While the US, Russia, the UK, Brazil and some other countries have hogged the limelight for being major global hotspots of novel coronavirus, India has almost quietly made its place in the top-5. India has been among five countries reporting highest fresh cases of Covid-19 for several days now. Check the WHO situation report webpage here for confirmation.

In numbers, India is only consistently behind the US, Russia and Brazil. It has invariably overtaken other hotspots of Covid-19 over the past few days in reporting fresh cases every 24 hours.

The change in pattern started happening around the time India opted for relaxed lockdown or graded exit from what was earlier called as the strictest Covid-19 lockdown.

India has reported more than 2,400 fresh cases every day after May 1.

India has not reported less than 3,000 fresh cases every day since May 7.

In the past one week, India has daily reported more than fresh cases in the range of 5,000-6,000. The lowest number was 4,970 on May 19.

Incidentally, this exponential rise in absolute number of fresh cases on daily basis coincided with an unexplained silence from the health ministry, which suddenly halted daily press briefing for Covid-19 situation update after May 11 the time when India became consistent with countries reporting highest Covid-19 numbers. The officials came for briefing the day Indiatoday.in published this report.

Does this surge in coronavirus indicate India is heading to Covid-19 as anticipated by health experts? They have been saying that India will see a surge in Covid-19 cases in post-lockdown period.

According to a model developed by the Public health Foundation of India, the coronavirus peak in India could come around mid-July if the government lifts lockdown completely in May-end. This is in sync with the prediction of AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria.

There is another reason why India may be reporting sudden surge in May. Covid-19 testing has jumped many-fold since April 1. India is consistently testing over 1 lakh samples for past few days now. The sample testing number for April 1 was less than 5,600.

On May 21, India crossed 20 lakh-mark for Covid-19 sample testing. It has crossed 10 lakh-mark on May 9-10. This largely propelled by ramped up domestic production of the Covid-19 test kits.

More testing has led to more diagnosis of asymptomatic Covid-19 patients. These numbers are expected to grow further in coming days. Big states like Maharashtra, Bihar, Gujarat and Delhi (in terms of viral load) are continuing to see spike in fresh cases.

The government says doubling rate of coronavirus infection has increased from around 11 days to 14 days over the past two weeks. But opening up of lockdown is certain to bring more crowds in public with experts predicting a peak surge over next two months.

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