Kerala and Karnataka reported more than 10,000 new cases of coronavirus infection on Wednesday, both touching new records in the process, but the national count remained well within 80,000. Karnataka has reported more than 10,000 cases on three earlier occasions as well, but Kerala, which is in the midst of a major surge for the last three weeks, went past that number for the first time.
Till the start of September, the maximum number of cases that Kerala had reported in a single day was just about 2,500. But there has been a major surge after that, and in the last three weeks, the average number of new cases every day has been nearing 7,000.
The positivity rate, or the number of people found positive out of those who are tested, has been steadily increasing. It was about 4.5 per cent at the start of September, and has gone above 7.5 per cent now. It means more positives are being reported from the same number of tests, and indicates that the infection has been spreading rapidly in the population.
Earlier this month, the Kerala government had issued prohibitory orders across the state, banning the assembly of more than five people till the end of this month. On Wednesday, the government decided that only 250 pilgrims would be allowed to visit the Sabarimala shrine per day when it opens on October 16 for a five-day festival. Two more ministers in the state government have also tested positive. So far, five minister have been found infected.
There has also been a small rise in the number of deaths being reported from the state. For more than two weeks now, the death count has been more than 20 every day. Kerala still has comparatively low case fatality ratio of 0.37 per cent, and this is declining because the cases are rising much more rapidly. The state has so far recorded 940 coronavirus-related deaths, including those who have assessed to have died because of co-morbid conditions.
With more than 92,000 active cases, Kerala now has the third largest caseload of active cases in the country, after Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Karnataka is also experiencing a fast growth of cases, though not as fast as Kerala. The state’s caseload has overtaken that of Tamil Nadu and now has the highest number people after Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh who have been infected with the disease at some point of time. Its current growth rate is about 1.5 per cent per day, less than half that of Kerala which is growing at about 3.75 per cent per day.
But Karnataka has recorded many more deaths, over 9,500 which is next only to Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Its case fatality ratio is more than 1.4 per cent.
At the national level, the number of new cases, about 78,000, on Wednesday remained substantially below the number of recoveries, a trend that is being witnessed for the last three weeks. The daily new detection of cases has not touched the 90,000 mark for 18 days now. During this time, there has been a reduction of over one lakh in the number of active cases in the country, about 20 per cent of which has been contributed by the deaths that have happened, while the remaining are the result of the fact that more people are recovering from the disease than are being found infected.
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The total number of people having been infected with the disease so far in the country is now more than 68.35 lakh, out of which over 58,27 lakh, or 85 per cent, have recovered from the disease. The total death count now exceeds 1.05 lakh.
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