Globally, the number of coronavirus cases is now over 5.1 million, with India having one of the fastest growth rates among worst-hit countries
The number of reported coronavirus cases in India rose 11 percent over the past two days to 118,447, data from the morning update of the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) showed. This is in line with the rate of growth in the previous 48 hours, when the reported case count rose to 106,750 on Wednesday.
So far this week, the number of cases has gone up by 23 percent (between Monday morning and Friday morning). This is also in line with the rate of growth when compared to the previous four days.
After tapering last month, India’s coronavirus trajectory has picked up this month, with new infections and deaths rising faster than in most other badly-hit countries. Although India reported its first case on January 30, around 72% of India's total cases have been reported in May alone.
India’s case count has now roughly doubled in the last thirteen days. The death toll from covid-19 as of Friday morning was 3,583, roughly double what it was fifteen days ago.
At this rate of growth, the number of cases could cross 150,000 in five days’ time. The continuing rise in cases poses a severe challenge for India’s strained medical capacity and overburdened health system.
At 28,462, Maharashtra leads in terms of the number of active cases, according to the health ministry update this morning. Active cases exclude deaths and recoveries from the list of confirmed cases.
Next on the list is Tamil Nadu with 7,591 active cases, followed by Gujarat, with 6,644 patients still under treatment. Delhi is fourth on the list with 5,898 active cases and Madhya Pradesh fifth with 2,868. The top five states together account for 78 percent of the active cases nationally, and the top ten states account for 91 percent of all cases. Nationally, the active case count was 66,330 as of Friday morning.
Over the past seven days, Bihar, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh have seen the highest spike in active cases among the ten states with the most cases, which have 14 percent of all new covid cases in the past seven days. Over the same period, fatalities have surged the most in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar, which account for 14 percent of all covid-related deaths in the past seven days. Punjab’s count has come down from 1,680 last Friday to 170 after over 1,500 patients were discharged.
But given the uneven testing across the country, the mere decline in daily reported cases may not necessarily imply a peak in new infections, as a new Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) research paper by two researchers from the Delhi-based Council for Social Development suggests. They argue that an outbreak can be said to be slowing down only when the number of daily new cases falls without a similar decline in the number of daily tests being conducted.
Gujarat, for example, reported a huge spike over last weekend despite appearing to slow down over the previous week. The state government attributed the increase to a massive testing drive in Ahmedabad. The EPW study says inadequate testing can result in an underestimation of the caseload. Among high-burden states, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh have been the least effective in tracing and testing contacts, the study says.
Among top ten states with most active cases, the case fatality rates are the highest in West Bengal (8.1%), Gujarat (6%), and Madhya Pradesh (4.5%). India’s case fatality rate continues to hover around 3%. Among all states, the case fatality rates are the lowest in Odisha (0.6%), Kerala (0.6%), and Bihar (0.6%).
Over the past two days, Mumbai, Chennai, Thane, Ahmedabad, and Pune districts have seen the biggest spike in confirmed cases nationally. These five districts account for 58 percent of new cases over this period, data compiled by howindialives.com last evening shows. Other districts that have seen a sharp spike over the past two days are Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Kolkata in West Bengal, and Indore in Madhya Pradesh.
So far, 597 districts have had confirmed cases in the country. Mumbai (25,500 cases) has reported the most cases nationally among all districts, followed by Ahmedabad (9,449) in Gujarat. Chennai (8,792) in Tamil Nadu, Thane (5,212) in Maharashtra, and Pune (4,646) in Maharashtra are the other leading districts. These top five districts now account for 52 percent of confirmed cases in the country.
Indore (2,896) in Madhya Pradesh, Jaipur (1,672) in Rajasthan, Kolkata (1,598) in West Bengal, Surat (1,227) in Gujarat, and Jodhpur (1,167) in Rajasthan are the other high-burden districts which figure in the list of top ten districts. The top ten districts account for 60 percent of all the confirmed cases nationally. District-wise data for Delhi are unavailable and hence not part of this list.
Most of India’s hotspots so far have been urban affluent districts, with richer states hit harder than the rest.
Meanwhile, the global coronavirus case count has crossed 5.1 million even as some badly hit countries begin to relax lockdown measures after over a month.