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By Dr Nitin Pandey

DEHRADUN, 24 Jul: Most newspapers and most TV channels, in order to grab eyeballs, sensationalise COVID-19 stories, have screaming headlines of absolute numbers, without underlying their significance. This column attempts to dissect raw data and place its interpretation before you to understand.
There were 49,000 new cases, yesterday, in India, taking up the total number of people affected since January 2020 to 12.87 lakhs. What few people realise is that this is the cumulative number since January, not the number of patients as of today. The actually number of patients TODAY is 4.40 lakhs, which is peanuts for a country with a population of 1.6 billion. Of course, these numbers will keep increasing till the surge is complete and, of course, each state, including Uttarakhand, will keep on having higher and higher numbers, but that is expected of the Pandemic, nothing much can be done about it.
However, what no one points out is that, for the first time 34,602 patients have also recovered and so the net increase in the number of active patients is barely 13,968. Even though the number of cases is rising in India, the number of cases recovering is rising faster, which is very good news. Sadly, 740 people lost their lives in the entire country, yesterday.
In Uttarakhand, yesterday, was a normal day with just 272 new cases, out of which 167 cases being those who returned from outside the State or were first contacts of a known case. Just 105 cases were local in the entire state which is quite minimal. And 42 cases were also discharged after becoming negative which is quite good. Of course, we must be prepared for much higher numbers as the pandemic runs its course and as more people return.

(Dr Nitin Pandey is a Dehradun based ex Indian Air Force doctor, a Pediatrician and an active Social worker.)