India Coronavirus (Covid-19) Cases: Delhi on Tuesday reported close to 4,000 new cases of novel Coronavirus, more than any state in India has done on any single day. Even Maharashtra, which has more than double the number of cases in Delhi, has never reported these many new infections.
Delhi, whose caseload is currently growing at almost twice the national growth rate, now has a total of 66,602 cases, and could potentially overtake Mumbai as early as today. Mumbai, which has 68,410 cases, is growing much slowly, and on Tuesday added only 842 new cases.
A major reason for the surge in Delhi has been number of samples the city has been testing these days. This number has almost doubled in the last one week, the same period in which there has been a sharp increase in numbers. On Tuesday, Delhi tested almost 17,000 samples. Just a week back, the city was testing between 5,000 and 7,000 samples a day, at which time it was reporting between 1,500 to 2,000 new cases. In contrast, the testing numbers in Mumbai has remained stagnant at around 4,500 for a very long time.
Another state where increased testing has triggered a surge in confirmed cases has been Telangana. For a long time, Telangana had been testing less than 500 samples a day, and the state had been reporting very few cases. However, after several strictures from the state High Court, the state finally began testing many more samples, about 3,000 a day now, and suddenly there has been a rise in the new infections being detected every day. Each of the last five days has produced a new high for the number of infections detected. On Tuesday, 879 new cases were reported from the state which has seen its total caseload increase by almost three times just this month. The total count on Tuesday stood at 9,553. The case numbers in Telangana is now growing at the fastest rate among the major states, at around 8.5 per cent.
Delhi, Telangana and Tamil Nadu are likely to drive the India number for the next few days. But the numbers could start flowing in from other places as well, as new rapid antigen tests are deployed.
Top ten states with maximum caseload
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Both Mumbai and Pune have decided to go in for these newly-approved rapid antigen testing for their residents. The antigen tests, cleared by ICMR as confirmatory diagnosis for the presence of novel Coronavirus, produce much faster results, within 30 minutes, compared to the more commonly used RT-PCR, and are also much cheaper, costing only about Rs 450. They also do not require elaborate laboratory infrastructure.
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Both Mumbai and Pune have said they would test one lakh samples through the antigen kits in the coming days. Mumbai has faced criticism for its stagnant testing numbers, as it is possible that a large number of infected people are not getting detected because they are not being tested. Together, Mumbai and Pune have been testing just about 6,000 samples every day. The antigen tests could result in a sharp increase in the new cases being reported from these two cities.
More than 15,000 new cases were detected throughout the country on Tuesday, taking the number of people who have tested positive till now to over 4.4 lakh. About 2.5 lakh of these have already recovered from the disease. The number of dead has risen to 14,011.
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