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September 16 was one of the darkest days of the Covid pandemic in India. The country added 97,655 new cases in 24 hours, pushing active cases to over 1 million. At 5,115,893, India’s total Covid count on that date was the second highest in the world while the number of Covid deaths in absolute figures (83,231) was the third highest.

Social media was abuzz with rumours of a second national lockdown and hospitals began preparing beds for more Covid patients. Treatment options at the time had started reducing as plasma therapy and hydroxychloroquine proved to be ineffective against the novel coronavirus. Doctors had just begun using a combination of steroids and antibiotics, which only later started to show results and save lives. The country has never recorded as many new cases since.

Today, our active cases are only 1 per cent of what they were

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