases.
India has registered nearly 20,000 COVID-19 deaths despite a prolonged period of lockdown. The news of India surpassing Russia came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Indians in an address to the nation that India was comparatively in a ‘better position’ to many countries in the world.
Modi had said, “Friends, keeping corona’s death rate in mind, India is comparatively in a better position compared to many countries of the world. The timely imposition of lockdown and other decisions have saved lakhs of lives. But we have also seen that since Unlock-One, there is increasing negligence in personal and social behaviour. Earlier, we were very careful with respect to wearing of masks, social distancing and washing of hands for 20 seconds. But today, when we need to be more careful, increasing negligence is a cause of worry.”
With 8,822 deaths, Maharashtra continues to remain the worst-hit Indian state, followed by Delhi, which has reported 3,067 deaths so far. PM Modi’s home state Gujarat has recorded 1,945 COVID-19 deaths.
The bad news for India is that experts have warned that the peak of the pandemic is still weeks away. The government, on the other hand, is hoping that vaccines could be ready before winter to stop the pandemic from spiralling out of control.
Several Indian states with an exception of Kerala have struggled in coping with the rising number of COVID-19 cases. Any more alarming rise will severely test an already struggling health care system in the country.