Mint Covid Tracker: At current pace, India could reach 2 million cases in seven days4 min read . Updated: 30 Jul 2020, 11:04 AM IST
Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala have reported the biggest percentage spikes in deaths over the last week
India’s total coronavirus case tally is set to hit the 2 million mark in seven days’ time if it continues to rise at the current pace, an analysis of the latest health ministry data showed. The number has risen 28% over the past seven days, in line with the rate in the preceding week (16 July to 23 July). As of Thursday morning, India has confirmed 1,583,792 coronavirus cases so far.
However, the pace of increase in active cases, or the number of patients still under treatment, has slowed in the last week. The figure rose 25%, compared to 28% in the week-ago period.
India has 528,242 active cases as of Thursday morning, while 34,968 deaths have been attributed to the infection, the data showed. 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 (14,463), Delhi (3,907), Tamil Nadu (3,741), Gujarat (2,396), Karnataka (2,147) 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.
Of the 12 states with the most active cases, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala have reported the biggest percentage jumps in deaths as well as active cases 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 Y.S.R. (27%), East Godavari (21%), 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 Wednesday evening showed.
So far, at least 542 out of over 700 districts in India have had at least one covid-related death. Mumbai (6,247 deaths) has reported the most, followed by Thane (2,483), Chennai (2,076), Pune (1,973) and Ahmedabad (1,591). Bengaluru, Kolkata, Jalgaon and Solapur are the other districts with 500 or more deaths. This list does not include Delhi, where the government does not provide district-wise data. State-level data shows Delhi (3,907 deaths) has the second-worst toll after Mumbai.
[Chart 3a and 3b]
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 18.2 million samples have been tested as of Wednesday, compared to 15 million samples a week ago.
The actual number of infected people could be much larger than confirmed by the government. 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 Thursday, 2.2% of the infected patients have died, based on government data. The global average is 3.9%.
Out of all reported cases so far, 64%, or 1,020,581, had been discharged by Thursday, as compared to 59% a month ago.
Meanwhile, the global coronavirus case count is close to 17 million, including over 666,000 deaths and over 9.9 million recoveries (58%), according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.