Mint Covid Tracker: India’s coronavirus curve remains steep, cases could rise to 10,000 in six days4 min read . Updated: 06 Apr 2020, 10:08 AM IST
Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have witnessed the biggest surge in coronavirus cases over the past two days
The number of reported covid-19 cases in India has jumped 40 percent over the past two days to 3577, last evening’s data from the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW). This is a slightly faster increase compared to the previous 48 hours, when the reported case count rose 38 percent to 2547.
Over the past week, India’s trajectory has steepened considerably. India’s curve is still flatter than that of the US, which has emerged as the new global epicentre of covid-19. Yet, it is steeper than Asian peers such as Singapore and Japan. Both countries had managed to flatten their trajectories in the early days through focused screening and testing. But a second wave of infections suggests that their efforts might not have been enough still
India is already in the 13th day of a 21-day lockdown and the case count continues to mount, partly driven by the numbers from a religious gathering at Nizamuddin in Delhi last month, where a large number of delegates were infected and fell ill after the event. Similar clusters had driven the spread of covid-19 in some other countries as well.
India’s case count is now roughly double what it was four days ago. At this trajectory, the number of cases could shoot up to 10,000 over the next six days. If the same trajectory continues beyond that period, India’s hospitals could get overwhelmed in the next few months.
It is likely that cases will continue to mount over the coming days as testing expands, even if the lockdown has lowered the rate of transmission of the virus. The full impact of the lockdown can be gauged only after a few weeks. If the lockdown phase is used effectively to identify and isolate affected patients, this could help India flatten the curve in the coming weeks. If not, cases could spike once the lockdown ends.
At 478, Delhi leads in terms of the number of active cases of covid-19, according to the health ministry update on Sunday evening. Active cases exclude deaths and recoveries from the list of confirmed cases. Tamil Nadu has the second most number of active cases (476), closely followed by Maharashtra (424). At 255 active cases, Kerala has the fourth-highest number of active cases, followed closely by Telangana (230). The top five states together account for 58 percent of the active cases nationally. Nationally, the active case count was 3219, as of yesterday evening.
These are early days yet and the state-wise distribution could change rapidly in the coming days. Across the country, there seems to be a strong link between the extent of testing done by states and the number of cases that have been identified. This suggests that as other states ramp up testing, more cases could get reported from those states as well.
So far, four states have reported covid-19 cases in the north-east: Manipur, Mizoram, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Other north-eastern states have not reported any case so far.
Over the past two days, Delhi and Tamil Nadu have seen the biggest spikes in active cases. These two states accounted for 51 percent of the rise in active cases nationally over this period. Maharashtra saw the third highest spike in this period.
The number of active cases rose from 207 to 478 in Delhi, from 302 to 476 in Tamil Nadu, and from 277 to 424 in Maharashtra over the past two days.
So far, the provisional district wise details are available for 1,965 confirmed cases nationally. In this list, Mumbai (174 cases) has reported the most number of cases nationally, and also leads in the state of Maharashtra. Chennai (37 cases) tops the list of most confirmed cases in Tamil Nadu. Kasargod district (115 cases) has reported the most number of cases in Kerala. In Telangana, it is the capital city of Hyderabad (44 cases) that has reported the most number of cases.
More than 1.25 million people have now been detected as covid-19 patients globally even as several parts of the world, including India, have taken severe lockdown measures in a bid to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes covid-19.
So far, covid-19 has claimed 69,444 deaths worldwide, of which Italy has accounted for the most deaths (15,887), followed by Spain (12,641). These countries have overtaken China --- where the virus originated --- in the number of deaths. China, which has claimed 3,333 covid-19 deaths so far, has been able to slow the spread of the disease over the past month. But the Chinese official covid-19 toll has increasingly faced questions from within and outside China.
Europe followed China in becoming the epicentre of the pandemic but has seen a slowdown in new cases over the past few weeks. The US has now turned into the epicentre, with 3,37,310 confirmed cases and 9,634 deaths.
In India, there were 83 deaths till yesterday evening, double what it was four days ago. Even though India’s fatality rate remains low at the moment, India’s testing rate too remains low. Testing criteria in India were stringent so far and are only gradually being relaxed even as new labs have begun testing.
Given the limited testing so far, it is too early to say whether India’s current trajectory will sustain, rise, or flatten in the coming days. It is worth noting that the US had a flatter trajectory compared to China till recently. But as testing expanded, cases spiked up, with the death toll mounting each day in the US.