India Fight Against Coronavirus: Observation from 18th June 2020 Data

A few observations from 18th June 2020 (National Data) on coronavirus pandemic:-

1. COVID19 new case count increased by more than 5% to 13,826 on 18th June 2020 with 7-days and 14-days averages of 11,829 and 11,026 respectively. A conclusive change in the trend before the 3rd week of July 2020 looks distant. The coronavirus has reached the unaffected rural districts but the numbers of positive are active cases in these rural districts are falling sharply. In specific areas of Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, community transmission is an unfortunate reality now. States can control the spread with strict lockdown in the hotspots irrespective of the economic costs to stop the community transmission and break the chain. The daily case counts are expected to hit the peak of 15,000 soon to stagnate for some time and then to fall.

2. Daily growth rate of the active cases decreased to 1.71% with a decreased 7 days growth rate to 1.93% on 18th June 2020. 7-days growth must keep on falling to flatten the swelling corona curve to enable the healthcare system to respond better to the pandemic.

3. The doubling period of active cases has increased to 36.2 days on 18th June 2020 with 7-days growth rate of 1.93%. However the increasing daily positivity rate is eroding all the gains.

4. Doubling period of the confirmed cases was 18.7 days with a growth rate of 3.7% on 18th June 2020. The incremental decline in the growth rate continues increasing the doubling period for long. A sharp decline in the growth rate will help flattening the corona curve.

5. The gap between the confirmed and active cases per million is widening everyday and has doubled to finally ease the increasing pressure on the very limited healthcare infrastructure and services in India. The daily testing capacity in India has increased from an average of less than 5,000 to an average of more than 1,50,000 tests in the last two months.

6. The overall positivity rate increased by 5 basis points to 5.93% with a decreased daily positivity at 7.8% on 18th June 2020 respectively. Community transmission in a few urban centres is a reality now. To flatten the corona curve, India needs to reverse this upward trend in the positivity rate. Testing and tracing alone wouldn't be enough. When India is unlocking, it needs to strictly follow the social distancing norms to break the chain but it doesn't seem to be a practice.

7. The overall recovery rate slightly increased by 90 basis points to 53.8% on 18th June 2020 with an increasing daily recovery rate. This incremental increase in the overall recovery rate should continue. Corona patients are recovering in an average period of 14-17 days. Considering the increasing number of patients and a possible community transmission, resuming economic activities to pre-COVID period would be a long drawn battle now and will take months before coming to a conclusion.

8. Active vs recovered vs death as on 18th June 2020. With every passing day, the proportion of recovered cases is increasing and the proportion of death and active cases are falling. The bent corona curve is moving in the unfavorable direction.

9. The overall fatality rate has slightly decreased by 3 basis points to 3.31% on 18th June 2020.

10. The daily death count has again fallen below 7-days average. The unusual growth in daily death count on yesterday was due to an audit of mismatching numbers in Delhi and Maharashtra. But at present media reports are floating that patients are not being treated or admitted in the hospitals. This will increase mortality rate. India is paying a huge economic cost to this coronavirus outbreak but human lives must be saved.

11. The numbers of patients in India are increasing but India is still doing better than most of the countries in the world on account of death per million with an average of 9.34 against the world average of 60.08. The coronavirus outbreak is in the growth phase in India as it happened very late in comparison to the rest of the world. When the world economy will start accelerating economic activities, India still will be struggling to contain the contagion.

Rajeev Upadhyay

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