Photo Source: IPR, Facebook

Gangtok, June 8:

COVID-19:- On Sunday, India reported 9,971 new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) infections and 287 deaths – the highest spike recorded in the last 24 hours, as shown by the Union health ministry. This has put India into the 5th worst COVID-19 hit country in the world. As per the latest data released by the Health Ministry, the total number of confirmed cases in India is at 2,56,611 as distinguished to Spain’s numbers of 2.41 lakh. Only the US, Brazil, Russia, and the UK have more cases than India as of now. The death toll in India stands at 6929 with1.2 lakh active cases, while 1.19 lakh have recovered. 

COVID-19
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Here are the total COVID-19 cases in India states and union-territory wise, as per the data from Health Ministry:

Andaman and Nicobar Islands – 33

Andhra Pradesh – 4510

Arunachal Pradesh – 47

Assam – 2397

Bihar – 4915

Chandigarh – 309

Chhattisgarh – 923

Dadar Nagar Haveli – 19

Delhi – 27,654

Goa – 267

Gujarat – 19,592

Haryana – 3,952

Himachal Pradesh – 400

Jammu and Kashmir – 3,467

Jharkhand – 1,000

Karnataka – 5,213

Kerala – 1,807

Ladakh – 99

Madhya Pradesh – 9,228

Maharashtra – 82,968

Manipur – 157

Meghalaya – 33

Mizoram – 24

Nagaland – 107

Odisha – 2,781

Puducherry – 99

Punjab – 2,515

Rajasthan – 10,331

Sikkim – 7

Tamil Nadu – 30,152

Telangana – 3,496

Tripura – 747

Uttarakhand – 1,303

Uttar Pradesh – 9,733

West Bengal – 7,738

The top 10 states in India, according to the data from the Health Ministry, with the largest caseloads are as follows:

1. Maharashtra with 82,968 positive cases, 2,739 new cases, 37,390 recoveries and 2,969 deaths

2. Tamil Nadu with 30,152 positive cases, 1,458 new cases, 16,395 recoveries and 251 deaths.

3. Delhi with 27,654 positive cases, 1,320 new cases, 10,664 recoveries and 761 deaths.

4. Gujarat with 19,617 positive cases, 498 new cases, 13,324 recoveries, and 1,219 deaths.

5. Rajasthan with 10,224 positive cases, 253 new cases, 7,388 recoveries and 231 deaths.

6. Uttar Pradesh with 10,103 positive cases, 370 new cases, 5,439 recoveries and 245 deaths

7. Madhya Pradesh with 9,228 positive cases, 232 new cases, 6,108 recoveries and 399 deaths.

8. West Bengal with 7,738 positive cases, 435 new cases, 3,119 recoveries, and 383 deaths.

9. Karnataka with 5,231 positive cases, 378 new cases, 1,968 recoveries and 61 deaths.

10. Bihar with 4,831 positive cases, 233 new cases, 2,298 recoveries, and 29 deaths.

Now, India has a huge challenge ahead of her. Many states have a relaxed lockdown, including the opening of shopping malls, restaurants and religious places but strict restrictions would remain in place till June 30 in the country’s worst-hit areas, as per the Indian government. Shopping malls located outside containment zones would be allowed to open, barring cinema halls, gaming arcades and children play areas in the malls. Schools getting thrown in the mix have made parents circumspect on the matter.

According to a survey released yesterday by LocalCircles, 76 per-cent parents feel it is unfeasible or very difficult for their child’s school to operate with social distancing and only 11% parents in support of schools restarting per the original school or state calendar. 

Looking at the numbers, Sikkim has been lucky with the few cases it has seen. Holding the fortress till May 23rd when Sikkim reported its first COVID-19 positive case. With the rest of India, on Saturday, June 6th, Sikkim also showed a spike in positive cases, when the cases jumped to 7 cases from 3 cases that were already reported at the time.

The change of pace for Sikkimese people created quite a stir and with that began the blame games. At this point, as statistics showed, being on zero cases was a statistical anomaly as argued by many netizens and social speakers and these 7 cases that have emerged, since all of them were brought by stranded returnees, only makes perfect sense, statistically.

Emotionally, the state is on an edge as fear has crept into people’s minds. The general public has been divided as the economy has hit the turbulent phases, as people’s income models and livelihoods have hit rock bottom. The same relaxations that came as a boon has turned into the biblical apple, dooming the person who takes a bite. With a section salivating to take a bite of the freedom the government has promised, another fears their doom. 

“I told my son not to give the exams if they are to appear out somewhere, with less income and financial instability, I somehow linked broadband in the house just for his online exams but they are saying that the schools are to re-open. With so many notifications and changes in norms, it is hard to keep track of what we are to do, but I am sure about one thing, I am not sending my kid out there. The educational year will return, this life won’t,” says Udai from South Sikkim.

“We don’t know what we are supposed to do, maybe a total lockdown is an answer. Like before, I thought there were fewer cases then. The returning people who brought corona aren’t to be blamed, it was bound to happen anyway but seeing fewer people after the lockdown is hopefully reinstated now that there are 7 cases, it would calm my anxiety,” says Dewangshu, a student from Namchi.

“There is a business which is going down day by day, and there is a coronavirus. I feel like we should be allowed to open but my family wants a total lockdown. My hotel is the only source of income I have, and the savings are getting scarcer by the hour. I don’t know how we are ever getting out of this,” says Ravi, a hotel owner from East Sikkim.

A nurse working as a frontline warrior says, “We, along with the doctors are working day and night. I am sleeping at a makeshift guesthouse at my own house since Sikkim tested positive. I for one feel that there should be a new total lockdown, till all the people have been tested, traced and the positive cases are quarantined.”

People are distressed and some feel a need for a total lockdown, some don’t want the schools to reopen, some want the gyms and hotels to reopen, and some just want to wake up from the nightmare. As per speculations, until the entire contact tracing, identification and quarantine of all the positive cases, and isolation followed by that is not completed it is safe to say that safety against COVID isn’t promised in the state. All one can do is take extreme precautions considering Sikkim’s small area.

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