New Delhi: India seems to have bent the curve in all key Covid parameters including active cases, deaths and positivity rate. However, the country’s worst performance comes from one of its largest states, said ThePrint’s Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta in episode 591 of ‘Cut the Clutter’.
In the past few weeks, the growth rate of the infection slowed and many graphs flattened in the country.
September was the most difficult month in India in terms of Covid-19. Many bad peaks and bad numbers of Covid in the country were crossed in the week between 11 September and 17 September.
On 11 September, India recorded the highest number of positive cases — 97,570. The highest number of deaths — 1,290 fatalities — were recorded on 15 September.
However, after this, India saw slowing, flattening and a decline in all these numbers.
However, it is important to remember that everything is reversible, especially Covid numbers, said Gupta.
Flattening of curves
According to the health ministry’s data published Tuesday, more than 20,000 active cases have declined.
India’s active cases in the past five or six days have been below the nine-lakh mark — for the first time after more than a month. The total number of Covid deaths in the country Tuesday was 706.
The test positivity rate has also dropped to 6.7 per cent, and this has been the average for the past couple of weeks. This is also a change for the better, said Gupta.
India’s overall case fatality rate — deaths among people who have been diagnosed and identified as coronavirus-positive — also declined to 1.52 per cent. At the beginning of the pandemic, it was close to 3 per cent.
“Unless the virus gets a second breath and comes after us yet again, I see this case fatality rate declining,” said Gupta.
Maharashtra’s bad news
However, in the midst of this good news, the state of Maharashtra occupies the bottom position of the national data.
“Big cities have congestion and slums and the virus likes congestion but the fact is in many slum areas, especially in Bombay, the state has done very well,” Gupta said.
“Mumbai city has got its act together and done well, but a look at the state shows it is quite a disaster,” he added.
All over the country, fatalities per million are about 80 (79.6 as of Tuesday), but in Maharashtra it is 333 per million, which is four times the national average.
Total deaths in India are 1,10,100 and out of these Maharashtra, which has 9 per cent of the country’s population, contributed to 41,000 deaths.
Therefore, 9 per cent of India’s population accounts for 41 per cent of the total Covid deaths.
Maharashtra also accounts for 22 per cent of India’s total cases.
“The problem is Maharashtra’s testing,” said Gupta. Across the country, tests per million is about 64,000. As of Tuesday, India has conducted nine crore tests in total.
However, while Maharashtra has upped testing in the last few weeks to 61,000 per million, it is still below the national average.
The state’s case fatality is almost 50 per cent more than the national figure at 2.67. Gujarat’s case fatality rate is 2.37 per cent, but the worst is Punjab at 3.1 per cent.
India’s test positivity rate was at 8 per cent in the beginning of March and now it is 6.7 per cent. WHO health norms state that if the positivity rate is above 8.5 per cent, it means you are testing too little.
Maharashtra’s positivity rate is 19.94 per cent and this means the state should be testing twice as much.
When compared to the two other big states Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Maharashtra’s numbers are much higher.
Bihar’s tests per million is 71,000, which is considerably higher than the national average.
UP’s test positivity rate is 3.6 per cent and Bihar’s is 3.32 per cent. Case fatality rate for UP is 1.47 while Bihar is 0.48.
Maharashtra’s tests per million is also lower than Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Delhi.
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