May 2, 2021 1:33:39 pm
India’s coronavirus cases numbers: On Saturday, 392,488 new cases of coronavirus infections were detected in India, about 9,500 less than the previous day’s tally of 401,993. This is the first time in more than a month that the daily count of cases has been lower than the previous day on a non-Monday.
For the entire month of April, the daily count of cases increased on every single day, except on Mondays, when the cases decline owing to relatively lesser number of tests conducted on a Sunday. At the start of April, India had been reporting less than one lakh cases a day. This rose to more than 4 lakh cases a day, with the daily count rising on every single day.
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This month-long trend was finally broken on Saturday (see graph), though this might be nothing more than an interesting statistic for the time being. It is too early to suggest that this might be the beginning of a turn-around. But this drop also does not seem to be triggered by any decline in number of tests, as usually happens on Mondays. On Saturday, more than 18 lakh samples were tested, which was less than over 19 lakh tests conducted on two previous two days, but more than any other day.
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A more reassuring sign, however, is the fact that, in the case of Maharashtra, the plateauing, and even the possible decline, has become very visible. The active cases in the state have been going down steadily for the last ten days, from a peak of 7 lakh achieved on April 22, to 6.63 lakh now. The daily count of cases has remained in the 60,000s for over 20 days now, and for the last four days, this number has been showing a steady decline.
A similar trend is visible in the case of Delhi as well, where the daily count of cases has been in the 20,000s for the last two weeks. However, there is a curious twist in the Delhi data. The number of active cases has remained below one lakh, even when more than 20,000 new cases are being added every day for over ten days. It is unlikely that anyone from this lot would have been declared recovered during this period. But the fact that the daily count has not shot up further is still some reason for hope.
The decline in Maharashtra, and hopefully in Delhi as well in the next few days, is expected to bring down the daily count of cases in the country. No other state, right now, is looking to deteriorate to an extent that it starts reporting as many cases as Maharashtra. But Maharashtra, right now, is declining very slowly, and this decline can be compensated by the combined rise in several states.
Karnataka has shown this potential with a huge jump in new detections in the last two days. Karnataka reported more than 48,000 cases on Friday and about 41,000 on Saturday. Uttar Pradesh, the other state with a potential to see its case numbers explode, has also seen its case numbers remaining relatively stable for the last ten days. Kerala, the third state reporting more than 30,000 cases a day, may also have reached a plateau.
But states like Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Odisha, and even Punjab, are still showing an increasing trend, and for next few days at least their combined increase could nullify the decline seen in Maharashtra or Delhi.
Also, the active cases increased by the least amount this Saturday in the last 20 days, if we again discount the Mondays. Between April 13 and April 28, active cases in the country have been increasing by more than a lakh every day. April has seen a more than five-fold jump in active cases in the country, from about six lakh to over 33 lakh now.
For the last three days, however, the increase in active cases has been below a lakh. On Saturday, active cases rose by about 81,000. This is not an unexpected trend, considering that both the recoveries and the deaths, the two lagging indicators, have been rising in the last few days. But it does raise hopes for the possibility of the active cases peaking below 40 lakh in a few days.
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