The number of reported covid-19 cases in India rose 24 percent over the past two days to 8447, data from the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) published last evening showed. This is a slower increase compared to the previous 48 hours, when the reported case count rose 28 percent to 6761.
Despite the slight tapering, India’s trajectory continues to be steeper than several Asian peers such as Singapore, Japan, and even Pakistan. But it is flatter than that of the US, which has emerged as the new epicentre of the global pandemic, with the most number of active cases and deaths at the moment.
India’s case count is now roughly double what it was seven days ago. This is a slower rate compared to a few days ago, when cases were doubling every four days. At this trajectory, the number of cases could rise to 20,000 over the next eight days. If the same trajectory continues beyond that period, India’s hospitals could get overwhelmed in the next few months.
India’s death toll from covid-19 is rising at a faster pace compared to the case count. The death toll last evening was 273, double what it was five days ago.
At 1,426, Maharashtra leads in terms of the number of active cases of covid-19, according to the health ministry update on Sunday evening. Active cases exclude deaths and recoveries from the list of confirmed cases.
Delhi has the second most number of active cases (1,025), closely followed by Tamil Nadu (915). At 676 active cases, Rajasthan has the fourth-highest number of active cases, followed by Madhya Pradesh (528). The top five states together account for 61 percent of the active cases nationally, and the top ten states account for 85 percent of all cases. Nationally, the active case count was 7,409, as of yesterday evening.
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. As testing gets ramped up in some of these states, the number of reported cases could change significantly.
Over the past 48 hours, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan have seen the highest spurt in cases. These three states account for 58 percent of all the new active cases in this period.
The number of active cases have risen from 243 to 528 in Madhya Pradesh, from 1,142 to 1,426 in Maharashtra, and from 439 to 676 in Tamil Nadu in the last 48 hours.
The top ten districts now account for 41 percent of confirmed cases in the country, data compiled by howindialives.com shows. And the top 50 districts account for roughly 70 percent of the cases.
So far, 378 districts have confirmed cases. Among these districts, Mumbai (1259 cases) has reported the most number of cases nationally, followed by Jaipur (321) in Rajasthan.
South Delhi (320), Indore (311) in Madhya Pradesh, Ahmedabad (266) in Gujarat, Pune (258) in Maharashtra, Hyderabad (200) in Telangana, Chennai (182) in Tamil Nadu, Kasargod (168) in Kerala, and Thane (159) in Maharashtra are the other top hotspots in the country.
More than 1.8 million people have now been detected as covid-19 patients globally even as several parts of the world, including India, have taken severe lockdown measures in a bid to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes covid-19.
Testing criteria in India were stringent so far and tests are being ramped up only now. It is likely that cases will continue to rise as testing expands, even if the lockdown has lowered the rate of transmission of the virus. Given the limited testing so far, it is too early to say whether India’s current trajectory will sustain, rise, or flatten in the coming days.