India Fight Against Coronavirus: Observation from 8th June 2020 Data

A few observations from 8th June 2020 (National Data) on coronavirus pandemic:-

1. COVID19 new case count increased by 8,444 on 8th June 2020. Daily count has decreased by around 20%. The 3-days average has also decreased to 9,942 from above 10,000 mark. The 7 days and 14 days averages increased to 9,651 and 8,641 new case counts. The 7 days and 14 days averages of new cases are increasing everyday. From the district level data, it is evident that coronavirus has reached the rural districts which were unaffected. The risk of community transmission in India is now an unfortunate reality, however is limited to specific areas. States can control the spread with strict policies in these hotspots. Whatever economic cost lockdown may have but locking down these hotspots strictly is the only way to stop the community transmission of the corona. From data, it seems that the daily case counts would increase to 15,000 in the next two weeks. But at the same time it is also expected once daily count increases to 15,000 mark, the peak of the corona curve will reach and from there a downward trend is expected. But the daily count of 15,000 will sustain for long.

2. Daily growth rate of the active cases increased 2.3% while the 7 days growth rates decreased to 1.96% and 4.2% on 8th June 2020. 7-days growth must keep on falling to flatten the swelling corona curve.

3. The doubling period of active cases has increased to 16.9 days on 8th June 2020 with a daily growth rate to 4.2%.

4. Doubling period of the confirmed cases was 16 days with a growth rate of 4.4% on 8th June 2020. The incremental decline in the growth rate continues increasing in the doubling period for long. This trend is good but this decline in growth rate should fall sharply for a trend reversal.

5. The gap between the confirmed and active cases per million is widening everyday at an increasing rate and has doubled. This is a relief as the stronger recovery rate would ease the increasing pressure on the very limited healthcare infrastructure and services. In the last five weeks, daily testing capacity has increased from an average of 5,000 to an average of more than 1,40,000 tests.

6. The confirmed as well as active cases per test is increasing for a long period. This increase in these two key indicators indicates that the fear of community transmission is becoming a reality now. To flatten the corona curve, India needs to reverse this upward trend and only testing would not suffice. India needs to strictly follow the social distancing norms. When the economy is being unlocked from the 4 episodes of nationwide lockdown, social distancing is the only way to stop transmission of coronavirus.

7. Recovery rate increased to 48.5% on 8th June 2020. This is good. Corona patients are recovering in an average 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.

8. Active vs recovered vs death as on 8th June 2020. With everyday passing, the proportion of recovered cases is increasing and the proportion of death and active cases are falling. For the first time the corona curve seems to be bending for many days in a row. If this trend continues, it will flatten the corona curve which India needs badly as the delay in flattening of the corona curve will have huge economic as well as opportunity costs.

9. Death to total confirmed cases has increased to 2.8% on 8th June 2020. However, the final fatality rate from COVID19 is expected to remain far below the mark of 3%.

10. The daily death count on 8th June 2020 fell below the 7-days average. 7-days average should start falling and it is possible only when there is proper medication. But at present reports are floating that patients are not being treated or admitted in hospitals. This will increase mortality rate. We all are paying economic costs but human lives must be saved.

11. However 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 5.54 against the world average of 53.82. It should also be noted that corona infection started accelerating very late in comparison to the rest of the world and that is the reason why India is still in a growth phase while most countries in the world are in a decline phase.

Rajeev Upadhyay

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