The current growth of 3.7% per day in Unlock 1, though, is large enough for India to replace Russia within 10 days as the world’s third-highest number of infections.
The rapid rise in Covid-19 infections, more than anything else, would have made most believe the first phase of ‘Unlock’ (from June 1 till date) would see growth rates slowing; by June 1, India had 1,90,535 number of Covid-19 infections. While this has happened for the country as a whole – daily growth rates fell to 4% in Unlock 1 versus 5.1% in Lockdown 4 which lasted from May 17 to 31– it is not true of several large states. The current growth of 3.7% per day in Unlock 1, though, is large enough for India to replace Russia within 10 days as the world’s third-highest number of infections.
Daily growth rates in infections have slowed in Mumbai, but it has risen in the case of states like Haryana (see graphic). Other regions that recorded a faster growth rate in Unlock 1 than in Lockdown 4 are Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Telangana. Both Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have seen their growth rates remain unchanged.
Haryana grew the fastest among major states, registering a daily growth of 7.3% in cases. Punjab, which has until now, had a muted growth, grew at 3.1% in Unlock 1 as compared to 1% in Lockdown 4. Delhi, despite its large base, has grown at considerable 5.5% since June 1. Telangana is emerging as another troubled state as its growth rate has nearly doubled to 6.5% ever since it started ramping up testing in the region.
Fortunately, some states have started slowing down as well. Maharashtra, possible helped by low levels of testing, has registered only a 3.4% growth in cases in Unlock 1. Madhya Pradesh, despite an increase in testing, has successfully brought down its growth rate. Gujarat and West Bengal have also seen a dip in growth but, given both states have not ramped up testing, this may not be indicative of the true situation on the ground. A recent sero-survey in Kolkata showed that of the 396 samples tested, 14% had developed antibodies to fight Covid-19; yet, Kolkata reports only 5,573 cases.