India coronavirus numbers explained, Oct 3: Maharashtra decline helps slow India’s growth

India’s growth curve is still largely influenced by how Maharashtra is reporting its numbers. In fact, the case trajectories for India and Maharashtra resemble each other very closely.

India coronavirus cases: The daily detection of new coronavirus positive cases dropped below 80,000 on Friday, only the fourth time this has happened in the last one month. But on earlier occasions this drop had come on a Monday, and was attributable to the low test numbers on a Sunday. Friday’s count of about 79,000 new cases is thus the lowest since September 1 that is not a direct result of reduced testing the previous day.

One of the reasons for India’s relative low coronavirus numbers in the last few days has been the decline in Maharashtra. There has been a significant reduction in the number of cases being reported by Maharashtra compared to two weeks ago when it had been reporting over 22,000 cases daily. It has come down to a level of 15,000 to 18,000, and that is getting reflected in the daily national count as well. Importantly, it has kept India’s number well under the peak of about 98,000 cases that was achieved in the second week of September.

Of course, the decline in Andhra Pradesh, the second highest contributor till two weeks ago, has also helped matters. But Maharashtra’s influence on the India numbers is not new. At one point in time, the state accounted for as much as 40 per cent of India’s entire caseload. That number has come down to less than 22 per cent now. But India’s growth curve is still largely influenced by how Maharashtra is reporting its numbers. In fact, the case trajectories for India and Maharashtra resemble each other very closely.

In the month of September, the daily new detections in Maharashtra had shot up very sharply, from a level of about 12,000 to more than 22,000 in less than ten days. During this time the active cases in the state jumped from two lakh to three lakh. After spending some time in that zone, the daily numbers seem to have come down as quickly as they had risen. As a result, the active cases have fallen to less than 2.6 lakh now.

Neither the sudden rise, nor the subsequent reduction, of numbers in Maharashtra is very well explained. However, it does seem that Pune was doing to Maharashtra, what Maharashtra was doing to India. In September, Pune emerged as the city with the highest caseload in the country. Its daily new cases went up to as high as 6,000 a day. Even states with large caseload do not report that many cases in a single day. The city has, thankfully, slowed down a bit since then, the daily numbers dropping off to below 3,000 now. Still, apart from Delhi, no other city reports as many cases as Pune is doing right now. The city’s total caseload is all set to cross three lakh mark on Saturday. Only the five worst affected states have more cases.

Meanwhile, the daily recoveries across the country have also come down significantly in the last few days. The recoveries have now become fewer than the detection of new cases. This is not very surprising. The recoveries tail the new detections by 10 to 14 days. Since there has been a fall in the discovery of new cases, the recoveries were slated to go down as well after a few days. But in the meanwhile, the active cases have dropped by about 70,000 in the last two weeks. It has begun to rise again, but more slowly than earlier.

The death count in India crossed the 1 lakh mark. Only the United States and Brazil have recorded more coronavirus-related deaths. More than 2.12 lakh people in the United States, and about 1.45 lakh in Brazil have so far died due to the disease. In India, the maximum deaths have happened in Maharashtra, which accounts for almost 40 per cent of all deaths in the country.

India now accounts for close to ten per cent of all deaths that have happened across the world. Every day, it contributes between 15 and 25 per cent of deaths reported worldwide.

Top ten states with maximum caseload:

Maharashtra 1,416,513 15,591 1,117,720 37,917
Andhra Pradesh 706,790 6,555 642,453 5,900
Karnataka 620,630 8,793 499,506 9,138
Tamil Nadu 608,885 5,595 552,938 9,653
Uttar Pradesh 406,995 3,894 351,966 5,917
Delhi 285,672 2,920 253,784 5,438
West Bengal 263,634 3,310 231,699 5,070
Odisha 226,334 3,600 194,128 928
Kerala 213,499 9,258 135,144 825
Telangana 197,327 1,718 167,846 1,153

The number of people who have so far been infected with the disease has reached 64.73 lakh, out of which 54.27 lakh, or about 84 per cent, have already recovered.


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