- When the COVID-19 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 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 pre-existing protection from the coronavirus.
- 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.
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