India has flattened the Covid-19 curve. On all key parameters which indicate a slowing of the virus spread and execution of better containment strategies, the country as a whole is doing quite well since the last week of September. In terms of addition of new active cases, India saw a staggering figure of 97,570 on September 11, which is now being called the country’s Covid-19 peak day. In terms of daily deaths due to the disease, India registered its highest fatality on September 15, with 1,290 lives lost. India’s daily addition of cases has seen a decline for the better.
This has happened despite the fact that the country has improved its daily testing average after the peak, from 10.6 lakh on September 17 to 11.3 lakh on October 10. In the corresponding period of September, India was conducting about 79 tests per million population, which is now up to 84 tests per million people. India’s test positivity rate has also dropped to 6.7 per cent, which has been the average for the past couple of weeks. The country’s overall fatality rate, too, now stands at 1.52 per cent, which is amongst the lowest in the world. On Monday, India recorded only about 55,342 new cases, while on Tuesday, it recorded 63,509 new Covid cases. On the same days, the number of deaths stood at 706 and 730 respectively, marking a sharp decline.
As the country flattens the curve and emerges victorious in its fight against Covid-19 after all, one big state which is delaying India’s road to success is Maharashtra, which on all crucial parameters of Covid-19, is lagging behind the national averages. According to an analysis by Shekhar Gupta of ThePrint, all over the country, fatalities per million are about 80 (79.6 as of Tuesday), but in Maharashtra, they stand at 333 per million, which is four times the national average. Total deaths in India are numbered at around 1,10,100, out of which Maharashtra, which has 9 per cent of the country’s population, has contributed to 41,000 deaths. Therefore, 9 per cent of India’s population accounts for 41 per cent of the total Covid deaths in the country. Maharashtra also accounts for 22 per cent of India’s total cases.
Maharashtra’s case fatality rate is over 50 per cent more than the national figure of 2.67. A major problem is the state’s low testing figures, which according to Gupta should be anywhere close to four times more than the existing numbers. Few other states which are slowing India’s complete victory of the Chinese virus are Kerala, whose much-touted ‘Health Model’ seems to have collapsed, even as West Bengal’s worst days in terms of Covid-19 appear to be only beginning. Karnataka, too, is witnessing the fast-paced spread of the disease-causing-virus.
While India has certainly flattened its Covid-19 curve with the worst behind us, it by no means should translate into the people getting complacent and forgetting all about wearing masks and social distancing. With the festive season fast approaching, and the subsequent winters, it is of utmost significance that all Covid-related precautions are followed diligently by the people.