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India’s Covid recoveries outnumbering active cases holds little meaning right now: Experts

Experts say this was an eventuality, but as long as new cases continue to rise, India still has a disease to deal with.

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New Delhi: For two consecutive days now, India’s number of coronavirus recovery cases have outpaced the number of active infections, according to data released by the health ministry Thursday. However, experts said it was too soon to read into this development.

On Wednesday, the number of recoveries crossed the number of active cases for the first time since Covid-19 struck India. According to the data, 49.21 per cent of the total cases reported have recovered so far, officials told PTI.

As of Thursday, the country had 1,37,448 active cases while 1,41,028 cases recovered from the infection. The death toll of the pandemic stood at 8,102.

Shipra Kapoor | ThePrint
Shipra Kapoor | ThePrint

Also read: ICMR data shows India’s Covid testing is not in right shape — 5 things that need fixing

What experts say

Kolkata-based epidemiologist Aritra Das said the data was a “feel-good factor”, but said it was just a question of eventuality.

“Definitely this data represents a ‘feel-good’ factor, but from the epidemiological perspective, it is not something unexpected. Based on what we know about the virus, this was bound to happen at some point,” he said.

Patients of Covid-19 take up to two to four weeks to recover from the infection, which means the curve of active cases would typically stay ahead of the curve of recovered patients.

Since the death rate of the disease is low and most patients are expected to recover, the trajectory of recoveries was bound to catch up after a point, Das told ThePrint.

The number of recoveries is expected to continue outnumbering active infections in the coming days, unless there is a sudden explosion of new cases, she added.

Gautam Menon, a professor at Ashoka University, said that this change in recovery-to-active cases ratio has “very little meaning” as long the new cases continued to rise.

“The recoveries are from infections of two weeks ago … What we need to look out for is a sustained decline in the fresh cases for at least 10-12 days,” he said.

This will indicate that we are approaching the peak, he added.

The peak is the maximum number of cases the pandemic will see after which the rate of growth of cases will begin to decline.

Also read: India’s R value holds steady at 1.22 in 12th week of lockdown, but Delhi still a red flag

How states are faring

Among those with the highest number of cases, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh recorded a higher number of recoveries compared to the active cases.

In Gujarat, there were 5,439 active infections while 14,735 have recovered so far. The state has so far reported 21,521 cases and 1,347 deaths in total.

In Tamil Nadu, active cases numbered at 17,182, but 19,333 had recovered of the 36,841 cases reported so far.

Shipra Kapoor | ThePrint
Shipra Kapoor | ThePrint

Meanwhile, in Maharashtra and Delhi, the two states with highest coronavirus cases, the number of active cases were far higher than number of recoveries.

Maharashtra recorded 46,086 active Covid-19 cases, while 44,517 have recovered so far.

Delhi, which has seen over 32,810 coronavirus cases so far, has 19,581 active cases and 12,245 recoveries.

Also read: Covid test positivity rates, rising deaths indicate that India isn’t seeing the full picture


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