The number of coronavirus cases in India surged past 100,000 on Tuesday, with the rate of growth of new infections showing little sign of slowing despite a strict weeks-long lockdown.
India’s Health Ministry reported total cases stood at 101,139 and deaths at 3,163.
New cases have continued to rise by an average of over 4,000 each day over the past week. India officially extended its lockdown on Sunday to May 31, although several states indicated they would allow businesses to reopen.
Meanwhile,as India's cumulative figure for confirmed Covid-19 cases are rising with states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Delhi witnessing a constant surge, medical experts have asserted that there is no point saying India has developed "herd immunity".
Dr Prasun Chatterjee, Associate Professor, Department of Geriatric Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) told ANI: "This pandemic cannot be overcome by thinking that tomorrow we will have herd immunity. Herd immunity has failed in the UK. There is no point in saying that India has developed herd immunity. We have tried to contain the virus through the lockdown."
"Mostly, we try to develop herd immunity through children because their immunity is very fresh. I do not know why many literate people are thinking we are immune to the virus. This approach is depressing," added Dr Chatterjee.
He further said: "Herd immunity has a multiplier effect. If we develop it, we can protect many people but it is not so simple in the case of Covid-19. However, most importantly herd immunity can work only when there is some vaccination also."
While talking about immunity Dr Suresh Kumar, Medical Director, LNJP Hospital said, "When more people are exposed to any particular virus, some manifest it clinically whereas others sub-clinically and thus community starts building immunity at large."
While talking about the surge in asymptomatic cases, Dr Kumar said, "Mobility was less earlier. However, now over-crowding is an issue that is further escalating the case. Social distancing is also not being maintained properly. Moreover, testing has also increased which is resulting in more cases."
As home-bound migrant workers are walking or getting on vehicles to reach their native places, Dr Chatterjee observes, "Now we will understand the real picture of the disease because the possibility of transferring the virus is more in the current situation."
While India is gradually gearing up to learn to live with the virus, several tests, strategies, researches are being conducted to ensure a cure for Covid-19.