NEW DELHI: The surge in coronavirus cases as well as deaths continued over the past seven days, making it the deadliest week yet of the pandemic in India. However, in what appears to be a silver lining in the Covid-19 numbers, the growth rate of both new cases and deaths has slowed considerably in the past week.
Covid-19 cases grew by a little over 4.3 lakh during the week (August 10-16) at a rate of 5.9%, significantly lower than the 10.9% growth in the previous week (August 3-9), when nearly 4.1 lakh new cases were detected. The week before that, July 27-August 2, had seen a growth of 16% in new cases, as per data collated from state governments.
This drop in the growth rate has come in the face of a rising number of tests. This week, over 52 lakh tests were conducted in India as compared with nearly 43 lakh in the earlier week, as per data from covid19india.org.
The slowdown in growth is evident even in absolute numbers. New cases this week were just a little over 24,000 higher than the previous week. Last week’s numbers were more than 40,000 higher than the week before (July 27-Aug 2), which in turn had seen over 51,000 more cases than the week preceding it.
The trend in Covid-19 deaths is similar. This week, 6,555 fatalities were reported in the country, a rise of 4.4% over the 6,279 deaths recorded last week. That week (August 3-9) had seen a 17.5% rise in deaths as compared with the preceding week, when 5,345 fatalities were registered at a growth rate of 16%.
It may be too early to conclude that the Covid-19 pandemic is slowing down in the country. But if this trend continues in the coming weeks, that conclusion would be obvious.
On Sunday, the number of fresh cases in the country dropped sharply from the previous day’s record surge of 67,000-plus infections, with 57,799 cases detected in the country. However, the drop could be due to a sharp decrease in testing due to the Independence Day holiday. The number of tests conducted on Saturday was 1.22 lakh less than the record 8.6 lakh tests on Friday, according to data from covid19india.org.
At 943, the number of deaths from the virus in the country dipped slightly but stayed above the 900 mark for the fifth day running. Meanwhile, recoveries from the infection rose to over 19.1 lakh while the number of active cases decreased slightly by over 100 to 6,83,279. This was the second time in August that active cases had decreased in a day. The previous instance was on August 4, when the number had dipped by over 800.
Maharashtra has crossed 20,000 Covid deaths on Sunday, with one-fourth of the casualties being reported in the 16 days of August. With an addition of 288 on Sunday, the state’s toll touched 20,037. Of these, 5,043 were reported in August, and Mumbai’s share for the month was down to 15%. Mumbai’s total is at 7,133 including the 47 reported on Sunday.
When Maharashtra had marked its first 10,000 deaths on July 11, Mumbai accounted for 52% of the deaths.
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Tamil Nadu’s Covid-19 toll on Sunday was just two short of Saturday’s record 127, and Chennai saw nearly 1,200 fresh cases for the third day in a row. A total of 5,950 cases were recorded across the state.
At present, Chennai has 11,498 active cases, nearly one-fifth of the active cases in TN (54,019).
Telangana on Sunday recorded nine deaths and 1102 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total count to 91,361 since the pandemic broke in March this year. While the total number of deaths reported across the state reached 693 on Sunday, the government said 68,126 patients have recovered from the virus with more than 2000 released on Sunday.
Watch Weekly Covid-19 cases hit new high but growth slows