NEW DELHI, KOMPAS.com — India’s coronavirus cases hit the 1 million mark on Friday positioning in third place after the United States and Brazil for the world's highest number of Covid-19 cases.
Concerns are rising over the country’s readiness to face an inevitable surge that could overwhelm hospitals and its fragile healthcare system.
In the past 24 hours, India’s coronavirus cases added 34,956 new infections that round out the nationwide tally to 1,003,832.
India’s health ministry also reported 687 Covid-19 deaths thus totaling to 25,602 deaths nationally.
However, the health ministry pointed out that the country’s recovery rate is improving at 63 percent in which a total number of 635,757 people have recovered from the deadly virus.
The disheartening milestone came at a time when numerous Indian states have imposed focused lockdowns to stem the outbreak.
Local governments have also made frantic efforts to protect the economy.
Together, the Indian states of Maharashtra, Delhi, and Tamil Nadu have accounted for more than half of India’s coronavirus cases.
India’s vast countryside is following suit as the spread of the virus continues to grow in those areas.
Unfortunately, the healthcare system in India’s countryside is far less prepared and much weaker giving rise to added concerns over the country’s preparedness.
“The acceleration in cases remains the main challenge for India in the coming days,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, adding that a vast majority of cases were still being missed.
The continuing surge has forced authorities to reinstate lockdowns in some cities and states.
In Bangalore, a city that prides itself as the center of Indian technology innovation, the government ordered a weeklong lockdown that began Tuesday evening after the cases surged exponentially.