As India ramps testing to stimulate the fight against COVID-19, the growth of active cases has come down to as low as 1.7 percent, so doubling in 41 days. The positivity rate has remained in single digit in most of the states except Delhi and Maharashtra.
Testing capacity has gone up exponentially with 1.9 Lakh samples tested in the last twenty-four hours and the number of daily tests is expected to cross 2 lakh soon. Out of 1.9 lakh samples tested yesterday, 14,516 were found to be positive, thus putting positivity rate below 8 percent, or in single digit.
In the last 24 hours, more than 9 thousand patients have recovered from the disease, with Rajasthan having the best recovery rate followed by Madhya Pradesh.
So far, India has tested more than 66 lakh samples, and 3.95 lakh of them were found positive. Out of the 3.95 lakh positive cases, 2.13 lakh have already recovered while 1.68 lakh are currently active, with around 13 thousand deaths.
The total number of recovered cases surpassed total active cases on June 10, and since then, it has been so, as the growth in the total number of active cases has come below 5 percent.
Recovery rate in India currently stands at 54 percent, far better than any other country with a large number of cases, and the death rate has been among the lowest in the world. Health ministry credited better management of the pandemic for high recovery and low number of deaths.
“The trend in the daily numbers shows an increasing rate of recovery, and an increasing gap between active and recovered cases. The increase in the proportion of recovered cases is a demonstration of India’s strategy of timely management of Covid-19,” said Health ministry in a statement yesterday.
If the recovery rate improves further in the next few days and the number of new cases remains constant, the number of active cases would start coming down as the daily recoveries would exceed the number of new reported cases.
As one can see in the graphic above, taken from Shamika Ravi’s daily update, India is on the path to flatten the curve. And, the curve is expected to be on a downward slope in the next few days.
India is the fourth most badly affected country in the world in terms of the total number of reported cases after the United States, Brazil and Russia. However, in all three countries, the recovery rate is very poor compared to India. The death rate is also very low in India compared to other affected countries like the United States, Brazil. India is on fourth in the total number of cases but on 8th in the number of deaths with the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Spain, and Mexico reporting higher number of deaths apart from the United States and Brazil.
Low growth in the number of active cases means Indian would not have to worry about bed or ventilator shortage, and every patient would receive good care, thus bringing death rates lower. “More patients getting discharged is a good sign. It will free up more beds for patients in need of admission,” said E Sreekumar, chief scientific officer, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology.
According to many experts, including Shamika Ravi, India’s foremost Covid-19 statistician, the death rate is the metric to focus on, as the number of lives we can save amid is what matters most.
“The government needs to focus on preventing deaths. If the fatality is 5 per cent, then 95 per cent should recover. This distinction between active and recovered cases is baffling,” said Jacob John, virologist and former chairman of Indian Council of Medical Research.
India’s Covid-19 fight is on the right path, except in few cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmadabad and Hyderabad, which are still reporting large of cases. The union and state governments need to focus on these areas to bring the number to further improve recovery and minimize the number of new cases.