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Business News/ News / India/  Smaller districts now replacing metro cities as worst hotspots

Smaller districts now replacing metro cities as worst hotspots

East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh has reported more cases in the last two days than Thane, Chennai and Mumbai

Photo: PTIPremium
Photo: PTI

The spread of the coronavirus has slowed down in most metro cities that were until recently the worst hotspots of the outbreak. Barring Pune and Bengaluru, it is the smaller towns from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka that are leading in terms of new cases reported daily. East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh has reported more cases than Thane, Chennai and Mumbai in the last two days, data compiled by on Tuesday evening showed.

Overall, India has 509,447 active cases, or patients still under treatment, as of Wednesday morning and 34,193 deaths have been attributed to the infection, latest data from the health ministry data showed. Active cases rose 26% in the last seven days, compared with 27% with the week-ago period (15 July to 22 July). The seven-day spike in deaths is 20%, higher than 18% in the preceding week. The seven-day rolling averages have been considered for these calculations to minimize the effect of volatile and delayed reporting.

Since early June, new infections and deaths have been rising faster in India than in most other badly-hit countries. The country has the third highest number of active cases, after the United States and Brazil. The toll is the sixth highest in the world. Among high-fatality countries (more than 10,000 deaths), India has recorded the second biggest spike in deaths as well as active cases over the past week.

With cases rising, India’s health facilities and workforce continue to be under severe strain. To curb renewed spread, some states are enforcing localized lockdowns again.

Among states, Maharashtra (14,165), Delhi (3,881), Tamil Nadu (3,659), Gujarat (2,372), Karnataka (2,055) have reported the most deaths. These states together account for 76% of all covid-related deaths in India so far. However, only two of them, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, have seen a bigger spike than the national average in the last seven days.

Of the 12 states with the most active cases, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala have reported the biggest percentage jumps in deaths as well as active cases in the last seven days.

It is worth noting that data quality on cases and deaths vary across countries and regions because of factors such as differences in testing standards, and in protocols being followed for recording covid-related deaths. For example, Tamil Nadu’s toll jumped by nearly 600 within a day last week after the state government attributed 444 earlier deaths to covid-19.

Among states with more than 10,000 cases so far, Delhi and Tamil Nadu have conducted the most tests per million population per day in the last two weeks, and West Bengal and Bihar the fewest, data collected by The Hindu showed.

Among the 15 districts with the highest number of new cases in the last 48 hours, the biggest percentage spikes were reported by Bellary (32%) in Karnataka, and YSR (21%) and East Godavari (20%) in Andhra Pradesh. In absolute numbers, Pune, Bengaluru and East Godavari reported the biggest increase in cases during this period, data compiled by on Tuesday evening showed.

So far, at least 540 out of over 700 districts in India have had at least one covid-related death. Mumbai (6,187 deaths) has reported the most, followed by Thane (2,419), Chennai (2,056), Pune (1,913) and Ahmedabad (1,586). Bengaluru, Kolkata and Jalgaon are the other districts with more than 500 deaths. This list does not include Delhi, where the government does not provide district-wise data. State-level data shows Delhi (3,881 deaths) has the second-worst toll after Mumbai.

Graphic: Mint
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Graphic: Mint
Graphic: Mint
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Graphic: Mint

The number of coronavirus infections is likely to keep increasing in the coming days, with India now consistently testing over 400,000 samples per day. According to the Indian Council for Medical Research, over 17.7 million samples have been tested as of Tuesday, compared to 14.7 million samples a week ago.

India has reported 1,531,669 coronavirus cases in all since the beginning of the outbreak in late January. However, the actual number of infected people could be much larger. Many infections go unreported due to lack of symptoms or variations in testing and reporting practices. A seroprevalence survey in Delhi earlier this month found antibodies in the samples of 23% of the participants, which could mean they had been infected by the virus already. A set of 60,000 antibody tests conducted all over India by private diagnostic laboratory Thyrocare found antibodies in 15% of them.

This means the actual fatality rate due to coronavirus could be much lower than is believed, in India as well as other countries. As of Wednesday, 2.2% of the infected patients have died, based on government data. The global average is 3.9%.

Out of all reported cases so far, 65%, or 988,028, had been discharged by Wednesday, as compared to 59% a month ago.

Meanwhile, the global coronavirus case count has crossed 16.7 million, including nearly 660,000 deaths and 9.7 million recoveries (58%), according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

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Published: 29 Jul 2020, 01:34 PM IST
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