India’s caseload growing at the world’s fastest rate2 min read . Updated: 27 Jul 2020, 10:48 PM IST
India, currently at the third spot after USA (4,234,140 cases) and Brazil (2,419,091) in covid-19 cases, has been seeing a sharp upward trend of the disease in its cumulative cases average
Coronavirus cases are rising the fastest in India, according to data from the Johns Hopkins live dashboard of the disease on Monday.
India, which is at the third spot after the US (4,238,500) and Brazil (2,419,091) in covid-19 cases, has been seeing a sharp upward trend of the disease in its cumulative cases average. This is despite India being far behind in testing than these countries. The country saw a record 50,000 infections in the past one day, which took the tally of covid-19 cases to 1,474,736.
“With 50,000 cases a day, India has one of the fastest-growing infection rates globally and could soon surpass Brazil to become second in terms of active cases. Almost 50% of the infections have been recorded in past 10 days or so," said Himanshu Sikka, lead, health, nutrition and WASH, IPE Global, an international healthcare development consulting firm.
“Such an infection rate is alarming as we are still only testing 12,000 per million population, much lower than Brazil at 60,000 per million and the US at 163,000 per million. As time passes, India’s infection hotbeds are also shifting from Delhi and Mumbai to other metros and secondary towns such as Pune, Thane, Chennai and Bengaluru," he said.
As India is all set to enter Unlock 3.0, after a stringent 70-day lockdown, the gradual relaxations contributed majorly to the upward trajectory of cases in the past month.
Till the end of June, the positivity rate of covid-19 cases was under 8%. It is only in July that the positivity rate has hit double figures.
Further relaxations under Unlock 3.0 are set to pose new challenges in limiting the spread. “With the opening up of the economy, the epidemic could spread very fast to second- and third-tier cities, which don’t necessarily have the health infrastructure that allowed Delhi and Mumbai to keep the death rate low," Sikka said.
Meanwhile, the case fatality rate is falling and was 2.28% as on Monday, one of the lowest in the world. India recorded 31,991 recoveries in the past 24 hours. This has taken the total recoveries to 946,241, with the recovery rate at 64%.
“The purpose of the lockdown was to identify and manage the containment and non-containment areas and manage them separately. The strategy of tracing, tracking, testing and treatment have been followed very effectively in super hotspots such as Mumbai and Delhi, resulting in very high recovery rates of 72% in Mumbai and 83% in New Delhi," said Girdhar Gyani, director general, Association of Healthcare Providers of India (AHPI).
“We can’t take the number of days taken to reach any such milestone as a basis to ascertain the speed of spread of the pandemic. Besides, beginning in June, we are testing aggressively in containment zones only, explaining the high positivity rates in June and July," he said.