Six months ago, India was in confusion. Covid-19 seriously ill patients were turned away from hospitals. Out of exhaustion, the doctors collapsed. And the virus has been rising in crowded slums, home to millions of the poorest people in the world.

The country today looks very different. Every day, new cases have occurred, decreasing from a peak of over 90,000 infections in September to just over 10,000 a day in February. On February 9, the capital Delhi recorded zero virus deaths for the first time in nearly nine months, according to COVID19INDIA, a website crowdsourcing Covid-19 data from official sources.

This has all occurred without drastic measures like circuit-breaker lockdowns, which have been used to get outbreaks under control in places such as New Zealand and Australia. The Indian government is still imposing some social distance restrictions and it has worked to help overstretched hospitals, but the economy has reopened, domestic travel has resumed, and people mostly go about their daily lives. It is not likely that the recovery is due to vaccination, either. By August, India had started its vaccination program to inoculate 300 million people, but it is still lagging compared to wealthier nations. Experts speculate that many factors, such as the country’s younger population or the likelihood of rising immunity in urban areas, are likely to be behind the decline in the number of cases in India.