India coronavirus cases: After a mid-September surge, coronavirus cases in Delhi have entered into another phase of decline, similar to one that was seen in July. The daily detection of cases in Delhi had reached more than 4,000 about three weeks ago, but after that the decline has been consistent, though not as rapid as the previous time.
On Sunday, about 2,700 new cases were discovered in the city, the third straight day when it has remained below 3,000. Meanwhile, the recoveries have started to exceed the new cases once again, triggering a decline in active cases. During the July slowdown, the active cases in the national capital had gone down to a level of 10,000 before the latest surge pushed it up to 32,000 around September 20. It has now come down to less than 25,000 now, easing the burden on the city hospitals (see chart). Nearly 63 per cent of the hospital beds allocated for Covid patients in the city are now vacant.
Delhi has consistently been reporting between 30 and 40 deaths every day, but for the first time since May, the case fatality ratio, or the total number of deaths out of the confirmed infections till now, has fallen below two per cent now. The city has so far recorded over 5,500 coronavirus-related deaths. It is the sixth highest amongst states, and third highest among cities, Mumbai and Pune having registered more.
Andhra Pradesh has also been showing a consistent decline for the last few weeks. The daily detection of cases have fallen from a level of about 10,000 to just about 6,000 now, while the number of active cases has nearly halved in the last one month, from over a lakh to less than 55,000 now.
An equally remarkable slowdown is happening in Maharashtra right now. The daily growth rate more than halved in the last three weeks, while the active cases have reduced by about 50,000. The state still has the maximum number of active cases though, more than 2.5 lakh, but has been showing a declining trend.
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Chhattisgarh, one of the fastest growing states in recent times, has also started to slow down now. Its growth rate has come down from over 5 per cent per day three weeks ago to less than 2.4 per cent a day now.
Kerala, however, continues to remain in the midst of a surge. It has been reporting more than 8,000 cases a day, and its case numbers are growing at nearly four per cent a day, the fastest in the country right now. The national growth rate has come down to about 1.23 per cent a day.
On Sunday, less than 75,000 new infections were detected across the country. This was the third straight day that this number has remained below 80,000. This has not happened since the end of August. For the last few days, there has been a reduction in the number of reported deaths as well. On Sunday, only about 900 deaths were reported, the lowest number since the third week of August, barring an aberration on September 28 when less than 800 deaths were reported.
The reduction in death numbers could be attributed to the decline in daily detection of cases in the last three weeks. The people who are succumbing to the disease now would mostly have been infected two to three weeks ago. So, there is usually a time lag of two to three weeks for the impact of rise or fall of case numbers to reflect on the death count as well.
So far, more than 66.23 lakh people in the country have been found infected with novel coronavirus, out of which over 55.86 lakh, or 84 per cent, have recovered from the disease. The death count is more than 1.02 lakh.
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