Covid-19: what you need to know today
Delhi is like France and India, the United States.
As intriguing as it is to explore the contours of this claim in all dimensions, the significance of this writer is solely about the trajectory of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic in these regions.
The third wave out of Delhi, for example, is already behind if the numbers are any indication, and this time (unlike the first and second waves in the capital), there has been and continues to be adequate evidence of the right kind for the Numbers stand up to scrutiny. The administration of the Union territory appears to be managing this wave reasonably well, not just managing the numbers as some regions have done.
The sharp third wave in Delhi deserves to be compared with the equally sharp second wave in France. The European nation has handled this wave well, although, unlike Delhi, it was forced to re-impose a blockade to control the increase in numbers. Indeed, for some time it seemed that daily cases in France would outnumber those in India, which would have been somewhat given the populations of the two nations. France’s is 67 million, about three times that of Delhi and 5% of India. The population of India is around 1.3 billion.
But what about the trajectory of India?
On Saturday, the country registered 41,799 cases, according to HT’s panel. Performed nearly 1.24 million tests. To date, India has conducted almost 150 million tests. That’s about 115,000 tests per million population.
According to the NYT database, India’s seven-day case average was 42,445 on Saturday. On November 1 it was 45,622. The average dropped a bit, especially over Diwali weekend, but has since stabilized. Given that the tests have not significantly decreased in this period (although much faster antigen tests are still being used than they should), this means that the second wave in India is starting off on a long plateau. Sure, another way to look at it would be that the country is enjoying (although that’s the wrong word in the context of the pandemic that has killed nearly 140,000 people here) a longer interregnum between the first wave and the second. Therefore, while India has returned to the red trend (meaning its 7-day average is below recent lows and is progressing slowly), in the database maintained by the Resource Center of Johns Hopkins Coronavirus, the curve path remains relatively flat.
Dispatch 212 from November 26 wrote about how the week starting today, Monday, November 30, will show whether or not the festivities of two weeks ago have had an impact on the number of Covid-19 infections in India, but if that it’s not like that. It happens, the trajectory of the pandemic in the country will follow that of the United States. This will hold even if the number of cases increases (but not much) due to the celebrations. From roughly the third week of August to the first week of October, the US enjoyed a similar relative respite, recording cases in the low 40,000 between the end of the second wave and the beginning of the third in that country. The third wave in the US gathered momentum in the second half of October and then really picked up speed for much of November. The seven-day average of cases peaked at around 176,000 on Nov.25, according to the NYT database, and was around 163,000 on Nov.28, but this may well be explained by lower testing and delays. in the reports around Thanksgiving weekend.
How long will India continue to see a pause (if you can call it that)? That’s a function of the assiduity with which people adhere to masking discipline and social distancing and the diligence of local administrations in testing and tracing.