22 September

The total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 229,628,000 with more than 4,710,000 deaths reported worldwide.

In India, the most recent wave of Covid-19 infections which occurred in May of this year appears to be stabilizing in recent months.

The country has the second-highest total confirmed cases at 33,531,000, surpassed only by the US.

Daily new cases in India have trended downwards since reaching a peak in May 2021 and have remained consistently below 40,000 in recent weeks.

However, one of the worst-affected states in India, Kerala, is exhibiting a distinct upwards trend, despite earlier success in containing the virus.

Since mid-May, the number of daily infections has remained consistently high, and the state currently accounts for around 60% of all new infections.

Covid-19 transmission in Kerala is predominantly driven by the Delta variant.

Kerala’s population remained largely unexposed, while the Delta variant caused a surge in infections in other parts of the country earlier in the pandemic.

Vaccination efforts have accelerated in recent weeks, with 41.3% of Kerala’s population vaccinated compared to a 15.3% national average.

With increasing coverage, Kerala will be better prepared to combat the current wave of infection and reduce the risk of severe illness and death caused by Covid-19.

Pakistan exhibits a similar overall trend to India, with daily Covid-19 infections declining since the beginning of September.

In Sri Lanka, a national lockdown that was implemented on 20 August has been extended despite falling new daily infections.

Since the lockdown was initiated, the number of new infections has dramatically declined to 2,700 per day.

In spite of this, restrictions remain in place as hospitals continue to be stretched to capacity.

Following a suspension of vaccine exports in May, India has committed to resume supply to 92 low- and middle-income countries through the COVAX initiative in October 2021.

This should address the issue of vaccine shortages that have hindered the campaign efforts of many developing countries thus far.

More notably, the resulting geographical expansion in vaccination coverage is critical to reducing Covid-19 transmission and consequently limiting the emergence of new variants of concern.

This development is a major leap forwards as we move towards the target of vaccinating at least 40% of the global population by the end of 2021.

Tara Patel, MSc, Epidemiologist at GlobalData