Saturday, 28 May, 2022
HomeHealthCoronavirus: Latest updates on cases in India, all you need to know...

Coronavirus: Latest updates on cases in India, all you need to know about COVID-19

As coronavirus cases continue to occur in India, here is all you need to know about how the virus spreads, the symptoms, things to do to keep safe, and more.

Text Size:

(This copy was last updated on 27 November. The reported number of coronavirus cases is according to the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.)

New Delhi: India is currently the second-worst hit country by the Covid pandemic, in terms of the total number of infections, after the United States.

However, India’s reported mortality rate — calculated by the number of deaths per 100 confirmed cases — is low compared to other countries despite its high caseload.

On 9 October, the number of active cases in the country fell below the nine-lakh mark, for the first time since 9 September. In the second week of October, India recorded the highest number of recoveries in the world, and has maintained its global lead since.

The government began its phased ‘unlockdown’ from 8 June, with extensive relaxations including opening of religious places, shopping malls and restaurants. Metro services were reopened under Unlock 4.0 guidelines issued on 29 August.

Cinemas, theatres and multiplexes have been permitted to run with up to 50 per cent seating capacity and states can allow gatherings of more than 100 people.

The Unlock 5 guidelines have been extended until 30 November. Schools largely remains shut, with the Centre leaving it up to states to decide on allowing them to reopen.

However, India’s R value, which had dipped to below 1 for some weeks, climbed past 1 in the last week of November.

An R value of over one means that one person is currently spreading the disease to more than one people and the pandemic is increasing in size.

Here is a quick reckoner of the pandemic — from information about the virus to safety measures and FAQs.


The Ministry of Health has set up a telephone and email helpline for any queries and emergencies related to coronavirus.

Number: +91-11-2397 8046


For a list of helpline numbers of States & Union Territories, click here.



Symptoms to watch out for

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to flu, and can often go undetected for days. Typically look out for fever, common cold and other respiratory illnesses: dry cough, exhaustion, fatigue, breathing difficulty. The symptoms are generic, with nothing identifiable as being specific to COVID-19.

The virus usually incubates for 2-14 days.

Also read: In 8 images, a guide on how coronavirus spreads

DOs & DON’Ts

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap for 20 seconds — long enough to sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice — at least 3 times a day.
  • Regularly use hand sanitiser
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Discard any tissue used
  • Avoid sharing water bottles and personal hygiene items like towels
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Don’t overburden healthcare systems. Take precautions against the common flu. Preventing a flu outbreak could help diagnose coronavirus patients faster
  • Wear a mask whenever possible. Experts have determined that even DIY cloth masks are better than no mask at all.
  • Stock up on regular and essential medication, especially the ones that require prescriptions
  • Prevent the spread of medical misinformation
  • There are no known cures or preventive medicines for coronavirus. Do not forward messages that advise medicines (modern, homeopathy, natural, or herbal) for the virus.
    Home remedies like soups and ginger water can help ease sore throat but cannot prevent or cure coronavirus.

Also read: Will India’s experience with previous outbreaks help it tackle coronavirus better?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is coronavirus and COVID-19? Where did it come from?

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that we have known about since the 1930s. They were first found in humans in the ’60s. Two or three of these viruses are in constant circulation among human populations, causing common cold and other related illnesses. The latest pandemic is due to the spread of a new virus strain, thus called ‘novel coronavirus’. It is similar to SARS (also a type of coronavirus), and is called SARS-CoV-2 (formerly 2019-nCoV). The illness it causes is referred to as COVID-19.

The coronavirus is suspected to have come to the human population from animals, most likely from bats.

How does it spread?

The novel coronavirus spreads from human to human, though cough droplets. These can also remain on surfaces. This is why it is essential to maintain personal hygiene by washing hands, especially after going to public or crowded places.

R0 (pronounced R-naught) is the basic reproduction number that indicates how many other people an infected person can spread it to. It varies with time and human efforts, and is currently between 1 and 2. The lower it is, the better. Once it falls below one, the disease is no longer progressing like an epidemic and will naturally die out if the same measures are sustained.

Where do I go if I’m feeling ill?

Upon displaying symptoms, it is advised to get an RT-PCR test to determine if a person is Covid-19 positive. If they are and the person has no comorbidities, i.e., underlying conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiac disease and especially breathing-related illnesses, home quarantine is advised and all contacts are to be tested. Testing might require a doctor’s referral in some states.

