By Dr Nitin Pandey
“The truth of the story lies in the details,” wrote Paul Auster, in the famous book, “The Brooklyn Follies”, and it has never been more relevant now, in this Pandemic, than ever before. Reacting to gross numbers without understanding the details will provoke stress and tension but understanding the details brings relief and comfort. An isolated figure of 60,973 new cases leaves one in a different state of mind, than when one realises that, on Wednesday, India had the maximum number of recovered patients in one day (56,110) and the lowest increase in the number of active cases in recent months (just 4019). In fact, our percentage of recovered cases has shot up to 70.38%, the highest ever and our death rate keeps falling by the day and is now at 1.98%. And we must remember that these are just people who tested positive, over 80% of these are not ill and didn’t even know they had Coronavirus and require no treatment.
Of course the Pandemic is far from over; of course the absolute numbers will keep increasing for some time to come and, of course, we must not let down our masks and other preventive measures but we must not stop living our lives.
Across the Nation, while new cases did increase but were overshadowed by recoveries in most states, leaving a very minor increase in total active cases nationwide. Active cases indicate the actual disease load on the country and are more relevant than total cases since the beginning. According to epidemiologists, Delhi is presently the only Indian state which has flattened the curve, while Gujarat, J&K, MP & TN have slowed down the surge and seem to be reaching their peak, while Haryana, Jharkhand and Telangana are showing early signs of recovery.
Other Indian states, including our own, are yet to show positive results, probably because their curve picked up late and so their peaks will be later.
A survey released on Wednesday by International Labour Organisation revealed that over 50% of youth between 18 & 29 years have anxiety or depression on account of COVID-19, with regards to education, employment and mental health. The survey carried out across 117 countries revealed that stress was most acute among women and in the age group of 18-24 yrs; 38% were unsure about their careers, 22% about education. One in six persons had lost their job due to the Pandemic.
As many as 439 new people tested positive in Uttarakhand, while 217 were discharged, leaving the active case count increase by 222. For some reason(s) the State Government did not release the details of the new cases on Wednesday, so not much is known how the spread occurred. Haridwar had the maximum numbers, 139 with 46 discharges, followed by Udham Singh Nagar with 119 new cases and 72 discharges followed by Dehradun with 82 cases while 17 were discharged. Four patients died today, all at AIIMS Rishikesh.
(Dr Nitin Pandey is a Dehradun based ex Indian Air Force doctor, a Pediatrician and an active Social worker.)