Covid-19 cases in India are not just concentrated in a few states, they are highly concentrated in a handful of cities in these states.
A district-wise analysis of data for the 10 states with the highest number of positive cases in the country shows that just nine cities in these states account for two out of every three cases.
The nine cities—Delhi (all 11 districts), Mumbai (including Mumbai Suburban), Pune, Thane, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Indore, Jaipur and Chennai—had 46,941 cases as of May 13, which is 65.77 per cent of the total 71,372 cases in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
All these states recorded over 1,000 cases each. Only one other state — Telangana — had more than 1,000 cases, but district-wise data for it was not publicly available. Data till May 13 was taken from the state bulletins.
Within these 10 states, an analysis of case load distribution across districts shows that cases in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal were concentrated in very few cities. Two to three cities accounted for 70 to 80 per cent of the state’s total case load.
In Maharashtra, just three cities—Mumbai, Pune and Thane—accounted for almost 85 per cent (21,938 cases) of the state’s 25,881 positive cases.
Neighbouring Gujarat, too, had a high concentration of cases in a couple of cities. Out of 9,267 cases across 33 districts, more than 71 per cent, or 6,645 cases, were in Ahmedabad. If Surat is also taken into account, then these two cities had 7,612 or 82.2 per cent of the state’s case load.
Out of West Bengal’s 23 districts, Kolkata and Howrah accounted for 1,610 cases, which is more than 70 per cent of the state’s 2,274 positive cases.
In Madhya Pradesh, which has 52 districts and 4,173 cases, more than 70 per cent cases were in Indore and Bhopal. Chennai accounted for more than half of Tamil Nadu’s 9,218 cases. Jaipur and Jodhpur accounted for more than half of Rajasthan’s 4,307 cases. In case of Uttar Pradesh, five districts including Agra, Lucknow, Kanpur Nagar, Gautam Buddh Nagar and Meerut accounted for half of the state’s total case load of 3,758.
Cases in Andhra Pradesh were concentrated in half of its districts, but within them, the cases were more spread out. There were 2,100 cases in 13 districts, of which 81 per cent were in six districts. Three of Punjab’s 22 districts — Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Jalandhar—accounted for 653 cases or a third of the state’s total 1,924 cases.
These 10 states had 75 green zone districts with 534 cases, 160 districts in orange zone with 7,735 cases, and 89 red zone districts with 63,103 cases. The red zone districts accounted for 88 per cent of the cases in these states.
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