India’s Covid Tally Crosses Five Lakh As One Lakh Cases Added In Six Days 
Employees wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) are seen through a window of a customer’s vehicle at a Hindustan Petroleum Corp. gas station during a lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus in New Delhi, India. (Photographer. T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

India’s Covid Tally Crosses Five Lakh As One Lakh Cases Added In Six Days 

Covid-19 tally in India breached the five-lakh mark on Saturday as one of the world’s worst affected nations added around one lakh cases in six days.

India added 18,552 new cases over the last 24 hours, taking the total case count to 5,08,953, according to the Health Ministry’s update at 8 a.m. on June 27. This includes 2,95,881 recoveries and 15,685 people who have lost their lives because of the novel virus.

India’s daily cases have, on average, nearly doubled in the last week, adding more than 16,000 cases over the past week, compared with the U.S.’ 34,996 and Brazil’s 34,580 daily cases.

The pace of transmission of infection in the nation of 1.3 billion people continues to remain a cause of concern at a time when the rate has started to decelerate in some developed nations. Some other countries are already witnessing the second wave of infections.

India’s addition of daily cases is almost double that of the U.K., France, Russia, Spain and Italy—countries that witnessed a massive outbreak recently.

While India took about 131 days to reach 2.5 lakh cases, the virus count doubled to five lakh in just 19 days.

India’s Hotspots

Four states—Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Gujarat—account for two-thirds of India’s overall case count.

The national capital has emerged as the epicentre of the outbreak with more than 77,000 cases, overtaking Mumbai, which has started to show signs of recovery.

Among states that have more than 10,000 cases, Maharashtra continues to add around 4,000 new cases everyday, followed by Delhi at 3,400, Tamil Nadu at 2,882 and Telangana at 831 in the last seven days.

To be sure, Telangana has seen a sudden spike in the last five days, as it’s doubling rate—or the number of days it takes to double the number of cases—is 7.6 days. The southern state is followed by Delhi and Andhra Pradesh that are taking 13 days to double the viral infection count. That compares with the national average of around 19 days.

Haryana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are also doubling cases faster than the national average. However, Maharashtra—which has the highest number of cases in the country—has seen the pace of doubling slow down from 11 to 23 days.

Low Testing

India’s testing rate—which is lower than that in countries like the U.S. or the U.K.—continues to be a concern. It has been testing nearly 5,663 patients per million people, according to BloombergQuint’s calculations.

To be sure, India has increased its testing capacity over the past couple of months. It has so far tested more than 79 lakh samples as of June 27, and is, on average, now doing nearly 2-lakh tests everyday over the last week—up from about 1,00,000 tests a day little over a month ago. However, the positivity rate is also on the rise in Asia’s third-largest economy. In the first week of the lockdown, India reported three cases per 100 tests—which has now risen to 6 cases per 100 tests.

Concerns have also been raised over the diverse testing rates in different states. Maharashtra, for instance, is conducting 7,312 tests per million people—far lesser than Jammu and Kashmir’s 24,919 tests per million people or 24,540 in Delhi. India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh isn’t even reporting testing data.

Mortality Rate

India’s Covid-19 mortality rate is among the lowest in the world. The seven-day rolling average, however, suggested that fatalities in India are increasing, albeit slowly. The data showed while the country was adding, on average, 15 deaths a day in the first week of April that has now increased to more than 390 daily deaths.

The casualty rate, in terms of deaths per million people, is highest in Maharashtra, Delhi and Gujarat. While Delhi’s reporting around 133 deaths per million people, Maharashtra and Gujarat are reporting 58 and 28 deaths per million people, respectively.

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