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Business News/ News / India/  Mint Covid Tracker: India’s coronavirus curve steepens, cases could reach 10,000 in ten days

Mint Covid Tracker: India’s coronavirus curve steepens, cases could reach 10,000 in ten days

Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra have witnessed the biggest daily surge in coronavirus cases

A member of Muslim community offer prayers at a shelter home during the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic, in New Delhi, (PTI)Premium
A member of Muslim community offer prayers at a shelter home during the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic, in New Delhi, (PTI)

The number of reported covid-19 cases in India has jumped 50 percent over the past two days to 2069, last evening’s data from the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) shows. This is a faster increase compared to the previous 48 hours, when the reported case count rose 35 percent to 1379.

The actual increase has likely been higher, given the ministry updated its data for yesterday early evening, and did not post any further updates in the night even as figures aggregated from state government officials suggested that the case count had inched up far beyond what the Union health ministry was reporting.

Compared to last week, India’s trajectory has steepened considerably this week. India’s curve is still flatter than that of the US, which is emerging as the new global epicentre of covid-19. Yet, it is far more steeper than either Singapore or South Korea, which have managed to flatten their coronavirus curves through a combination of focused surveillance, screening, and the effective use of masks to contain the pandemic.

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 ten days. If the same trajectory continues beyond that period, India’s hospitals could get overwhelmed in the next few months.

Given the volatility in India’s daily data over the past few days, it is too early to say whether the 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 US now overtaking China as the country with the most confirmed cases of covid-19.

At 280, Maharashtra leads in terms of the number of active cases of covid-19, according to the latest health ministry update. Active cases exclude deaths and recoveries from the list of confirmed cases. Kerala has the second most number of active cases (238), closely followed by Tamil Nadu (227). At 207 active cases, Delhi has the fourth-highest number of active cases, followed closely by Rajasthan (105). The top five states together account for 57 percent of the active cases nationally.

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.

Data as of 2nd April 6PM
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Data as of 2nd April 6PM
Source: State government portals
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Source: State government portals

So far, three states have reported covid-19 cases in the north-east: Manipur, Mizoram, and Assam. 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 confirmed cases. These two states accounted for 44 percent of the rise in confirmed cases nationally over this period.

Source: MoHFW
View Full Image
Source: MoHFW

Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra have seen the biggest spikes in active cases since Wednesday night. The number of active cases rose from 144 to 207 in Delhi, from 63 to 93 in Madhya Pradesh, and from 254 to 280 in Maharashtra.

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.

Kasargod district (115 cases) has reported the most number of cases in Kerala. Chennai (37 cases) tops the list of most confirmed cases in Tamil Nadu. In Rajasthan, it is the capital city of Jaipur (32 cases) that has reported the most number of cases.

Close to a million people have now been detected as covid-19 patients globally even as severe 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 53,030 deaths globally, of which Italy has accounted for the most deaths (13,915), followed by Spain (10,348). These countries have overtaken China --- where the virus originated --- in the number of deaths. China, which has seen 3,332 covid-19 deaths so far, has been able to slow the spread of the disease over the past month.

If Europe followed China in becoming the epicentre of the pandemic, the US has followed Europe now. At 245,070 confirmed cases and 5,949 deaths so far, the US has surpassed China on both counts. US officials have however disputed China’s figures on deaths and cases, and suggested that the actual toll in China might have been several times higher.

In India, there have been 53 deaths till yesterday but this could change in the coming weeks. Testing criteria in India have been stringent so far and are gradually being relaxed even as new labs have begun testing.

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.

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Updated: 03 Apr 2020, 11:34 PM IST
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