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EDMC Staff sanitizing a street of the containment areas effected with coronavirus pandemic, of Mandawali Patparganj in New Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)
EDMC Staff sanitizing a street of the containment areas effected with coronavirus pandemic, of Mandawali Patparganj in New Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)

Delhi, Tamil Nadu lead surge in covid deaths this week

Covid-19 deaths have doubled in the capital over the past week. Meanwhile, calculations show India is just one week away from 500,000 coronavirus cases

Until Tuesday, the death tolls due to covid-19 had reached five digits in only seven countries. India was not yet one of them, and still had fewer than three deaths per 100 patients, despite fast-spreading infections. But both statistics changed on Wednesday, after a data audit forced Maharashtra to add over 1,300 deaths from previous weeks to its covid-19 toll.

After the data update, India’s fatality rate has risen to 3.3%—close to its highest level so far—and the death toll has jumped 51% in seven days to 12,237 as of Thursday morning. The country has 366,946 coronavirus cases, but the recovery rate has now improved to 53%. The number of active cases nationally has risen to 160,384.

Globally, the coronavirus case count has crossed 8.3 million, with over 448,000 deaths, and more than 4 million (49%) recoveries. The United States, Brazil and Russia—the three worst affected countries—together have 44% of all the cases worldwide. The US, United Kingdom and Brazil have the highest death tolls, together accounting for 46% of all covid-related deaths. India has 4% of all cases and fewer than 3% of the deaths.

India has the fourth highest number of infections and the eighth worst toll. However, both numbers are rising fast: among all countries with more than 4,000 fatalities, India has the worst growth rate in cases as well as deaths.

The doubling time for confirmed cases and deaths is at 18 and 14 days, respectively, over the past week. At its current pace, India could cross the 400,000 mark by Sunday and the 500,000 mark by next Friday.

Within India, the states of Maharashtra, Delhi, and Tamil Nadu continue to lead in the number of active cases, and together have 63% of them. Maharashtra, Delhi and Gujarat are the states with the most deaths, and their share is 74%. Earlier this week, Delhi reached the second spot after a surge in the toll over the past few days.

Among states with more than 50 deaths, the toll is rising the fastest in Delhi (doubling time of 9 days), Tamil Nadu (12 days), and Telangana (15 days). The doubling time is based on the seven-day rolling averages, which help smoothen volatility effects in daily reporting and are useful to gauge trends over time. The doubling time is the highest for Madhya Pradesh (35 days).

The number of active cases in India has risen 17% over the past week, but deaths have surged 51% in the period, due to the reconciliation of data by Maharashtra. Among the states with the highest case-load, Andhra Pradesh has reported the biggest surge in active cases (46%) and Haryana in deaths (150%) in the last seven days.

Maharashtra, whose rise in deaths had slowed down earlier, saw the number rise 64% to 5,651 over the past week due to the update in data. Delhi’s death toll jumped 93% to 1,094 during the period, while Tamil Nadu’s rose 77% to 576—both faster than the previous week. Active cases have declined over the last seven days in Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka and Bihar.

Among the ten states with most active cases, the case fatality rates are the highest in Gujarat (6.2%), Maharashtra (4.8%), and Madhya Pradesh (4.3%).

Large cities continue to be disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. Mumbai has 63,024 cases and 3,243 deaths as per the latest data. The top 15 cities in terms of population together account for 57% of confirmed cases and 70% of covid-related deaths in India. Data for all cities have been aggregated from district-wise data compiled by, as of Wednesday evening.

Delhi, with 47,102 confirmed cases, Chennai (41,576 cases), Ahmedabad (18,149 cases), and Pune (13,419 cases) are the other major hotspots. These five cities account for 51% of confirmed cases and 63% of deaths nationally.

In the past week, deaths have risen in Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai by 110%, 100% and 75% respectively—the fastest increase among the metros. However, the surge in Mumbai is mainly because of the revisions in the data. Among the top 15 cities, the case fatality rates are the highest in Ahmedabad (7%), followed by Kolkata (6.2%), Bangalore (5.1%) and Mumbai (5.1%), and the lowest in Hyderabad (0.5%), Lucknow (1%), and Nagpur (1.1%).

The Mint Covid Tracker runs every week in the print edition. For daily updates to the tracker, visit

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