Their numbers may still be small, but several states with low caseloads have been reporting relatively faster rate of growth of novel Coronavirus infections. Assam, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Tripura, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh have very few cases when compared to states like Maharashtra or Tamil Nadu, but have been adding numbers rapidly in the last few days.
In the last one week, Assam has moved from 140-odd cases to more than 600 now, Chhattisgarh has seen its cases rise from 100 to 360, and in Uttarakhand, the numbers have grown from about 100 to about 400. Others like Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Goa have also been showing similar trends. Most of the new cases are among people who are on the move, travelling from their work places around the country to their hometowns and villages. The growth rates in each of these states right now is higher than the national average.
The actual number of cases in these states may be even higher, considering that nearly 3,000 positive cases right now are currently ‘unassigned’ to any state. These are people who are not being counted in any of the state databases right now, mainly because they have been found infected in places which they are not usual residents or native of.
A few days ago, Punjab, for example, had said that it would not count the 40-odd personnel of Railway Protection Force personnel who had tested positive in Ludhiana, because these were neither residents nor native of the state. With large number of people now on the move, there are several such people who have tested positive but are not being owned up by any state right now. Their number is now more than Bihar’s total caseload. Many of these are natives of these states, which have relatively low caseloads right now, and may eventually be ‘assigned’ to them.
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On Tuesday, India’s total caseload crossed 1.5 lakh, more than 83,000 of which are ‘active’ cases. For the last two days, there has been a slight decline in the number of new cases reported by Maharashtra. On Tuesday, the state, which has been dominating India’s growth curve right from the start, discovered just over 2,000 new cases. Two days ago, it had found almost 3,000 positive cases in a day. But the state did report almost 100 deaths on Tuesday, which has been the highest single-day casualty figure so far.
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Mumbai alone has more than 35,000 active cases right now, and authorities estimate that this number was likely to double by next month. The city has already started facing shortage of hospital beds, and open spaces in several places like Bandra Kurla Complex are being converted into makeshift hospitals with isolation facilities. Local authorities say they are working towards increasing the city’s hospital bed capacity to over one lakh by the middle of June and by up to 1.5 lakh by the end of next month.
Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, the states with second and third highest caseload in the country, have been reporting steady increases in their numbers, and so has Delhi, the state with fourth highest caseload.
Bihar has shown signs of a slight slowdown after a week of very high growth rate. On Tuesday, it reported 231 new cases. It now has almost 3,000 cases