India coronavirus cases: With its highest single day rise of novel coronavirus cases, Chhattisgarh crossed the one-lakh mark on Saturday, becoming the 18th state in the country to do so.
The coronavirus numbers in Chhattisgarh have grown at the fastest rate in the country in the month of September, at one point increasing by over six per cent per day. Its total caseload has increased by three times this month, from about 33,000 to over 1.02 lakh now. Not surprisingly, Chhattisgarh also has the highest reproductive number right now. Reproductive number, or R, is the number of people who get infected by an already infected person, on an average, and is a measure of how fast the epidemic is spreading in a population group.
According to latest estimates of a group of researchers led by Sitabhra Sinha at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai, the R-value for India and the five states with the highest caseloads have dropped below 1, but that for Chhattisgarh is 1.35. That means that every group of 100 infected people in Chhattisgarh is passing on the virus to another 135 people.
A value of R less than one means lesser number of people are getting the infection compared to those who are carrying the disease right now, and it could signal the beginning of the end of disease. However, in an still-evolving epidemic like the current one, this is not an irreversible trend, and R can begin to rise as well, as has been happening in Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Haryana and Delhi right now.
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These four states currently have the highest R-values in the country, according to the estimates of Sinha’s team. Kerala, which a few months ago seemed to have been extremely successful in containing the spread of the disease, is in a midst of a big surge right now. In fact, its current growth rate is significantly higher than that of Chhattisgarh as well. It is getting reflected in the R-values as well, which for the most recent period, has been calculated to be 1.2.
Top ten states with maximum caseload
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Kerala reported more than 7,000 new infections on Saturday, its highest ever. In the last four days, the state has added more than 25,000 new cases. At the current rate, its likely re-enter the list of top ten states with highest caseloads in the country in the next couple of days. Kerala has 1.67 lakh people who have been infected with the virus so far. The state with the tenth highest caseload, Bihar, has 1.77 confirmed infections, but it is barely adding about 1,500 new cases every day.
At the national level, the recent trend of recoveries outnumbering the detection of new infections was maintained on Saturday as well, when 88,600 positive cases were discovered, while a little over 92,000 patients were declared to have recovered from the disease. The total number of people who have so far been infected by the virus in India is now touching six million (60 lakh). Out of these, 49.4 lakh, or over 82 per cent, have recovered from the disease. So far, more than 94,500 people are known to have died due to the disease in India.