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Asia Minute: India shows quiet progress against COVID-19

Every day, more countries are showing the presence of the Omicron variant. But some have been making quiet progress in the fight against the coronavirus. And to the surprise of many, that includes India.

India passed a milestone of sorts this week when it comes to the coronavirus.

The country’s active caseload fell below 100,000 — for the first time in a year and a half.

Daily cases dipped below 7,000 — their lowest point in more than a year and a half.

The peak of the virus for India came in May — with more than 400,000 new cases a day.

Despite delivering more than a billion doses of vaccine, India still has a relatively low rate of fully vaccinated residents.

Government figures show more than 80% of the adult population with a single dose, although only about a third are fully vaccinated.

But because COVID-19 was so widespread at one point, a higher number of residents have antibodies in their blood.

The Hindustan Times reports that 97% of Delhi’s population showed antibodies in October — a figure that includes vaccinated people and those previously infected.

As with the rest of the world, health officials now are focusing on the Omicron variant.

Plans to expand international flights to and from India are on hold, the federal government has asked states to increase testing, and plans to reopen schools have been delayed in a number of cities.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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