Only Germany had conducted more tests than India by the time it reached 1,000 COVID-19 deaths. And, at the 1,000-death mark, India’s ratio of positive cases to conducted tests (positivity rate) was the lowest of all countries.
This was found by The Indian Express analysis of data from the Oxford University and Global Change Data Lab dashboard, called Our World in Data. The portal feeds in testing numbers from individual government reports. Mortality numbers also come from government reports, via the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) database.
According to the analysis, 18 countries have had more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths. They are Germany, India, United States, Canada, Switzerland, Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Mexico, Iran, and Turkey, in order of highest to lowest number of tests done when the country reached this stage. There was no testing data available for Brazil, China, and Spain.
At the juncture of 1,000 deaths, the total case load was higher in Germany, the US, Turkey and China. This means that those countries had a smaller proportion of their cases dying. Their mortality rates per cent were 1.3, 1.5, 2.1 and 2.4, respectively. India’s current mortality rate is roughly 3 per cent.
Nine countries worldwide have conducted more than 7,50,000 tests, a number India surpassed on Wednesday. At this stage, only Russia and Germany had reported fewer deaths, and only Russia had reported fewer cases. The UK, Italy, Spain, Canada, Turkey and the US all had significantly higher deaths than India on the day they conducted just over 7,50,000 tests.
However, when it comes to comparisons with other countries when they were at India’s current caseload, India’s positioning slumps slightly. When countries hit their 32,000 case mark, six had fewer deaths than India (Peru, China, Turkey, US, Russia and Germany) while nine had higher deaths. Three countries had higher testing at this point (Russia, France and Germany), while no data was available for Spain, Iran, China and Brazil.
Even though India’s death count remains relatively low, the rate of increase in deaths is now relatively high. COVID-19 deaths in India are now doubling faster than the current rate in Italy, US, Germany, UK, Israel, Iran and Spain. India currently doubles death numbers every 11 days, on par with Turkey, Canada and Pakistan. The global death count is doubling every 17 days, according to the World in Data dashboard.
Testing, deaths and recoveries have varying definitions across the world, and therefore may limit comparisons.
In another trend, recoveries in India for the past two weeks have not been as uniform as they were during the first two months of cases. Initially India saw almost all its cases recovering in two weeks. Current recovery numbers are no longer as closely trailing the case load from two weeks ago.
When adding deaths (with a 14-day lag), the gap between cases and “completed” (death or recovery) numbers still remains. Thus, this most likely means that infection periods are longer than they used to be, statistical experts told The Indian Express. Some likely possibilities are that recoveries are taking longer or that infections are being diagnosed sooner.
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