Even though it’s very close to China, COVID-19 came relatively late to India. Although there were three cases in Kerala in late January early February with students who had been in Wuhan, China, those were contained. The first case in India that is known to have spread the virus happened towards the end of the wave of COVID-19 in Italy in early March. An Indian engineer who had been in Italy returned to Hyderabad and was in contact with 88 people. 36 of them later tested positive for COVID. Hyderabad thus has the unwanted distinction of being the starting point for the virus in India. Despite this, Hyderabad and the state of Telangana have contained the virus relatively well with just 386 deaths as of July 16.
Many would assume that Covid 19 would be especially dangerous in a country like India with its 1.36 billion people and crowded cities where large numbers of residents live in poverty. So far, this has not been the case. Although India has the third highest number of Covid cases with 969,000 as of July 16 behind the United States and Brazil, India has a fatality rate of just 14 deaths per million people compared to America’s 338 deaths per million.
While this is encouraging, there has been an increase in COVID cases all over India. Specifically in Hyderabad, the lockdown has been gradually lifted. Though this is beneficial to the economy, cases are growing again. Hyderabad has taken preventative measures such as containing buildings or different floors in buildings if someone has gotten COVID. There has also been a policy for shops to check our temperatures and set rules to help maintain social distancing. If you go to a shop like IKEA, there are workers who constantly provide sanitizer and remind you to keep your distance from others. Indian regulations for COVID are much stricter than America. We not only have to wear masks in stores and other public places but also when we are walking around away from home and even in the car when we’re just with family.