Home / News / India /  Half of all virus cases in 15 cities

As the world edged past the 2 million mark, India saw its covid-19 case count cross the 10,000 mark this week, joining 21 other countries which have more than 10,000 confirmed cases. It took India fifteen days since the 100th case to reach 1,000 cases, and sixteen days since then to reach 10,000.

In China, where the Covid-19 outbreak began, it took seven days for confirmed cases to rise from 1,000 to 10,000. In the United States, the current epicentre of the pandemic, it took eight days for the country to race from the 1,000th to 10,000th case. In South Korea by contrast, it took 37 days to reach the 10,000 mark from the day the 1,000 mark was reached.

An analysis of the seven-day rolling averages of case counts across affected countries suggests that India’s trajectory remains steeper than several others in the continent. Compared to many other countries, India has seen faster growth in new infections and fatalities in the seven days till Wednesday, the Mint Covid Tracker shows.

An analysis of the seven-day rolling averages for states shows that Maharashtra, Delhi, and Tamil Nadu are now emerging as the major hotspots in the country. The seven-day rolling averages help smooth volatility and daily reporting, and are useful to gauge trends over time.

Based on weekly rolling averages, Maharashtra and Kerala were the first to reach 100 cases. Maharashtra took 14 days to reach 1,000 cases since the 100th case. For Delhi, it took 13 days to reach the same mark. Tamil Nadu’s seven-day rolling average is now close to 1,000 cases.

These are early days yet and the state-wise distribution could change in the coming days. Across the country, the extent of testing done by states and the number of cases that have been identified appear to be linked. To some extent, this may simply reflect the incidence of these cases. However, a recent study by public health researchers suggest that some states with lower testing also have relatively higher fatality rates as they were unable to detect cases early.

Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Punjab which have among the highest fatality rates are also states with very low rates of testing. However, data suggests that this is not always the case. Odisha and Gujarat currently have low fatality rates despite low rates of testing, whereas Maharashtra and Delhi have higher-than-average fatality rates despite higher rates of testing.

Nonetheless, as testing gets ramped up across states, the number of reported cases could change significantly in the coming days.

Among cities, Mumbai in Maharashtra had the most number of cases, with nearly 1,896 confirmed cases as of Wednesday evening. Neighbouring Thane had 280. Pune too has emerged as a major hotspot in the state and the country, with 407 cases.

Delhi follows Mumbai in the list of most affected cities nationally with 1,197 cases. Delhi and Mumbai together account for 26 percent of the confirmed cases nationally. These two cities also account for 32 percent of deaths so far.

Indore in Madhya Pradesh with 544 cases, Jaipur in Rajasthan with 478 cases and Ahmedabad with 450 cases are the other major hotspots so far. The top five cities together account for 34 percent of confirmed cases and 45 percent of deaths nationally. Data for all cities have been aggregated from district-wise case data compiled by howindialives.com.

Over the past week, confirmed cases in Kolkata rose nearly five times to 126. Other cities that saw a jump in cases in the seven days till Wednesday are Jodhpur (where cases rose four-fold to 123) and Hyderabad (where cases rose doubled to 327). Surat (51),Visakhapatnam (20), and Kanpur (18) have relatively fewer cases compared to other big cities currently.

The picture on regional and city-wise distribution of cases could change significantly over the next few weeks as testing gets ramped up across the country.

The Mint Covid Tracker will run every week in the print edition. For daily updates to the tracker, click here

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