How does the virus affect the body?

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and its focus of attack is usually the lungs. It seems to be very similar to SARS in how it infects and spreads.

There are two kinds of lung cells — mucus cells that protect our passageways and cilia cells, which are hair-like structures that beat around the mucus to clear out dust and pollen. Just like SARS, Covid-19 seems to be killing the cilia cells, which end up filling a patient’s airways with debris.

Our immune system then kicks in, flooding the lungs with immune cells to repair lung tissue. When done optimally, the immune response helps. But often, the immune system goes into overdrive and can kill in a cytokine storm or cause permanent lung damage.
Inflammation also enables the absorption of fluid into lungs, causing pneumonia. This in turn leads to shortness of breath and painful coughing, and can progress to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), and can sometimes lead to death.

Covid-19 patients have also experienced multiple organ failures, thickening of blood, or blueing of toes during infection, and long-lasting lung damage after recovery.

Also read: The next pandemic will come. Here’s how to prepare

How long do people typically remain ill?

According to WHO, people will mild symptoms are expected to recover within 2-3 weeks while more severe cases can take up to 6 weeks.

What is the mortality rate of the disease?

The rate is currently thought to be around 3 per cent, but varies by region and human behaviour. An accurate number can be determined only much later.

Are there any medicines — preventative or cures? 

No. There are no medicines or remedies that can help prevent or treat Covid-19 yet, although there are many promising trials that have been designed to identify potential drugs.

Should I travel?

It is advisable to curtail all non-essential travel, both within cities/towns and to other cities. Employers are advised to allow employees to work from home as much as possible.

How long will the virus spread?

The virus will continue to spread until a sufficient threshold of the population has immunity, either from recovery or from vaccination. This is called herd immunity and can be achieved safely by avoiding lakhs of preventable deaths only through a vaccination drive.

Functional vaccines could take up to a year to be developed, and a drive that can immunise populations across multiple countries could take another year after that, say experts.

For more information on the virus, click here.

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism


  1. homeopathy options covid has been well explained in lay language by shelly garrison cch homeopath in his blog.arsenic30 is useful as routine during incubation period.if violent cough starts infection respiratory has setin and squilla30 is overall carefully very educative,pertinent point is do not try to lower temperature suddenly,temperature is healthy response to build antibodies early.for chill fatigue gelsimium30 is useful.

  2. fast food chemicals bad air quality toxins work financial stress etc are common causes of poor health, poor immunity.healthy person are not seriously affected by corona.there is very useful article by elizabeth adalian named toxic overload allergens if read seriously very educative..

  3. homeopathic medicine do not use as self help,must go to a qualified doctor who prescribes remedy as Rx in writing,there are many precautions in homeopathy also.injury every one tells arnica is ok but if taken after dog bite is harmful, Dr HC Morrow listed precautions ,article some acts of materia medica homeo herald oct 1945 vol vii no 2,even arsenic has to be avoided in not take homeopathy lightly as many say it has no side effects.go to a reputed doctor.

  4. The table has a problem: the ‘active’ and ‘critical’ columns are identical.
    Otherwise, thank goodness “community transmission” was not mentioned – I would love to know what the government imagines this term actually means. Also, “peak”. How can one know when and at what number peak is going to be if the numbers are increasing and show no sign of flattening?

    • Exactly. I was about to write this comment. Even as on 8th July, all active cases are shown as critical, even though very few die and most are recovering. Recovery numbers are going up.

  5. I would like to suggest that the chart may be even more helpful if there was a column showing the popultaion of different countries too. Then it is easier to make an informed comparison of the numbers.

  6. The most frightening figure I saw on the chart was India’s Serious/critical cases are more than double the number of deaths & second only to USA (half of USA numbers with less than 5% of the testing rate of USA)

  7. As the Covid-19 defeated the superpowers of the world, means to fight the virus differently. One Almighty God wants all the people in the world start worshiping only One God. As majority of the people in this age of knowledge explosion still worship more than One God and joined partners to Him. All the holy scriptures say to worship only One God, but many people worship idols, humans, demigods, trinity and many gods, and refuse to obey own holy scriptures simply to avoid coming closer to Islam as only Muslims worship only One God and preaches the same, as all the scriptures say the same, “There is only One God, worship Him, Ekam Evadvitiyam, He is One only without a Second. There is no deity but God. LORD our God is One”. As the truth revealed to all, the days of ignorance are over as One Almighty God wants all the Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs as children of Adam (Pbuh) follow their religious scriptures honestly to worship only One God, so this Virus can be eradicated soon. So it is time to stop dialing the wrong numbers and beating around the bush but time for all to Call for help to Almighty God by worshiping Him alone.

