Home / News / India /  Death count doubling fastest in Delhi, Tamil Nadu

Earlier this week, India moved from a state of lockdown to a phase of reopening, or “Unlock", as the government calls it. With restrictions further trimmed down and public movement increasing, the country’s fight against the coronavirus becomes even more critical. More so because this week, India crossed two grim levels—6,000 deaths and 200,000 coronavirus cases.

Only six countries have crossed both milestones. India is now the seventh worst-hit country in the terms of cases and has the 12th highest death count. The jump from 150,000 to 200,000 took just eight days.

However, India’s current case fatality rate is lower than some other badly-hit countries, at 2.8 percent, compared to the global average of 6 percent. The fatality rate had stayed at 3.2 percent for several weeks, but has declined recently.

Meanwhile, the global coronavirus case count has crossed 6.5 million, with over 385,000 deaths, and more than 2.8 million recoveries.

Though the United States continues to have the highest case-load, the regions with the biggest jumps in deaths and cases keep shifting. Over the past week, India has the highest growth rate in fatalities among countries with 4,000 deaths. The infections are rising the fastest in Brazil, followed by India.

The US, Brazil and Russia together have 44 percent of all the cases worldwide, while the US, UK and Italy account for 47 percent of covid-related deaths. India has 3 percent of the cases and 1.5 percent of the deaths worldwide.

India’s doubling time for total confirmed cases and deaths has remained steady at 15 and 17 days respectively over the past week. At its current pace, India could cross the 250,000 mark by Monday.

Within India, the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Delhi continue to lead in terms of the number of active cases. These three states now account for 61 percent of confirmed cases and 56 percent of fatalities.

Among states with more than 50 deaths, the doubling rate of the toll (based on the seven-day rolling averages) is the highest for Delhi (eight days), followed by Tamil Nadu (11 days), and Maharashtra (15 days). The doubling rates are the slowest for Madhya Pradesh (28 days) among such states. Seven-day rolling averages help smoothen volatility effects in daily reporting and are useful to gauge trends over time.

Maharashtra and Gujarat have also consistently been seeing a steady increase in the number of deaths. Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have had a slower rate of growth in deaths as compared to previous weeks, and so has West Bengal, which until recently had the worst fatality rate in the country.

Maharashtra (2,587 deaths) leads in the number of covid-related deaths so far, followed by Gujarat (1,122), Delhi (606), Madhya Pradesh (371), and West Bengal (345). Among the ten states with most active cases, the case fatality rates are the highest in Gujarat (6.2%), West Bengal (5.3%), and Madhya Pradesh (4.3%).

Large cities continue to be disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. Mumbai has 43,492 cases and 1,417 deaths as of the latest data. The top 15 cities in terms of population together account for 59 percent of confirmed cases and 69 percent of covid-related deaths nationally. Data for all cities have been aggregated from district-wise data compiled by howindialives.com, as of Wednesday evening.

Delhi, with 22,132 confirmed cases, Chennai (20,484 cases), Ahmedabad (13,402 cases), and Pune (8,304 cases) are the other major hotspots so far. These five cities account for 52 percent of confirmed cases and 58 percent of deaths nationally.

In the past week, deaths rose in Delhi, Chennai, and Mumbai by 100 percent, 52 percent and 25 percent respectively—the fastest increase among the top 15 cities by population. Hyderabad, Surat and Kolkata have relatively fewer deaths. Among these cities, the case fatality rates are the highest in Kolkata (7.3%), Ahmedabad (6.9%), and Jaipur (4.6%), and the lowest in Chennai (0.9%), Lucknow (1%), and Hyderabad (1.2%).

The Mint Covid Tracker runs every week in the print edition. For daily updates to the tracker, visit https://www.livemint.com/topic/mint-covid-tracker.

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