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India Covid-19 numbers explained, Nov 17: Delhi cases drop as a result of low testing

India coronavirus numbers explained: Even with reduced numbers, Delhi remains the highest contributor of Covid-19 cases in the country. The only exception had been on Sunday, when Kerala had reported higher number of cases.

Written by Amitabh Sinha , Edited by Explained Desk | Pune | Updated: November 20, 2020 11:48:00 am
A health worker uses a rapid kit to test for COVID-19 at a testing center in New Delhi (AP)

India coronavirus numbers explained: In the last two days, Delhi has reported about half the number of new cases of coronavirus infections than it had been reporting for the last two weeks. But that is most likely a result of low testing than any rapid significant decline in the spread of the disease. For the last two days Delhi has carried out less than half the tests it was doing earlier.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claimed the third wave of infections in the capital had peaked, but the numbers suggest that it might still be a little premature to say so. There has been a decline in the numbers after more than 8,500 cases were detected on November 11, but there is no steady pattern as of now. And, even with reduced numbers, Delhi remains the highest contributor of Covid cases in the country. The only exception had been on Sunday, when Kerala had reported higher number of cases.

India Covid-19 numbers explained, Nov 18: Kerala seems to have left the worst behind

Testing numbers have been low not just in Delhi, but across the country. For the last four days, less than one million (10 lakh) tests have been performed. Since the end of August, never have the testing numbers been below 10 lakh for three days at a stretch. Though the daily number of tests has touched almost 15 lakh once, it normally has remained in the range of 11 to 13 lakh on the weekdays for the last more than three months. In the last four days, however, only 8.6 lakh tests have been performed every day on an average.

Curiously, for the last three days, Maharashtra has stopped reporting the number of Covid-19 tests being performed in the state.

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The result of low testing has been a significant reduction in the number of new cases being detected. On Monday, the number of new cases dipped below 30,000, to a four-month low. The number of active cases are also at four-month lows, to just about 4.5 lakh now.

The sustained reduction in detection of new cases in the last two months has meant that the growth rate of cases has dropped to less than half a per cent per day for the first time. At its peak, new cases in India had been growing at more than 7 per cent per day in May.

Among the major states, there are only three — Delhi, Kerala and Haryana — whose growth rate (seven-day compounded daily growth rate) is above one per cent a day right now. West Bengal and Rajasthan also have a growth rate of around one per cent a day.

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Of course, Himachal Pradesh has been growing at a much faster pace right now, at over two per cent per day, but that is surely because of its relatively low base. Himachal Pradesh has so far recorded only 30,000 cases, and in the last few days has been adding about 400 cases every day.

Meanwhile, Kerala has overtaken Uttar Pradesh to become the state with the fifth highest caseload in the country. At the current pace, even Delhi looks poised to overtake Uttar Pradesh soon. The rising cases in Delhi has eased the attention on Kerala somewhat, but the state is still reporting a large number of cases every day. It has so far recorded more than 5.27 lakh infections. The southern states now comprise four of the top five states with highest number of infections in the country. The only one missing is Telangana, which has the tenth highest caseload. 📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram

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