MUMBAI (INDIA) – India has reported its lowest active number of COVID cases in seven months on Saturday. This is the biggest drop the country has seen in a year.
It has recorded 170,000 active COVID-19 patients, the lowest since June 2020. 10.7 million infections were reported along with 154,147 deaths – one of the world’s lowest fatality rates.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had imposed a nationwide lockdown on the 1.3 billion population in late March in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
The lockdown, in which domestic and international travel was banned and factories, schools, offices and all shops other than those supplying essential services were shut, crippled India’s economy, which is set to contract 7.7% in the current fiscal year to March 31. However, the government started to ease the lockdown in June.
India was reporting fewer cases until April 2020, but from May onwards cases started rising and peaked by mid-September to close to 100,000 daily cases.
The country recorded the highest number of COVID cases in the world after the United States. One study suggests pockets of India have attained herd immunity through natural infection.
The infection rate has slowed significantly since September and on Saturday 13,083 new cases were reported, one of the lowest figures on record and down from more than 20,000 each day at the beginning of the month, federal health data showed.
Authorities started its immunisation programme on Jan. 16 and has vaccinated around 3.5 million healthcare workers in the first two weeks of the campaign.