Two months ago, India looked like a coronavirus disaster zone, with nearly 100,000 new infections a day and deaths shooting up. Today, reported infections, deaths and the share of people testing positive have all fallen significantly.
Some researchers say that cases are falling off partly because of a change in testing.
Several prominent scientists and doctors have cast doubt on reports that overall infections are dropping in India, saying the lower numbers might be explained by the increased use of less reliable tests and fewer tests being administered.
The experts generally agree that the number of infections has far outstripped efforts to track them in India, like elsewhere, and that infections in the country may still get considerably worse.
The numbers: From a high point of nearly 98,000 daily infections on Sept. 16, the average dropped to about 46,000 cases per day this past week.
The number of daily virus deaths has fallen to around 500 from 1,200 in mid-September. By contrast, infections in Europe and the United States are surging.
Mobility data shows that Indians have returned to shopping areas and public spaces. Many are not wearing masks.
A large chunk of the population seems resigned to the threat of infection.
In many places, said one cardiologist, “people are partying like there is no tomorrow.” Experts project cases will soon be on the rise again.