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India Covid-19 numbers explained, April 16: Has Maharashtra reached its peak?

India Covid-19 numbers explained: The current peak of 63,294 cases that was achieved on Sunday has now stood for five days, the longest that any peak has survived in Maharashtra since the start of March.

Written by Amitabh Sinha , Edited by Explained Desk
Gaya | April 16, 2021 11:57:22 am
A health worker waits to screen passengers for COVID-19 at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai. (AP Photo)

India’s coronavirus cases numbers: For the last ten days, the daily count of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra has been hovering around 60,000. It is the longest period of stability in the state since the start of the second wave, and could be the first indication that Maharashtra has finally reached its peak.

On Thursday, the state reported 61,695 new infections. The current peak of 63,294 cases that was achieved on Sunday has now stood for five days, the longest that any peak has survived in Maharashtra since the start of March.

“It does seem that Maharashtra has reached its peak. There are very clear signs now. We should start seeing a decline in the daily numbers in the state in a few days,” said Prof Maninder Agarwal of IIT Kanpur, who is part of a team running a computer model simulating the trajectory of the epidemic in India.

“All the major cities in Maharashtra — Mumbai, Pune, Thane — also seem to have either reached their peaks or are very close to reaching a peak. Pune, specifically, I think, is already there,” he said.

Daily Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra since March

For most of the second wave, Pune has been the biggest contributor of new cases for any city in the country. On Sunday, it had reported 12,590 infections, the highest so far. For the last few days, however, Delhi has been reporting far greater numbers.

Agarwal said he expected Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as well to start seeing a bending of curve within a week or ten days.

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“The numbers being reported by these two states are in sync with the trajectory being predicted by our model for the last few days. If that continues, then these two states seem to be on track to reach their peaks in about a week’s time. As of now, it seems that this could result in the country itself reaching a peak around April 25,” he said.

Data updated on April 16 morning. Reflects data as of April 15.

The computer model used by Agarwal’s team has been quite accurate in forecasting the epidemic’s trajectory since October to February. However, it had not foreseen such a sharply-rising second wave. Several other scientific groups have been critical of the model. Agarwal maintains that the model is being constantly refined in the light of new facts.

On Thursday, more than 2.17 lakh cases were detected in India, with Maharashtra’s share dropping to less than 30 per cent for the first time in two months. Till three weeks ago, the state was contributing almost 60 per cent of all cases in India. This is a result of the fact that while India’s daily count of cases has grown more than four-fold during this time, from about 52,000 to 2.17 lakh a day, Maharashtra’s daily numbers have only doubled, from about 30,000 a day to 60,000 now.

On Thursday, 1,185 deaths were reported from across the country. Only on four earlier occasions, in September last year, have more deaths been reported in a day. At that time about 90,000 cases were being detected every day.

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