Delhi reports 21% of all covid-19 deaths in India in past week

The city’s total caseload crossed 500,000 after rising 11% within a week. Delhi is now one of only eight states and Union territories with a recovery rate below 90%.

Pooja Dantewadia, Tanay Sukumar
Updated19 Nov 2020, 01:08 PM IST
Top ten states
Top ten states

The third wave of the coronavirus in Delhi is still going strong, and a significant dip in pollution levels after the post-Diwali rain does not appear to have helped. A coronavirus test in the national capital is still around 13% likely to turn positive. Despite high testing, this is among the highest positivity rates in the country.

The city has added 43,109 new cases (11% rise) since last week—nearly one in six of all cases reported in India. This has taken Delhi’s total case-load past 500,000. With more and more patients under treatment, Delhi is now one of only eight states and Union territories with a recovery rate below 90%.

This is yet another reminder that controlling the virus once is not enough, and outbreaks can return in even more severe forms. Crowding during Durga Puja and Diwali have left a trail of infections behind, making Christmas at the peak of winter the next big challenge for urban India. Low temperatures, like high pollution, are said to be linked with riskier virus spread.

A 50-guest limit for weddings in Delhi is back, and the city government is mulling a shutdown of markets that turn hotspots.

A survey by Local Circles shows that 74% Delhiites are in favour of some type of shutdown for markets and non-essential shops, after social distancing rules were widely violated last week.

Neighbouring Haryana, and increasingly Rajasthan, are also fighting fresh outbreaks. Only Delhi, Kerala, Maharashtra, and West Bengal reported more new cases than them over the past week. These six states accounted for 60% of the nearly 275,000 new cases reported in India in the period.

By now, Delhi’s latest wave of infections has started taking more and more lives, too. The toll increased 9%, and made up 21% of all new deaths in India in the past week. Only Kerala had a faster growth rate (10%) in death count among major states. Odisha’s toll grew 7%.

With this, India’s death count has reached 131,578 on Thursday, rising 3% since last week. All weekly trends are based on seven-day rolling averages to minimize the effect of volatile and delayed reporting. The national and state-wise data are sourced from the Union health ministry.

Among all 314 districts with over 5,000 confirmed cases so far, the ones with the worst spikes in infections in the last seven days were Faridabad (14%), Gurugram (14%), Hisar (13%) and Bhiwani (13%), all in Haryana, data from shows. Kerala has five districts in the top 10.

Deaths rose the most in Nadia (10%) in West Bengal, and Malappuram (10%) and Thiruvananthapuram (8%) in Kerala. District-wise data does not include Delhi.

In the last fortnight, the positivity rate has increased in Delhi, Kerala, West Bengal, Haryana, and Rajasthan, data from showed. High testing shows Delhi and Kerala are making efforts to find those who are infected, but an increase in positivity shows even that may not be enough.

Rajasthan and Maharashtra have the lowest testing rates. With the outbreak intensifying in Rajasthan, the state will need to test more people to control the spread.

India's total count of coronavirus patients has risen to 8,958,483 as of Thursday morning, out of which just 443,303 are still under treatment.

The United States reported the biggest share (27%) of new coronavirus cases over the past week, followed by India (7%) and Brazil (5%). India’s share marks a significant improvement in the past two months: it was reporting nearly one-third of all the world’s daily cases in September.

Among new deaths reported in the past week, the US and India had a 13% and 5% share, respectively. The global coronavirus case count has now crossed 56 million, including 1.3 million deaths, data from Johns Hopkins University showed.

After Pfizer’s big announcement last week, another pharma company, Moderna, has claimed a breakthrough in the search for a covid-19 vaccine. The firm’s experimental vaccine was found to be 94.5% effective in Phase 3 trials. While the two positive developments within a week’s time have spread cheer and hope, the reality is that an actual vaccine could still be months away.

Until it comes, India’s states that seem to have seen off the worst must continue to remain on guard to prevent a repeat of Delhi and Kerala.

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First Published:19 Nov 2020, 01:08 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaDelhi reports 21% of all covid-19 deaths in India in past week

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