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India coronavirus numbers explained: Amid decline in new cases across India, outlier Kerala

Once hailed for keeping the spread in check, Kerala now has the highest number of active cases in the country, more than even Maharashtra. As on Saturday, Kerala had 65,452 active cases, more than a fourth of the entire country.

Written by Amitabh Sinha | Pune | January 4, 2021 12:35:11 am
Students undergo temperature scanning at a school that was reopened after months of closure due to Covid-19 pandemic, in Palakkad, Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. (PTI Photo)

While other states have all been reporting a steady decline in their Covid-19 infection numbers, Kerala remains an outlier. Once hailed for keeping the spread in check, Kerala now has the highest number of active cases in the country, more than even Maharashtra. As on Saturday, Kerala had 65,452 active cases, more than a fourth of the entire country.

The state has been consistently reporting the highest number of cases in the country for most of the time since mid-October. Currently, when India has been detecting around 20,000 new cases a day, nearly 25% is being contributed by Kerala alone.

Until the middle of July last year, Kerala was looked upon as the most successful state in containing the epidemic. On some days in April and May, it had even reported zero cases, when states like Maharashtra had already begun finding more than 1,000 cases a day. The state began reporting significant numbers around the middle of July, and the big surge happened after the Onam festival.

Until the second week of September, the state had recorded less than one lakh confirmed cases. Maharashtra had a ten times bigger caseload. A turnaround happened after that. Since October, Kerala has found over 5.67 lakh new cases, more than any other state in the country. It currently has a total caseload of 7.71 lakh, the fifth highest. If current trends hold, Kerala looks set to overtake Tamil Nadu in about three weeks. Tamil Nadu, the fourth placed state, has about 8.20 lakh cases but is reporting less than 1,000 every day now. Maharashtra, with close to 20 lakh cases, still is the worst affected in the country, followed by Karnataka (9.21 lakh) and Andhra Pradesh (8.82 lakh).

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