State infections are rising faster than cities, share of cities is falling
On May 3, when the government announced the third lockdown Mumbai accounted for two-thirds of Maharashtra’s cases, as Unlock 1 comes to an end, Mumbai’s share has fallen to 45%. Kolkata’s share has come down from 52% to just little under a third, Ahmedabad and Indore have been no different with their shares coming down since. The only city to have trumped this trend is Chennai, its share in Tamil Nadu’s infections has gone up from 45% to a staggering two-thirds.
Other than Chennai, in every case, the growth of infections in the state has been much slower than that of the principal. So, in the case of Mumbai the number of cases grew 2.4% per day since June 1 (Unlock 1), whereas for Maharashtra the growth as 3.4%. In the case of Indore, infections grew by 1.1% per day, as compared 1.9%. For Ahmedabad, it was 2% versus Gujarat’s 2.9%.
An analysis of data also shows that infections seem to be moving to the suburbs now. Satellite centres to Mumbai and Delhi are growing faster than the cities themselves.
In Mumbai, for instances, cases grew 1.9 times since the start of the lockdown, but for Thane the growth was 2.4 times. Palghar cases grew 6.4 times since June 1. For Navi Mumbai, growth was 2.7 times. Panvel, although not adjoining Mumbai had a growth of 3.9 times.
In the case of Delhi too, situations were no different. NCR with over 1 lakh cases, saw growth rates higher than the national capital with Meerut being the only exception. Gurugram, which has crossed the 5,000-case mark had cases growing 16 times since June 1 or start of Unlock 1. Faridabad had a 14-time jump in positive cases and Sonepat witnessed a 7-times jump. On the Uttar Pradesh side, in Ghaziabad and Noida cases increased 5.5 and 5.9 times. Meanwhile, Delhi’s growth was 5.4 times.
Suburbs are still better prepared than rural centres. If cases shift to the countryside death rates would also be higher as hospital infrastructure is scarce. A recent study by Centre for Policy Research, Georgetown University and University of California-San Diego had shown that over two-third of healthcare providers in rural areas did not have a formal medical education degree.