Covid-19: Here’s how increased testing is reducing Coronavirus deaths in India

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Updated: Jul 11, 2020 10:22 AM

In the case of Mumbai, death rates rose from 5.3% on June 17 to 5.8% on July 9, probably because the city’s testing levels have remained constant in the 4,000-5,000 range for some time now.

For Madhya Pradesh, testing improved to 1.8 times and death rates fell from 4.3% to 3.9%.For Madhya Pradesh, testing improved to 1.8 times and death rates fell from 4.3% to 3.9%. (Representative image)

Even as India’s testing levels for Covid-19 have increased from a few thousand a day to about two lakh a day, interestingly, the death rates have also come down. This trend is true at the level of individual cities as well. It appears that as testing levels increase and more Covid-19 cases are detected, two things happen. One, people are shifted to corona-care centres or hospitals and as they get the appropriate level of care – including oxygen support – fatalities fall. Second, as people test positive, they are immediately quarantined; in the absence of testing, these people would have infected others

Between June 17 and July 9, India’s daily increased rose 60% while the death rate fell from 3.4% on June 17 to 2.7% on July 9. The same holds for Delhi; while testing increased 2.8 times, the death rate fell from 4.1% to 3%. For Madhya Pradesh, testing improved to 1.8 times and death rates fell from 4.3% to 3.9%.

In the case of Mumbai, death rates rose from 5.3% on June 17 to 5.8% on July 9, probably because the city’s testing levels have remained constant in the 4,000-5,000 range for some time now.

As has been the case with the number of infections, two thirds of India’s deaths have also come in the last one month. An interesting data point here is that cities that test more tend to have lower deaths. Delhi tests more than four times the number that Mumbai does and its death rate is 3% versus Mumbai’s 5.8%.

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