Mint Covid Tracker: Andhra, Odisha report biggest spike in deaths and cases in past week3 min read . Updated: 31 Jul 2020, 11:37 AM IST
At the current pace, India could be six days away from reaching 2 million coronavirus cases
Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Karnataka have recorded the sharpest rise in coronavirus cases as well as related deaths over the last seven days. Odisha, the latest state to go past 10,000 active cases, saw the number rise 71% during this period, data from the health ministry showed. Deaths in the state rose nearly 50%.
With this, India has 545,318 active cases as of Friday morning, while 35,747 deaths have been attributed to the infection, the data showed. Active cases rose 25% in the last seven days, compared with 28% with the week-ago period (17 July to 24 July). The seven-day spike in deaths is 19%, in line with the preceding week. The seven-day rolling averages have been considered for these calculations to minimize the effect of volatile and delayed reporting.
Since early June, new infections and deaths have been rising faster in India than in most other badly-hit countries. The country has the third highest number of active cases, after the United States and Brazil. The toll is the sixth highest in the world. Among high-fatality countries (more than 10,000 deaths), India has recorded the second biggest spike in deaths as well as active cases over the past week.
Among states, Maharashtra (14,729), Delhi (3,936), Tamil Nadu (3,838), Gujarat (2,418), Karnataka (2,230) have reported the most deaths. These states together account for 76% of all covid-related deaths in India so far. However, only two of them, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, have seen a bigger spike than the national average in the last seven days.
It is worth noting that data quality on cases and deaths vary across countries and regions because of factors such as differences in testing standards, and in protocols being followed for recording covid-related deaths. For example, Tamil Nadu’s toll jumped by nearly 600 within a day last week after the state government attributed 444 earlier deaths to covid-19.
Among states with more than 10,000 cases so far, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh have conducted the most tests per million population per day in the last two weeks, and West Bengal and Bihar the fewest, data collected by The Hindu showed.
Among the 15 districts with the highest number of new cases in the last 48 hours, the biggest percentage spikes were reported by Visakhapatnam (27%), Y.S.R. (26%), and Anantapur (21%)—all in Andhra Pradesh. In absolute numbers, Pune, Bengaluru and East Godavari reported the biggest increase in cases during this period, data compiled by howindialives.com on Thursday evening showed.
So far, at least 545 out of over 700 districts in India have had at least one covid-related death. Mumbai (6,300 deaths) has reported the most, followed by Thane (2,513), Chennai (2,095), Pune (2,056), Ahmedabad (1,596) and Bengaluru (1,007). Kolkata, Jalgaon and Solapur are the other districts with more than 500 deaths. This list does not include Delhi, where the government does not provide district-wise data. State-level data shows Delhi (3,936 deaths) has the second-worst toll after Mumbai.
The number of coronavirus infections is likely to keep increasing in the coming days, with India now consistently testing over 400,000 samples per day. According to the Indian Council for Medical Research, over 18.8 million samples have been tested as of Thursday, compared to 15.4 million samples a week ago.
India has reported 1,638,870 coronavirus cases in all since the beginning of the outbreak in late January. However, the actual number of infected people could be much larger. Many infections go unreported due to lack of symptoms or variations in testing and reporting practices. A seroprevalence survey in Delhi earlier this month  found antibodies in the samples of 23% of the participants, which could mean they had been infected by the virus already. A set of 60,000 antibody tests conducted all over India by private diagnostic laboratory Thyrocare found antibodies in 15% of them.
This means the actual fatality rate due to coronavirus could be much lower than is believed, in India as well as other countries. As of Friday, 2.2% of the infected patients have died, based on government data. The global average is 3.9%.
At the current pace, India’s total coronavirus case tally could reach 2 million in six days’ time. Out of all reported cases so far, 65%, or 1,057,804, had been discharged by Friday, as compared to 59% a month ago.
Meanwhile, the global coronavirus case count has crossed 17.2 million, including over 672,000 deaths and nearly 10.1 million recoveries (59%), according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.