Number theory | Covid-19: why India is on the right track now
India’s Covid-19 numbers have improved. The rate of new infections reported nationwide is at the lowest level in five months, data analyzed by HT shows. This is the first time that a drop of this magnitude and consistency has been recorded in the trajectory of Covid-19 in the country.
All the data suggest that this is the best situation the outbreak has been in in five months. A look at how the numbers show that India is battling the disease.
1. The daily case trajectory in India is the lowest in five months
On Monday, India recorded 22,022 new cases of Covid-19, according to HT’s Covid-19 dashboard. This is the lowest number of new infections reported nationwide since July 2, when the country recorded 21,853 daily cases. The seven-day average of daily cases, also known as a region’s case trajectory, reached 93,617 on Sept. 16, the highest on record to date. As of Monday, this number is 28,827, 69% less than the peak. The last time it was at this level was on July 15, or five months ago, when it was 28,594.
One of the best signs, however, is that there have been small fluctuations in the fall of the trajectory. The seven-day average has seen an almost constant decline since the peak in mid-September (barring a one-week fluctuation seen in the second half of November, mainly caused by the increase in cases in Delhi, West Bengal and Rajasthan).
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2. For the first time, the Covid situation is under control in all critical states in India.
Even after new cases from India peaked in mid-September, there were some regions still reporting increasing numbers, notably Delhi, Kerala, West Bengal, and Rajasthan. The third wave from Delhi, for example, was so strong that it caused a momentary spike in headline figures across the country in November. However, in the last fortnight, even that has been controlled.
As a result, for the first time since the outbreak took hold of the entire country, the numbers are declining in all major hot spot regions of the country. In India’s hardest-hit state, Maharashtra, the seven-day average of daily cases has dropped almost 82% from the peak of 22,149 seen on September 17. In Karnataka, it has fallen 87% from the peak; in Andhra Pradesh it is down 95%; it is 82% less in Tamil Nadu; and Kerala has seen a 47% drop from the peak seen in the state. Delhi, which has seen the latest peak (7,341 cases per day for the week ending Nov. 14), has also seen an impressive 71% drop from its peak.
Read also | India Bucks Global Trend, But Must Keep Its Guard Up In Covid Fight: Officials
3. Correct test: the positivity rate is the lowest in history
On Monday, 2.2% of samples tested in India tested positive, the lowest single-day positivity rate reported since April 25 (also 2.2%). The average rate of samples testing positive for Covid-19 nationwide dropped from 9.3% for the week ending September 22 to 3% for the week ending June 17, another trend that suggests an outbreak of contraction. In the nearly eight months since the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) had been releasing data on testing for Covid-19 in the country, this is the lowest rate that the average positivity rate has reached in India.
A declining positivity rate, along with a drop in new cases, suggests that the virus testing strategy is paying off. India’s testing rate (7-day daily testing average) has remained very close to peak levels – it has hovered around the million mark (963,800 samples were tested every day in the previous week) for the past week. last three months.
4. The secret of Delhi’s remarkable turnaround
Delhi was one of the key regions that defied the general trend when India’s first Covid-19 wave started to recede for the first time. While cases were down across the country in early October, the capital was seeing the start of the third wave. This wave peaked in mid-November and has undergone a remarkable change since then. The reduction in new infections has gone hand in hand with a drop in the positivity rate and a significant improvement in testing.
On December 15, for example, Delhi tested 85,105 samples for Covid-19, of which 42,056 were tested using the more accurate reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method. Both figures were single-day records for Delhi. But despite a record number of tests, the single-day positivity rate was only 1.9%; only once (April 6) Delhi ever reported a lower proportion of samples that tested positive. The average positivity rate on Tuesday stood at 2.7%, the lowest ever recorded. The average positivity rate should consistently drop to 5% or less if the tests are adequate and the outbreak is kept under control, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In Delhi, this has been below the threshold for nine days in a row.