India Coronavirus Cases: With more than 900 deaths being reported on Wednesday, the total number of people who have died because of Covid19 disease in India has gone beyond 40,000 now. As on Wednesday, the number of deaths stood at 40,699, giving India a death rate of 2.07 per cent, meaning, on an average, 207 people out of every 10,000 detected with the disease had died.
This is significantly lower than the global death rate, which right now is 3.8 per cent. According to the global database of World Health Organisation, close to 7 lakh people out of the 1.83 crore (18.3 million) who have been detected with the disease, have died. The maximum deaths have happened in the United States, where over 150,000 people have died. The death rate in United States is slightly more than 3.3 per cent.
But since the actual number of people who have been infected with the disease is much more than those who are detected through diagnostic tests, the real death rate is expected to be much lower, well below one per cent in India’s case, at least. In Delhi, for example, 4,044 people have so far died, while the number of confirmed infections is a little more than 1.4 lakh. That would give a death rate, also known as case fatality ratio, or CFR, of 2.88 per cent. A recent serological survey in the Capital, however, found that at least 23 per cent of the those surveyed had been infected with the disease. If that is extrapolated to the city’s population, close to 40 lakh people could have so far been infected in the Capital. That would bring down the CFR to 0.1 per cent.
It is possible that all the deaths happening due to Covid19 disease are not being counted. Some states have been excluding the deaths of coronavirus-positive people that could have happened due to other health complications. In addition, some deaths amongst undetected coronavirus patients might also have occurred. Still, the under-estimating of deaths is not of the same scale as that of undetected coronavirus infections. The actual death rate, therefore, both in India and globally, is likely to be significantly lower than what it is right now. A more reliable CFR can be estimated only after the epidemic is over once there is a better understanding of the true extent of the disease.
The number of deaths being reported in India on a daily basis has been increasing steadily over the past few days. On Wednesday, it went beyond 900 for the first time, but for several days now, more than 700 deaths are being reported.
The accompanying graph shows how the daily death numbers have increased since May 1. This trajectory is only indicative, since more than the positive cases, the reporting of deaths has a significant lag period. Also, on several days, states include unreported deaths from previous days as well. The unusually high spikes seen in the graph are a result of data reconciliation exercises, when many previously unreported deaths were clubbed together in the day’s tally. On June 16, for example, when 300 to 400 deaths was being reported every day, Maharashtra reported more than 1,400 cases, to clear the backlog. Again, on July 22, Tamil Nadu reported unusually high number of deaths for a similar reasons. These appear as abnormal spikes in the graph.
After three days of consecutive fall, the number of new infections detected rose again on Wednesday. More than 56,000 new cases were discovered from across the country, taking the total number of people who have so far been infected to 19.64 lakh. About 13.28 lakh of these, or 67.6 per cent have already recovered from the disease.
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Top ten states with maximum caseload
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Both Maharashtra Andhra Pradesh recorded more than 10,000 new cases on Wednesday, while Tamil Nadu and Karnataka reported more than 5,000 each.
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