Home >News >India >After rising steadily, India's share in global covid deaths crosses 10%

With more and more coronavirus patients getting discharged, India has now completed three weeks of declining active cases of the infection. The country now has 812,390 patients under treatment, the fewest since 2 September. The total caseload rose just 7%, and the death toll 6%, over the past seven days—both the slowest so far in the pandemic.

However, the upcoming festival season poses the biggest risk till date to the virus spread. Ahead of Durga Puja, West Bengal is one of the few states where active cases are still rising. Kerala, the only other major state with rising active cases, has already experienced a similar risk. In September, the state’s outbreak had intensified a few days after Onam.

In absolute numbers, the daily new infections reported by some states are still massive. Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala reported nearly 200,000 new cases in the past week. This is 42% of India’s total.

As many as 26 states and union territories have fewer active cases now than they had a week ago. Kerala has been the biggest hotspot of late, but active cases grew just 13% this week, as compared to 48% in the previous week.

Six of the 10 districts with the worst spikes in infections in the last week are in Kerala, and two in Chhattisgarh. The case-load jumped over 20% in 11 out of the 14 districts of the state in this period, data from showed. Testing in the state is the highest per million population, with over 8 lakh samples tested in the last two weeks.

The outbreak in Chhattisgarh has slowed down despite improved testing. But deaths are rising fast (19% weekly growth). Typically, a decline in new cases reflects in a slowdown in deaths only after a few weeks.

All calculations are based on seven-day rolling averages to minimize the effect of volatile and delayed reporting. National and state-wise data are from the Union health ministry.

Kerala and Odisha became the latest states to cross 1,000 deaths this week. Tamil Nadu and Karnataka’s tolls crossed 10,000 each. Andhra Pradesh (6,319 deaths) now has the fifth highest toll after surpassing Delhi (5,898). The pace of increase in deaths has improved across most states.

With this, India has 111,266 covid-related deaths as of Thursday morning. Among the states with at least 1,000 deaths, Kerala (20%), Chhattisgarh (19%), and Odisha (13%) observed the biggest rise in their toll this week.

Just five states now have less than 80% recovery rate, or the share of patients who have been discharged. Four of these are in the northeast—Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Manipur. At 69%, Kerala has the lowest recovery rate.

Among the 273 districts with at least 5,000 cases so far, the biggest weekly growth was reported by Korba (40%) and Janjgir-Champa (33%) in Chhattisgarh, and Thrissur (33%) in Kerala, the data showed. Deaths rose the most in Bhandara (32%) in Maharashtra, Kolar (25%) in Karnataka, and Malappuram (25%) in Kerala.

Among the 10 states with the most active cases, Kerala and Karnataka have conducted the most tests per million population over the last fortnight, and Maharashtra and West Bengal the fewest, data from showed. The positivity rate, or the likelihood of a virus test turning out to be positive, has risen in Kerala and Chhattisgarh, but has declined in all other major states.

India’s total count of coronavirus patients has risen to 7,307,097 as of Thursday morning. The country accounted for 20% of the 2.4 million cases reported globally over the last week, the highest in the world. After rising steadily, India’s share in the global death count has crossed 10%. In just the last 14 days, the country accounted for 16% of nearly 37,000 deaths, also the highest share.

Globally, the coronavirus case count has crossed 38 million, including 1.1 million deaths and nearly 26.7 million recoveries (36%), data from Johns Hopkins University showed. However, this is just the reported count, and could be just a fraction of all people who have been infected.

The search for a vaccine hit roadblocks this week, as two major American drugmakers, Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly, halted trials due to safety risks. Both vaccine trials were at an advanced stage. Last month, another vaccine trial that was being keenly watched, the one by AstraZeneca along with the University of Oxford, was stopped.

In India, the curve of daily new cases is gradually flattening. But Durga Puja and Diwali celebrations in the next few weeks will be a massive test for state governments as well as citizens.

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