June was tough on India. The country recorded more than 4,00,000 new cases of Covid-19 in the 30 days of June. This number alone would have made India the fourth worst-affected country by coronavirus case count. India anyway is the fourth worst-affected country after the US, Brazil and Russia.
In absolute terms, India reported the third highest number of new coronavirus cases in June after the US and Brazil. In fatality, India was fourth with Mexico recording more deaths to stand behind the US and Brazil.
Through the month of April when a strict lockdown was in place, India recorded 33,248 fresh cases of Covid-19. The number surged to over 1.5 lakh in May. At the end of May, India was the eighth worst-affected country in the world.
But sharper spike in the number of Covid-19 cases saw India jumping to fourth position among the countries with maximum coronavirus caseload. By June 15, India had reached there. At the mid-June point, India had 3.22 lakh confirmed cases of Covid-19.
The month ended with approximately 5.67 lakh cases. In June itself, India added 4,00,417 fresh Covid-19 cases. This means India reported over 70 per cent of all its cases only in June.
The month also saw a sharp rise in death toll due to Covid-19. On May 31, the Covid-19 death toll stood at around 5,200. It is now nearing the 17,000-mark. Approximately 12,000 people died due to complications caused by Covid-19 in June alone.
Around 1,100 people had lost their lives due to coronavirus infection in April and about 4,300 in May.
Comparatively, India reported about a 2.7 times higher coronavirus caseload in June compared to May, and 2.8 times more deaths during the period.
The silver lining for India continues to be the improved recovery rate. At the end of May, India had 1.69 lakh people who had recovered from Covid-19. The month of May saw a recovery of almost 87,000 coronavirus patient.
In June, 2,47,842 people recovered from Covid-19. This makes the recovery rate of patients for June against the reported cases at about 62 per cent. However, many of these patients would have been diagnosed as Covid-19 patients in May itself. They recovered during June.
Why did June see such a sharp uptick in Covid-19 numbers?
June saw relaxation in lockdown rules to a great extent with the government notifying Unlock 1.0. This allowed economic activities in busy markets and also relaxed travel norms. What accompanied with greater crowds on the streets was laxity on part of people in adhering to social distancing norms as well as on part of the authorities tasked with containing the spread of coronavirus.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his national address on Tuesday pointed this out when he said irresponsible and negligent behaviour has been on the rise during Unlock 1.0. To authorities, he cited the example of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, who was fined by local authorities earlier in June when he visited a church without wearing a protective mask.
As of July 1 morning, India’s Covid-19 caseload stands at 5,85,493 confirmed cases including 3,47,979 recovered and 17,400 deceased. After two days of decline following a peak of 19,906 on June 28, India again saw an uptick on Wednesday with 18,653 fresh cases in 24 hours. A total of 13,157 people were discharged from hospitals, Covid-19 centres and home isolation while 507 people died in the last 24 hours due to Covid-19.