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Coronavirus numbers explained: A first, more than 1,00,000 tests a day

India Coronavirus Cases: India has been testing more and more every day, and it is very well established that more the tests are done, higher would be cases detected.

Written by Amitabh Sinha , Edited by Explained Desk | Pune | Published: May 20, 2020 11:44:08 am
Coronavirus numbers explained: India Covid testing Narayani, 70, and her daughter Krishna wait outside the Guru Nanak Dev Stadium in Ludhiana where they undergo medical screening before boarding a Special shramik Train to Hardoi in Uttar Pradesh. (Express Photo: Gurmeet Singh)

Every day since Sunday, India has detected more than 5,000 new cases of novel Coronavirus infections. This seems to have become the new normal from the 3,500 to 3,800 cases that were being reported every day for about a week prior to that. On Tuesday, more than 5,200 new cases were discovered, to take India’s total number of confirmed infections to well past 1.05 lakh.

One of the reasons for the increased number of cases being detected every day is the continuously expanding baseload. A larger baseload of cases will lead to greater number of new infections every day even if there is no surge. So, while the absolute number of new infections has been increasing steadily, the rate of growth in the new cases has remained more or less unchanged. In fact, it has even slowed down in between.

Another reason for the new cases shooting up could be the impact of relaxations announced in the lockdown. Large-scale movement of people in the last few days has led to the spread of the disease in new populations. This is evidenced by the fact that states like Bihar and Odisha, which are receiving large number of workers returning from other places, have seen a sharp rise in cases in recent days. In other states too, the people on the move are significant contributors to their daily numbers in the last ten days.

On Tuesday, more than 5,200 new cases were discovered, to take India’s total number of confirmed infections to well past 1.05 lakh.

But, the rise in new infections is also due to enhanced testing. India has been testing more and more every day, and it is very well established that more the tests are done, higher would be cases detected. That is because most of the infected people are asymptomatic, meaning they do not show any symptoms of the disease, and they can be detected only if they are tested. But they are as likely to infect others as those with symptoms. That is why experts and scientists keep on emphasising on the need for greater number of tests.

India’s testing numbers has been rising steadily, but on Sunday, for the first time, more than one lakh samples were tested in a single day. It was followed by 1.08 lakh tests on Monday. India has so far tested over 2.5 million samples.

India’s testing numbers

As reported on Total number of tests Tests in 24 previous hours
May 8 1,437,788 80,375
May 9 1,523,213 85,425
May 10 1,609,037 85,824
May 11 1,673,688 64,651
May 12 1,759,579 85,891
May 13 1,854,250 94,671
May 14 1,947,041 92,791
May 15 2,039,952 92,911
May 16 2,134,277 94,325
May 17 2,227,642 93,365
May 18 2,302,792 75,150
May 19 2,404,267 101,475
May 20 2,512,388 108,121

The states with larger caseloads — Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Delhi — are also the ones with higher number of tests. On the other hand, it has now emerged that Telangana, which had been reporting a surprisingly low growth in numbers for the past one month, has one of the poorest records on testing.

States with maximum testing

Tamil Nadu 348,174
Maharashtra 293,998
Andhra 258,450
Rajasthan 254,533
Uttar Pradesh 182,184
Karnataka 158,599
Gujarat 154,674
Delhi 145,854

Telangana, which has more than 1,600 cases, had, till May 14, carried out tests on just 22,842 samples. This was even lower than the tests done by Chhattisgarh and Assam, both of which had less than 100 cases on May 14.

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Top ten states with maximum caseload

State Total Cases New Cases Deaths
Maharashtra 37,136 2,078 1,325
Tamil Nadu 12,448 688 84
Gujarat 12,141 395 719
Delhi 10,554 500 166
Rajasthan 5,732 338 143
Madhya Pradesh 5,465 229 258
Uttar Pradesh 4,926 321 135
West Bengal 1,961 136 250
Andhra Pradesh 2,374 57 50
Punjab 2,002 22 38

For the sake of comparison, Jammu and Kashmir, which has just over 1,300 cases right now, has tested over 96,000 samples. Odisha, which has just crossed 1,000 cases has conducted over a lakh tests, while even Haryana, which has 964 cases, has done more than 80,000.

Andhra Pradesh, Telangana’s neighbouring state, has less than 2,400 cases and it has carried out more than 2.5 lakh tests.

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