India’s COVID count crosses 5 million; last 10 lakh took just 11 days

Country now has 5.02 million cases, with a growth rate that will soon take it past the US; death toll stands at 82,066

India has been conducting an average of 10 lakh tests every day for the last two weeks. File photo: PTI

India crossed the five-million mark in COVID-19 cases on Wednesday (September 16), accounting for about one-fifth of the global count.

The country now has 5.02 million cases, with the death toll at 82,066, and is on course to overtake the US as the nation with the highest number.

India reported the last one million cases in just 11 days, at an average of 90,000 cases daily, against the 135 days it took for the first one million cases. At this rate, India may soon overtake the worst-hit United States of America (USA) in terms of number of cases, predict various scientific models. The US has reported a total of 66.06 lakh cases as of Wednesday.

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India took 21 days to reach two million from one million and reached the three-million mark on August 22. Later, in the next 13 days, it added one more million cases to take the total count to four million.

Even though the daily count has come down in the last four days, it is still hovering over 90,000. However, the current growth rate of 1.8 per cent is probably the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic.

While India’s death rate of 1.63 per cent — about 163 people succumbing out of every 10,000 infected — looks low, the fact is that the death toll of  82,066 is about 10 per cent of the 9.35 lakh deaths all over the world till date.

Also, the number of daily cases vis-a-vis recoveries does not show any promising trend. Since September 1, there has not been a single day when the number of recoveries has exceeded the count if new cases. Since September 1, the average daily difference has been more than 14,000 cases.

However, the gap is reducing, indicating India may soon flatten the curve. In other words, the spread of infection will reduce.

The test positivity rate (TPR) for India is 8.44 per cent as of Wednesday. However, the daily TPR had been in the range of 7-8 per cent over the last two weeks. The country needs to lower the positivity rate to curb the growth of infection.

India has been conducting an average of 10 lakh tests every day for the last two weeks. As on date, there are 1,055 government labs and 681 private labs across the country for testing samples for coronavirus. 

Every day, a new state has been crossing the one-lakh cases mark. As of now, 14 states have reported more than a lakh cases each. 

Maharashtra has been mainly responsible for the surging number of cases. The state crossed the 10-million last week. It is followed by Andhra Pradesh (5.83 lakh cases), Tamil Nadu (5.14 lakh cases), and Karnataka (4.75 lakh cases). The states of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are reporting the highest growth rate these days.

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