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India, Herd İmmunity

India's dramatic fall in virus cases leaves experts stumped

India's dramatic fall in virus cases leaves experts stumped

16/2/2021 4:13:00 PM

India 's dramatic fall in virus cases leaves experts stumped

When the coronavirus pandemic took hold in India , there were fears it would sink the fragile health system of the world’s second-most populous country. Infections climbed dramatically for months and at one point India looked like it might overtake the United States as the country with the highest case toll. The India n government has also partly attributed the dip in cases to mask-wearing, which is mandatory in public in India and violations draw hefty fines in some cities.

Virus OutbreakPeople wait outside a health center to get tested for COVID-19 in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. When the coronavirus pandemic took hold in India, there were fears it would sink the fragile health system of the world’s second-most populous country. Infections climbed dramatically for months and at one point India looked like it might overtake the United States as the country with the highest case toll. But infections began to plummet in September, and experts aren’t sure why. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

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213Virus OutbreakPolice officers wait for their turn to receive COVID-19 vaccine at a health centre in Greater Noida, a suburb of New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. When the coronavirus pandemic took hold in India, there were fears it would sink the fragile health system of the world’s second-most populous country. Infections climbed dramatically for months and at one point India looked like it might overtake the United States as the country with the highest case toll. But infections began to plummet in September, and experts aren’t sure why .(AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

313Virus OutbreakCommuters crowd the Churchgate train station in Mumbai, India, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. When the coronavirus pandemic took hold in India, there were fears it would sink the fragile health system of the world’s second-most populous country. Infections climbed dramatically for months and at one point India looked like it might overtake the United States as the country with the highest case toll. But infections began to plummet in September, and experts aren’t sure why.(AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) headtopics.com

Yahoo News is better in the appKeep up to speed at a glance with the Top 10 daily stories413Virus OutbreakHindu devotees gather at the Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges and the Yamuna, during the annual month long Hindu religious fair"Magh Mela" In Prayagraj, India, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. When the coronavirus pandemic took hold in India, there were fears it would sink the fragile health system of the world’s second-most populous country. Infections climbed dramatically for months and at one point India looked like it might overtake the United States as the country with the highest case toll. But infections began to plummet in September, and experts aren’t sure why. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

513Virus OutbreakA health worker prepares the results of COVID-19 tests, most of which were found negative, at a hospital in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. When the coronavirus pandemic took hold in India, there were fears it would sink the fragile health system of the world’s second-most populous country. Infections climbed dramatically for months and at one point India looked like it might overtake the United States as the country with the highest case toll. But infections began to plummet in September, and experts aren’t sure why. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

613Virus OutbreakA health worker takes a swab sample of a commuter to test for COVID-19 at a train station in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. When the coronavirus pandemic took hold in India, there were fears it would sink the fragile health system of the world’s second-most populous country. Infections climbed dramatically for months and at one point India looked like it might overtake the United States as the country with the highest case toll. But infections began to plummet in September, and experts aren’t sure why. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

Yahoo News is better in the appKeep up to speed at a glance with the Top 10 daily stories713Virus OutbreakA health worker prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine at a hospital in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. When the coronavirus pandemic took hold in India, there were fears it would sink the fragile health system of the world’s second-most populous country. Infections climbed dramatically for months and at one point India looked like it might overtake the United States as the country with the highest case toll. But infections began to plummet in September, and experts aren’t sure why. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) headtopics.com

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813Virus OutbreakA man sanitizes the luggage of a passenger at a train station in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. When the coronavirus pandemic took hold in India, there were fears it would sink the fragile health system of the world’s second-most populous country. Infections climbed dramatically for months and at one point India looked like it might overtake the United States as the country with the highest case toll. But infections began to plummet in September, and experts aren’t sure why. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

913Virus OutbreakA health worker checks the temperature of a commuter at a train station in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. When the coronavirus pandemic took hold in India, there were fears it would sink the fragile health system of the world’s second-most populous country. Infections climbed dramatically for months and at one point India looked like it might overtake the United States as the country with the highest case toll. But infections began to plummet in September, and experts aren’t sure why. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

Yahoo News is better in the appKeep up to speed at a glance with the Top 10 daily stories1013Virus OutbreakA health worker administers COVID-19 vaccine to a police officer at a health centre in Greater Noida, a suburb of New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. When the coronavirus pandemic took hold in India, there were fears it would sink the fragile health system of the world’s second-most populous country. Infections climbed dramatically for months and at one point India looked like it might overtake the United States as the country with the highest case toll. But infections began to plummet in September, and experts aren’t sure why. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

1113Virus OutbreakA health worker hands out COVID-19 test results in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. When the coronavirus pandemic took hold in India, there were fears it would sink the fragile health system of the world’s second-most populous country. Infections climbed dramatically for months and at one point India looked like it might overtake the United States as the country with the highest case toll. But infections began to plummet in September, and experts aren’t sure why. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) headtopics.com

1213Virus OutbreakCommuters crowd the Dadar train station in Mumbai, India, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. When the coronavirus pandemic took hold in India, there were fears it would sink the fragile health system of the world’s second-most populous country. Infections climbed dramatically for months and at one point India looked like it might overtake the United States as the country with the highest case toll. But infections began to plummet in September, and experts aren’t sure why. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

Yahoo News is better in the appKeep up to speed at a glance with the Top 10 daily stories1313Virus OutbreakAn elderly pilgrim prays after a holy dip at the Sangam in Prayagraj, India, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. When the coronavirus pandemic took hold in India, there were fears it would sink the fragile health system of the world’s second-most populous country. Infections climbed dramatically for months and at one point India looked like it might overtake the United States as the country with the highest case toll. But infections began to plummet in September, and experts aren’t sure why. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

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KRUTIKA PATHI and ANIRUDDHA GHOSAL16 February 2021, 8:58 am·6-min readNEW DELHI (AP) — When the coronavirus pandemic took hold in India, there were fears it would sink the fragile health system of the world’s second-most populous country. Infections climbed dramatically for months and at one point India

looked like it might overtake the United Statesas the country with the highest case toll.But infections began to plummet in September, and now the country is reporting about 11,000 new cases a day, compared to a peak of nearly 100,000, leaving experts perplexed.

They have suggested many possible explanations for the sudden drop — seen in almost every region — including that some areas of the country may have reached herd immunity or that Indians may have some preexisting protection from the virus.The Indian government has also partly attributed the dip in cases to mask-wearing, which is mandatory in public in India and violations draw hefty fines in some cities. But experts have noted the situation is more complicated since the decline is uniform even though mask compliance is flagging in some areas.

It's more than just an intriguing puzzle; determining what's behind the drop in infections could help authorities control the virus in the country, which has reported nearly 11 million cases and over 155,000 deaths. Some 2.4 million people have died worldwide.

“If we don’t know the reason, you could unknowingly be doing things that could lead to a flare-up,” said Dr. Shahid Jameel, who studies viruses at India’s Ashoka University. Read more: Yahoo Singapore »

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