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Indias corona curve still steep

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/india-s-corona-curve-still-steep-11586461242911.html

India’s covid-19 trajectory has seen several ups and downs over the past few days. The number of covid-19 positive cases spiked last weekend because of the huge number of cases among those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event at Nizammudin and fell ill later, but this has fallen slightly since then.

An analysis of the seven-day rolling averages of case counts across affected countries suggests that India’s trajectory remains steeper than most others in the continent. Compared to most other countries, India has seen faster growth in new infections and fatalities in the seven days till Wednesday, the Mint Covid Tracker shows.

An analysis of the seven-day rolling averages for states shows that Maharashtra is now emerging as the major hotspot in the country after having a relatively flat curve in the previous weeks.

The seven-day rolling averages help smooth volatility and daily reporting and is useful to gauge trends over time.

Tamil Nadu and Delhi, among the other major affected states, have seen a far steeper curve and cases in both these states are still mounting. Kerala, which had a steeper curve than Maharashtra some days ago has now managed to flatten its curve.

These numbers must, however, be interpreted with caution. While overall testing for covid-19 has been sparser in India than in other countries, there are sharp variations across states.

This suggests that the state-wise distribution of coronavirus cases could change rapidly and their trajectories could take sharp turns in the days ahead.

A study by public health researchers published on Monday suggested that Kerala, Goa, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Chandigarh have been more proactive in testing compared to other states. States such as Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, West Bengal, and Gujarat, which have low testing rates and relatively high fatality rates, may have missed several cases in their early stages because of low testing, according to the study published by the British Medical Journal blog.

As on Wednesday evening, Mumbai had the most number of cases across major cities, with nearly 700 confirmed cases.

Neighbouring Thane had 88. Pune has also emerged as a major hotspot in Maharashtra and in India, with 159 cases.

Delhi follows Mumbai in the list of most affected cities nationally with 576 cases. Indore in Madhya Pradesh with 213 cases, Chennai with 196, and Hyderabad with 192 cases, are the other major hotspots so far.

Places like Kolkata (24), Surat (22), Nagpur (20) and Kanpur (8) have relatively fewer cases compared to other big cities. However, it is worth keeping in mind that some of these cities lie in regions where testing centres are fewer and where state governments have been less proactive in testing.

The picture on city wise distribution of cases could change significantly over the next few weeks as testing is ramped up.

pooja.d@livemint.com

The Mint Covid Tracker will run weekly in the print edition. For daily updates to the tracker, visit https://www.livemint.com/topic/mint-covid-tracker

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