  8. Government should setup full fledge feto maternal center where they can take utmost care in maternity, fetal medicine and everything related to pregnancy care. In Kannur, Kerala there are quite lot of covid19 cases in all multispecialty hospitals but the dedicated maternity hospital like fathima hospital in kannur is much more safer than any other multi-specialty hospitals during this uncertain pandemic time. Be prepared but not scared about the virus.

  9. Are we under reporting our cases:
    Following is a case in point
    Sad demise of SHib Shankar Mukherjee , ECE, 77, IIT KGP. It’s a tale of Kolkata now. Please read below
    *Details as received in my alumni WhatsApp group *

    My experience with my Brother in law.
    Dr. S. S. Mukherjee .
    Died without any treatment.
    Corona Virus.
    We tried for Admission at Apollo, AMRI, Both centers,
    Desun, Medica , Fortis, R.N.Tagore, Ruby, Peerless, Calcutta Hosp .
    All refused admission.
    I use to know all the Hospital, as I am in the Medical trade.
    Even they said, at 2 places, i.e. Apollo & AMRI salt lake.
    As I know, they are doing R.T. P.C.R. as the machines were placed by me . Qiagen. Germany.
    Reason of refusal.
    Ordered by Govt of West Bengal government.
    All places had common Dialogue .
    We shall take admission, if it’s written by Beleghata I.D. or M.R.Bangur.
    After the struggle all through out the night, the next day he was admitted at M.R.Bangur.
    Time – 5 .pm. Yesterday Tuesday.
    He was under Dr. S.R.Paul.
    Whom we never saw him, even after several requests.
    Shifted to Bangur Quarantine Hall .
    Where there was no medical apparatus.
    Only a Hall, with 40 beds.
    No stand for Saline, no medicines , not even a single Fan .
    5 to 6 patients, awaiting death.
    And my brother in law expired, within 30 minutes.
    That’s how our state of Bengal is.
    We shouted for Lasix,as His Son is a Doctor, doing his M.D. when we found him shrinking, but there was no helping Doctors or any assistance.
    That’s the state we are living in .
    The Death Certificate was given without delay, of Cardiac failure.
    We had to pay, 5 times for the cremation .
    What a life, we are having in West Bengal.
    A holy person and my best friend and Guide is no more.
    This is for your information.

    • Usual Mortality rate in india is around 9 million per year.

      Nobody mentions, that, but middle class indians are panicky so.. newspapers caters to that

  10. I believe in those days IPCA belongs to Amitabh Bachan associates and he sold the company long time ago.

  11. “Don’t stockpile on disposable face masks. These need to be worn only by the infected and health care workers, both of whom are experiencing a shortage. Masks should not be worn if a person is not unwell.” stay at home and self isolate. Does GOI recommend managing mild symptoms? When and who should a person contact if symptoms are not mild? What are severe symptoms according to GOI?

    Some crucial information missing from an otherwise good overview.

    • In response to the 23rd April Update: It seems that the virus can manifest itself ‘silently’ and remain asymptomatic in some people and then suddenly manifest as pneumonia which results in severe issues with respiration, and sometimes suddem collapse. However, before the onset of severe symptoms blood oxygenation continues to fall. The only way to keep a track of this is to use a pulse oximeter. Unfortunately, this isn’t available to everyone. However, this is a good way of screening for a potential infection in asymptomatic people. I think it would be useful if ThePrint follow up with the authorities and get them to issue some sort of a cutoff. Should individuals seek help when pulse ox levels fall below 90% ? Higher or Lower?

  12. With the onset of summer, I would like to know whether the covid’s rate of spread is expected to shrink?

    • No doubt that the Coved Virus is climate sensitive but expected to shrink not guaranteed. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for Good Luck, meantime let us follow the govt guidelines strictly. Thanks.
      Nagesh Rao

Comments are closed.

Most Popular