Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The country reported 25,152 new Covid-19 cases on Friday and 29,885 recoveries, leading to a decline of 5,080 in the number of active cases, as per data released by the Union health ministry. (BIPLOV BHUYAN/HT PHOTO.)
With fewer new cases being reported and a high number of recoveries, the active cases or those with a current infection of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) across India has reduced to just over 300,000 as on Saturday.
The country reported 25,152 new Covid-19 cases on Friday and 29,885 recoveries, leading to a decline of 5,080 in the number of active cases, as per data released by the Union health ministry.
This puts the number of active cases per million in India at 223. In comparison, the United States has 21,612 active cases per million-population and Russia has 3,513, as per the health ministry’s data.
The country’s cumulative positivity rate – proportion of samples that return positive among total tested – has also been on the decline, reaching 6.25% as on Saturday. India has been testing over 1 million samples a day, with 160 million samples having been processed so far since testing began with just one laboratory in mid-January.
“The number of new cases and positivity rate in the country are likely to remain low unless there is some mutation in the virus. This is because a large proportion of the population has already been exposed to the infection, I think. Even though some parts of the country – especially rural India — have reported fewer cases than places like Delhi or Mumbai these are also places where fewer tests happened. And, with a much younger population in the rural areas most people must have recovered with a mild disease,” said Dr Jugal Kishore, head of the department of community medicine at Safdarjung Hospital.
He cited the farmer’s protest as an example where despite thousands of people living in close proximity, a high number of infections were not reported.
“In UK and other countries in Europe, there was a second surge in the number of infections when their lockdown or other restrictions were lifted. We had seen the same but our lockdown had ended early on when the number of cases was still high, masking the effect. Now, the numbers have come down,” said Kishore.
Since then, the number of labs performing Covid-19 tests has increased to over 2,000.
There are 15 states that have positivity rates lower than the national average, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha and Telangana.
In Delhi, despite the current decline in the daily positivity rate to below 2% for four days in a row, the cumulative positivity rate continues to be 8.06%. The city which has seen three surges in the number of infections had reported a positivity rate as high as almost 37% in June.
As per the data, there are 34 states which have a recovery rate higher than the national average. Recovery rate is the proportion of people who got the infection and recovered from it among the total who tested positive.
The states with the highest recovery rates include Andhra Pradesh with 98.7%, Odisha with 98.6%, Tamil Nadu with 97.3%, Karnataka with 97%, and Delhi with 96.5% among others.
Among these states, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Delhi are among the ten states that have reported the highest number of new cases on Friday. Kerala topped the chart with 5,456 infections reported in 24 hours.