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India coronavirus numbers explained: Drop in number of tests during weekends results in discovery of fewer cases

India Coronavirus Cases Numbers Explained: Since the reports of RT-PCR tests usually take a day or two to arrive, the drop in new cases is most visible on Mondays. This has been a trend for quite some time.

Written by Amitabh Sinha , Edited by Explained Desk | Pune | August 25, 2020 11:56:59 am
coronavirus, coronavirus news, covid 19, west bengal coronavirus, india covid 19 cases, corona news, coronavirus cases in india, coronavirus india update, coronavirus cases today update, coronavirus cases, delhi corona news, delhi coronavirus news, gujarat coronavirus, west bengal coronavirusIndia coronavirus numbers explained: People at a weekly market at South Anarkali, near Gagan Vihar in New Delhi on Monday. (Express photo by Amit Mehra)

India Coronavirus Cases: Thanks to the weekend effect, there was a significant drop in the number of new cases of novel Coronavirus reported on Monday. In fact, it was one of those rare occasions that the new cases were outnumbered by those who were declared to have recovered from the disease.

Weekends usually see a big drop in the number of tests that are being conducted. That results in discovery of fewer number of new infections. Since the reports of RT-PCR tests usually take a day or two to arrive, the drop in new cases is most visible on Mondays. This has been a trend that has been going on for quite some time.

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The graph of daily tests in India, therefore, shows a very noticeable periodic sharp dips (see graph above). These represent the lower number of testing on the weekends.

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This weekend the dip in the testing numbers was more pronounced, because it came immediately after a new high of over one million tests a day was achieved. After 10.23 lakh tests on Friday, the number dropped to 8.01 lakh on Saturday, and further to just 6.09 lakh on Sunday. As a result, the number of new cases detected came down to less than 61,500 on Sunday, and dropped further to 60,975 on Monday. On four consecutive days before this, more than 68,000 new cases were being detected in the country.

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On Monday, the number of tests went back to over 9.25 lakh. It is likely to result in a corresponding increase in the number of new cases on Tuesday.

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Monday also saw the highest number of recoveries being reported so far, over 66,000. Coupled with the drop in the new cases, it led to a situation when the recoveries exceeded the new infections. This is not the first time it has happened. A similar situation had arisen last week as well, because of the same weekend effect.

The number of recoveries relative to the new cases every day is an important indicator to follow. If the recoveries exceed the new cases being discovered, and this trend continues for at least two weeks, this can possibly signal a stablisation and the beginning of a decline of the epidemic. This is what has been observed in Delhi where, on most days in the last one month, the recoveries have exceeded new detections. It has happened in some other states as well, but the trend has been short-lived. Delhi is the only place where it has held on for a prolonged period.

Top ten states with maximum caseload:

STATE TOTAL POSITIVE NEW CASES TOTAL RECOVERIES DEATHS

 

Maharashtra 693,398 11,015 502,490 22,782
Tamil Nadu 385,352 5,967 325,456 6,614
Andhra Pradesh 361,712 8,601 268,828 3,368
Karnataka 283,665 5,851 197,625 4,829
Uttar Pradesh 192,382 4,601 140,107 2,987
Delhi 162,527 1,061 146,588 4,313
West Bengal 141,837 2,967 111,292 2,851
Bihar 123,383 1,227 101,362 627
Telangana 108,670 2,579 84,163 770
Assam 92,619 1,879 73,090 252

It’s been almost three weeks now that the number of new cases in India have been more than 60,000. But the 70,000-mark has not been breached till now, though it has come in close proximity to that number. In comparison, considerably lesser amount of time, just about a week or eight days, were spent in 50,000s, 40,000s and 30,000s. That could signal towards a relative stabilisation in the spread of the disease in India, particularly because this has happened despite a sharp increase in testing numbers during this period.

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A decreasing trend is also being seen in the number of deaths being reported. After a high of 1,092 deaths reported on August, the number has been coming down steadily. On Monday, 848 deaths were reported. The death count in the country has risen to 58,390. Only the United States, Brazil and Mexico have recorded more Coronavirus deaths than India.

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