Coronavirus cases in India: Stabilisation in daily count, decline in positivity rate; Here’s what the numbers show

By: |
August 20, 2020 10:06 AM

The daily number of Coronavirus infections has been oscillating in the range of 60,000 for the past two weeks which shows that the growth in the spread of Covid-19 is slowing down.

Ditto was the case when the daily count increased from the range of 40,000 cases a day to 50,000 cases a day.Ditto was the case when the daily count increased from the range of 40,000 cases a day to 50,000 cases a day.

The Covid-19 spread in the country, which had been consistently rising since the nationwide lockdown got lifted, has for the first time started showing signs of slowing down. Various critical parameters related to its spread like positivity rate, daily count of cases, or the reproduction number are showing signs that the spread of Covid-19 spread in the country might be reaching its peak the same way it is happening in countries like the United States and Brazil, according to an Indian Express report.

Stagnation in daily tally of Coronavirus
The daily number of Coronavirus infections has been oscillating in the range of 60,000 for the past two weeks which shows that the growth in the spread of Covid-19 is slowing down. In contrast to over 2 weeks time, the daily tally of Covid-19 cases graduated from 50,000 cases a day to 60,000 in only eight days. Similarly, the daily number of cases shifted from 30,000 cases a day to 40,000 cases a day in a week’s time. Ditto was the case when the daily count increased from the range of 40,000 cases a day to 50,000 cases a day.

Apart from the fact that the daily count has been hovering in the 60,000 range for the past fortnight, dipping of daily count on some days in the 50,000 range in the same period also offers a signal that the growth of the virus is not as fast as it was around 1 month ago. Similar trends were seen in the United States and Brazil which are two of the worst affected countries in the world. Recording more than 70,000 cases for four consecutive days in July, the daily count in the U.S fell down consistently and is presently in the range of 40,000-50,000 cases. Similarly, the daily count in Brazil also reached the peak of over 69,000 cases daily and then started declining.

Positivity rate
Positivity rate indicates the extent of the spread of a disease in the country. Consistently rising since the month of May, the positivity rate of Coronavirus reached the peak of 9 percent on August 9 in the country which meant that out of 100 people who were being tested, nine people on an average were testing positive to the disease. However for the first time since May, the positivity rate in the country started declining from August 9 and is now presently at 8.72%.

More importantly, during the time the country registered the relative stabilisation in the daily count of Coronavirus cases and fall in the positivity rate the country also ramped up testing to a large extent. In the first week of August, the country was testing about 6.5 lakh samples a day which has now increased to 8.5 lakh samples at present. Usually, when the number of Covid-19 tests increase, more cases get reported as more infected people get tested and are confirmed positive. However, the positivity rate has been declining and the daily count of Covid-19 cases is getting stable to a large extent.

Fall in Reproduction number and daily growth rate
The daily growth rate of Coronavirus in the country has reached an all time low at 2.49 percent. The Reproduction number, denoted by R, has also shown a massive decline. In the period between August 11 and August 15, the Reproduction number remained 1.06 which means every 100 infected people in the country are capable of transmitting the virus to another 106 people. Significantly, according to various health experts, when the R number of a pandemic slides down below 1 then it signals the imminent end of the pandemic. However, it would be too early to conclude that the growth of the virus has slowed down effectively in all regions of the country.

Possible reasons for slowing down of infection
A recent serological survey conducted by the health authorities in the city of Pune suggested that over 51 percent of the population had got infected with the virus. While the rate of infection is not as widespread uniformly across the country, many serological surveys starting from the national capital to other regions have shown that more people have contracted the virus than the officially confirmed cases of Covid-19. With more people having already got infected, the virus finds less carriers to transmit the virus among the non-infected population.

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