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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy chairs a cabinet meeting at the state secretariat to review the COVID-19 situation in the state, in Chennai (ANI Photo)
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy chairs a cabinet meeting at the state secretariat to review the COVID-19 situation in the state, in Chennai (ANI Photo)

Tamil Nadu sees revival in corona spread, Gujarat curve begins to bend

India’s total coronavirus cases have inched close to China’s reported count but some badly-hit states may be close to bending their curves

India completed fifty days of its nationwide lockdown this week, with new coronavirus cases as well as deaths picking fresh pace in May. The jump from 50,000 to 75,000 has taken just seven days, the 9th fastest pace among the 13 countries that have reached this level.

The fastest to reach the 75,000 mark from the 50,000th case was the United States, which took just 2 days. Spain and France took 3 and 4 days respectively. Russia, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom took 5 days for the same jump, while Brazil took 6.

At the current trajectory, India would reach the bleak 100,000 mark by Tuesday. India’s death toll has crossed the 2,500 mark, and is double what it was by the end of April.

This week saw Russia overtaking Spain as the second worst-affected country after a sudden exponential spurt since late April. However, it has one of the lowest fatality rates among the top countries, with 2,200 deaths out of over 240,000 cases. The United States, meanwhile, continues to be the epicentre of the pandemic, with over 1.3 million confirmed cases and over 82,000 deaths. The United Kingdom has the second worst toll, with 33,000 deaths as of Wednesday. Across the world, the case count has now crossed 4.3 million, with close to 300,000 deaths.

India’s fatality rate at 3.2% (or 3.2 deaths per 100 confirmed cases) is the 13th highest among the top 15 countries with more than 50,000 cases. Belgium has had the highest fatality rate (15%) among these countries, whereas Russia has had the lowest fatality rate (1%) so far.

Among states, Tamil Nadu, which appeared close to bending its curve earlier this month, has seen its 7-day-rolling average rise by 1,879 to 5,352 over the past week, overtaking Gujarat at the second position after Maharashtra. As of Thursday morning, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Gujarat had the most number of active cases. Among states with more than 5,000 cases, the doubling rates (based on the seven-day rolling averages) are the highest for Tamil Nadu (5 days), Maharashtra (11 days) and Gujarat (15 days).

The seven-day rolling averages help smooth volatility and daily reporting, and are useful to gauge trends over time. Only active cases (excluding deaths and recoveries) have been considered for the state-level analysis.

Kerala was one of the first states in India to have flattened its curve, and has been successful in keeping case count low in recent weeks. Tamil Nadu, which appeared to be reducing the number of active cases, has seen a renewed spike in infections. Karnataka, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh may be close to bending their corona curves, the analysis suggests.

Maharashtra (975 deaths) leads in the number of covid-related deaths so far, followed by Gujarat (566). Madhya Pradesh (232 deaths), West Bengal (207), Rajasthan (121) are other high-fatality states.

The top five states account for 82 percent of deaths nationwide. Among top ten states with most active cases, the case fatality rates are the highest in West Bengal (15%), Madhya Pradesh (12%) and Gujarat (11%).

India’s top metros continue to be hotbeds of the virus. Mumbai alone reported 15,699 confirmed cases and 596 deaths as of Wednesday evening. Even other major urban centres in Maharashtra such as Thane (3,065) continue to be among the worst affected cities in the country.

Delhi with 7,998 confirmed cases, Ahmedabad with 6,787 cases, Chennai with 6,323 cases and Pune with 3,301 cases are the other major hotspots so far. The top five cities together account for 51 percent of confirmed cases and 54 percent of deaths nationally.

The top fifteen cities together account for 62 percent of confirmed cases and 69 percent of deaths nationally. Data for all cities have been aggregated from district-wise case data compiled by, as of Wednesday evening.

In the past week, confirmed cases in Chennai rose nearly three times to 6,323, the fastest increase among the top 15 cities by population. Nagpur also saw a big jump in cases in the seven days till Wednesday, with cases almost doubling to over 317. Bengaluru, Kanpur and Lucknow have relatively fewer cases compared to other metros at the moment.

The Mint Covid Tracker runs every week in the print edition. For daily updates to the tracker, visit

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