Covid-19 cases in India. The average daily growth in cases was 21.6% on March 24, which has since dropped to 8.1%. Had India continued to grow at 21.6%, the number of cases would have crossed 2 lakh by now.
Note: The growth rate of 8.1% three days into the fifth week of lockdown is still higher than what the worst-hit countries achieved after locking down for the same period. While Germany brought it down to 2%, the US was at 4.8%. If India continues at the current rate, we will have close to 40,000 cases by the end of next week, to almost 70,000 in a fortnight and near 2.5 lakh by May-end.
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But with a few states managing to lower their growth rate (Kerala is growing at 1.8%, lower than Germany), there’s cause for hope. And if India manages to bring down its growth rate to 6% a month later, we would have to deal with about 1.3 lakh cases; at 5%, the total number won’t even cross 1 lakh.
That said, nationwide cases of confirmed coronavirus infections rose on Friday by over 1,750, taking the total past 24,000. The death toll stood at 780 with 59 new deaths.
Also, the home ministry constituted four more inter-ministerial central teams (IMCTs) to assess the “serious” Covid-19 situation in the emerging hotspots of Ahmedabad and Surat in Gujarat, Hyderabad in Telangana and Chennai in Tamil Nadu. This in addition to six earlier IMCTs to visit Kolkata and other areas of West Bengal, Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra, Indore in Madhya Pradesh and Jaipur in Rajasthan.
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The move behind deputing the 10 teams, constituted so far, was prompted by reports of violations of lockdown in these areas. The violations include incidents ranging from violence on frontline healthcare professionals, attacks on police personnel, violations of social distancing norms in marketplaces and opposition to setting up of quarantine centres.
In the US, President Trump signed a $484 billion bill that aids employers and hospitals under stress from the pandemic. Also, New York reported its lowest number of daily deaths in weeks on Friday. As the death toll in Britain neared 20,000 on Friday, the fatality count worldwide closed in on 200,000.