Asia Minute: COVID-19 Cases Rising in India

Mar 23, 2021

New cases of COVID-19 have risen in recent days here in Hawai‘i—along with a number of other states. They’re rising even faster in several locations overseas—including part of South Asia. Health officials in India are warning the country could be in the early stages of a new wave of COVID-19 cases.

The number of new cases has recently spiked sharply—topping 40,000 a day for several days—the first time that’s happened since early November.

The western state of Maharashtra is the center of new cases—that’s home to the country’s main business center of Mumbai—as well as a key area for industries from cotton textiles to machinery and chemicals.

City officials in Mumbai say they’re going to start random testing of people in crowded areas—from train stations to shopping centers.

Cases are also rising quickly in the capital of Delhi—and states from the Punjab to Kerala.

New cases peaked across India in September—with daily counts topping 80,000 for nearly a month—but cases have been climbing steadily since late last month—and more sharply in the past several days.

Vaccinations have been rolling out in numbers that sound large by themselves, but they remain relatively small compared to the country’s overall population of some 1.4 billion.

According to government figures, more than 40 million people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but that’s still less than 4% of the overall population.