All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Friday said that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to continue in 2021. However, he said that the curve will be flatter. "We can't say that the pandemic will not spillover to 2021 but what we can say is that the curve will be flatter instead of rising very steeply. We should be able to say the pandemic is ending early next year," he said in an interview to India Today.
The AIIMS Director added that the country is witnessing "some sort of a second wave in certain parts of the country". "There are multiple factors for this. One of them is our testing capacity has been boosted tremendously. We are now conducting more than a million tests every day. In areas where we test more, we will definitely pick up more cases," he said.
Guleria further said that the pandemic has now spread across India and has reached smaller cities and rural areas. "This is why the numbers have increased. This is somewhat on expected lines. Considering the size of our population, the number of cases will rise further for some months before they flatten out. Because of our population, we will have a huge number of cases in absolute numbers, but in terms of cases per million, our figure is lower," he said.
Meanwhile, with 83,341 new coronavirus cases, India's COVID-19 count reached over 39.36 lakh on Friday. The death toll has gone up to 68,472 with 1,096 more persons succumbing to the disease. The Health Ministry said that the total count of cases in the country reached at 39,36,748 including 8,31,124 active cases and 30,37,152 cured/discharged/migrated patients.