Covid-19: As new cases start to decline, its time to ask if...

Covid-19: As new cases start to decline, its time to ask if India has hit a peak

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India continues to record a decline in new Covid-19 cases as well as in number of active cases. It’s the first time since the start of the pandemic that the total number of active cases in the country has seen such a sustained decline for 15 days in a row. This has happened even as testing levels have remained high. Does this mean India has hit a peak? A look at what the data show.

New as well as active cases are declining

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Proportion of active cases is falling

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Recovery rate is 84.7%

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Daily fatalities below 1,000, which suggests a decline in spread

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Most major states show a downward trend

Clear downtrend:
Maharashtra (daily new cases have dropped to 12k from 20k), Delhi, UP, AP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Haryana, MP, Punjab

Stable:

Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal

Uptrend:

Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan

Testing remains high, which suggests decline in cases not due to lower checks

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Experts say worst may be over but call for caution

  • Epidemiologists believe India might have reached its peak
  • Shielding the elderly should remain a priority
  • Coming festival season may lead to spike in the numbers once again
  • India’s tests per million still low relative to population size and need to rise

“We need to be mindful that variations in case count depend also on ratios of RT-PCR to rapid antigen tests and of new persons tested versus repeat tests. Daily death rates are better for tracking. Even if there is some underreporting, the signalto-noise ratio will not fluctuate as widely as in the case counts”

— K SRINATH REDDY, President, Public Health Foundation of India



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