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FILE PHOTO: A worker from Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana, a non-governmental organization, wearing a 'Smart Helmet', a portable thermoscanner that can measure the temperature of people at a distance, walks in an alley to screen the residents during a check-up campaign for the coronavirus disease  (REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: A worker from Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana, a non-governmental organization, wearing a 'Smart Helmet', a portable thermoscanner that can measure the temperature of people at a distance, walks in an alley to screen the residents during a check-up campaign for the coronavirus disease (REUTERS)

Mint Covid Tracker: Coronavirus spreads in Bihar, deaths rising fast in Andhra

Andhra Pradesh has climbed to third in the list of states with the most active cases, and is followed by Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar

Bihar has emerged as a new hotspot of the coronavirus over the last fortnight, prompting the state government to extend its lockdown till 16 August. In the last seven days, the state recorded nearly a 40% rise in the number of active cases, despite a slowdown earlier. Other states have similar spikes too, but Bihar finds itself more at risk due to its dismal testing rate.

Earlier this week, the state became the 10th to cross 40,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with nearly a third still under treatment. With this, India has 1,583,792 cases as of Thursday morning, while 34,968 patients have died, latest data from the health ministry showed. Nationally, too, one-third of all infected patients have not recovered yet.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are fast rising in their death count. Karnataka has become the fifth state to cross 2,000 deaths, while Andhra Pradesh’s toll has risen to 1,213. Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Karnataka have the highest tolls, and the top five states have a 76% share in the national death count.

By now, the death trajectories of Delhi and Gujarat appear to have stabilized. Maharashtra’s trajectory, though not worsening, has been rising at a stable rate. Death tolls are rising rapidly in some other states. In the last seven days, the curve has become steeper for Tamil Nadu, where the toll rose 38% during the period.

The figure is 23% for Uttar Pradesh, which crossed 1,500 deaths this week. All calculations are based on seven-day rolling averages, which minimize the effect of volatile and delayed reporting.

Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala have reported the biggest percentage jumps in deaths as well as active cases in the last seven days.

Just three states—Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh—together account for 53% of all active cases in India. Andhra Pradesh has climbed to third in the list, followed by Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar. Delhi, whose total number of confirmed cases is still the third highest, now has just 8% of its patients under treatment.

However, right since the beginning of the pandemic, data has shown that states’ testing strategies can influence the numbers they report. Among the top 10 states, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi have conducted the most tests per million population over the last week, and West Bengal and Bihar the fewest, data collected by The Hindu showed.

In general, large cities continue to be disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. Five urban centres—Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad—alone account for 32% of confirmed cases and 43% of deaths nationally. Fifteen top cities account for 42% of confirmed cases and 57% of covid-related deaths in India. Data for all cities have been aggregated from district-wise data compiled by howindialives.com, as of Wednesday evening.

Over the last week, Chennai reported the highest number of new deaths, followed by Pune, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi. In percentage terms, Chennai’s 38% spike was the biggest. The recent increase in deaths in Chennai came after the state government attributed hundreds of earlier deaths to covid-19 following data reconciliation.

Of the 556,000 active cases added globally over the last seven days, India accounted for nearly 18%—second only to the United States. The share in the cumulative death count is over 5% but it is rising steadily. In just the last seven days, the country accounted for 12% of the nearly 44,000 deaths recorded globally, the third highest share after the US and Brazil. The death toll is the sixth highest.

Worryingly, the trajectory of deaths is still rising at a fast pace. Unlike the curves of some other badly-hit countries, India’s trajectory has yet to peak or stabilize.

Active cases in India have risen 25% and deaths 19% over this week, based on seven-day rolling averages. The pace of rise in active cases was slower this week, while that for deaths was in line with the previous week. The recovery rate has been rising steadily. Nearly 64%, or 1,020,582, of India’s coronavirus patients have now recovered, as compared to 59% a month ago.

Globally, the coronavirus case count has crossed 17 million, including over 666,000 deaths and more than 9.9 million recoveries (58%), data from Johns Hopkins University showed. Among all countries with more than 10,000 fatalities, India has the worst weekly growth rate in cases, and at its current pace, could cross the 2 million mark by next Thursday.

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