For several days now, Bihar had been showing signs of a big surge in its novel Coronavirus cases. On Thursday, the state reported 380 cases, which was nearly 25 per cent of its entire caseload till now. With close to 2,000 cases now, more than half of which has been discovered in just last one week, Bihar is fast developing into the next trouble state.
At the start of this month, Bihar had less than 450 cases. As migrants started flowing in following an easing of lockdown restrictions from May 4, Bihar’s cases started rising rapidly. Most of the new cases being detected in the state were amongst those who were returning to their hometowns from their workplaces in other parts of the country. Even now, the migrant workers comprise more than half of Bihar’s total cases.
Interestingly, Bihar’s growth rate had shot up after it had crossed the 100-figure mark around April 20. But that was mainly because of a low caseload. And it had slowed down considerably in the week before the migrant workers started coming in. In the first week of May, Bihar had a growth rate of 3.75 per cent and a doubling time of over 19 days. But the cases began to rise rapidly as more and more migrant workers started to test positive. As of now, Bihar has a seven-day average growth rate of 10.32 per cent, and a doubling time of less than seven days. The national doubling time of cases is 13.45 days right now.
On Thursday, there was a big jump in new cases nationally as well, with more than 6,000 cases being reported for the first time. The total number of confirmed infections in India are now in excess of 1.16 lakh. Maharashtra, which has been consistently reporting more than 2,000 cases every day for the last five days now, detected 2,345 new cases on Thursday. The state now has a total of 41,642 confirmed cases, more than one third of all the cases in the country, out of which more than 11,700 have recovered.
Tamil Nadu also had a big rise in number on Thursday, reporting 776 new cases, to take its total to 13,191.
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A surge in numbers was expected following the easing of lockdown from May 4, especially since the movement of large number of people was allowed, but the impact of this wasn’t visible till May 15. In the last one week, however, a clear surge in India’s numbers is evident. More than 30,000 new cases have been discovered after May 15.
With more activities having been opened up in the fourth phase of lockdown that came into effect on May 18, these numbers are likely to increase further in the coming days.