India Coronavirus (Covid-19) Cases Numbers: For the last two days, Maharashtra has been reporting around 5,000 new cases, reversing the trend of a slowdown in its growth rate for more than a month. Maharashtra’s daily growth rate (7-day compounded daily growth rate) is still under three per cent, comfortably below the current national growth rate of 3.64 per cent, but it has begun to rise after a long time. Even the national rate has begun to rise, as the number of new cases detected rises every day.
The rise in positive cases can be directly be attributed to an increase in the number of testing. Maharashtra which had been testing between 12,000 and 14,000 samples every day till the first week of this month, has progressively increased the testing numbers and is now carrying out more than 23,000 to 24,000 tests every day. As a result, while it was reporting between 3,500 to 4,000 cases earlier, it has now started reporting around 5,000 each day.
This positive cases are likely to rise further in Maharashtra, as two of its main cities, Mumbai and Pune, begin deploying the rapid antigen tests. The two cities plan to test at least one lakh samples each with these newly-approved kits that provide results within half an hour.
Delhi has been going through a very similar process. It has already been using the antigen tests, and has significantly increased its testing capacities. The result has been a sharp hike in the new detections, which saw Delhi overtake Mumbai as the city with the maximum caseload now.
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The same thing has happened in Telangana as well. As the state increased the number of tests it was carrying out, there has been a big rise in the number of cases. On Friday, Telangana reported 985 new cases, and the state has now entered the top ten list of states with maximum caseloads. Telangana now has 12,349 confirmed infections, more than half of which were detected just last month, after the state stepped up testing.
Top ten states with maximum caseload
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Even nationally, the number of tests have been increasing progressively, and now at a much faster pace. On Friday, for example, the Indian Council of Medical Research reported 2.2 lakh tests in the previous 24 hours. Just about a week ago, the daily testing numbers were between 1.8 and 1.9 lakh. However, the consequent rise in number of cases at the national level is not as dramatic as in the case of Maharashtra. That is because in some states where the testing numbers have increased rapidly, detections of new cases have remained almost stagnant. The best example of this is Rajasthan, which has conducted the maximum number of tests after Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. However, the detection of new cases in the state has hardly changed over time. At 2.37 per cent, Rajasthan has one of the lowest growth rates in the country.
One silver lining in Maharashtra has been in the number of deaths that have been happening in Mumbai every day. This number, the actual deaths on the day, have been declining for about two weeks now. This number is different from the one that is reported by the state government every day. The daily bulletins often contain numbers that are accumulated over several days, because of the lag in reporting. The actual deaths on any given day is usually much lesser than what is reported in the bulletin. And this number, for Mumbai, has been showing a declining trend. Part of the reason, health officials say, could be an improvement in the health facilities available to patients. Mumbai has erected several makeshift hospitals, which has increased the availability of beds. Oxygen-supported beds, which can be life-saving in critical cases, have also gone up. The response time for medical attention has come down. So, while the situation in Mumbai is still very grim, the city does seem to have had some success in preventing lives.
The number of confirmed cases of novel Coronavirus crossed half the million mark on Friday, with the addition of more than 18,000 new infections. The last one lakh cases have been added in less than a week.
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