NEW DELHI: Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi, which account for nearly half the coronavirus caseload, are leading the country on the road to recovery. A clear decline of the disease is visible on at least three counts: a decrease in growth rate, an increase in doubling time and a reduction in positivity rate, an analysis of data by this newspaper of Unlock 2 period has revealed.
Maharashtra and Delhi, which figure on the first and fourth positions on the list of Covid-infections in the country, also registered a significant dip in the case fatality ratio by the end of Unlock 2 on July 31 compared to July 1.
Delhi has registered a complete turnaround and managed to do well on several counts, including bringing down its tally of active cases sharply by 61 per cent. "If the big states do even modestly well in improving the COVID-19 situation, it will have a significant impact on the overall situation in the country," said epidemiologist Jammi Rao, who has worked in public health both with in India and the UK.
During Unlock 2, 23 states, including large and populous states, bettered their own records. Of the total 36 states and Union Territories, as many as 15 showed noteworthy improvements in growth rate, doubling time and positivity rate compared to Unlock 1.
Besides Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi, other states that seem to offer hope are Gujarat, Telangana, Haryana, Assam, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Ladakh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Sikkim.
It was 1,80,298 cases as July began and the total case count by the month-end was 4,22,118. Although Maharashtra persisted with the highest caseload of Covid-19 and deaths in the country, it registered a dip in two important parameters: fatality ratio and growth rate.
From a growth rate of 3.09 per cent in June, Maharashtra managed to reduce it to 2.77 per cent in July. The case fatality ratio also dropped from 4.46 per cent in June to 3.55 per cent in July. While the cases were doubling almost every 22 days in June, in July the state registered a higher doubling rate of 25.27 days.
From July 1 till July 31, Maharashtra increased its testing by 114 per cent and the positivity rate came down from 21.98 per cent to 17.73 per cent . Recoveries in the state upped from 51.6 per cent to 60.6 per cent .
With the second highest number of cases and deaths, the state managed to improve the situation significantly. While Tamil Nadu recorded 94,049 cases on July 1, cases on July 31 was 2,45,859. T
he state saw an improvement in terms of growth rate from 4.58 per cent in June to 3.14 per cent in July, and the doubling time increased from 15.28 days to 22.29 for the corresponding period. The state also recorded over 120 per cent increase in testing. However, the case fatality rate marginally rose, from 1.34 per cent on July 1 to 1.60 per cent on July 31.
It is perhaps the only state that has showed a complete turnaround. The capital had 89,802 cases on July 1 and 1,35,598 on July 31. In terms of active cases, it had declined by 61 per cent by month-end. The growth rate of the infection was 4.88 per cent in June and this declined to 1.33 per cent in July. It also showed a marked improvement in doubling time, going up from 14.34 days in June to 52.63 days in July.
As for the positivity rate, on July 1 it was 12.23 per cent and on July 31 it came down to 6.25 per cent . Timely intervention followed by ramped-up testing and extensive isolation strategy of containment zones seem to have worked. While the growing graph of active cases began showing a decline in the second half of June, the city continued to maintain the trend in all of July.
It saw marginal improvement with the growth rate reducing from 2.15 per cent in June to 1.98 per cent in July and the doubling time increasing from 32.55 days to 35.35 days during the same period.
There were 1,868 deaths till July 1, which went up to 2,436 till the end of the month. A 100 per cent increase in tests was achieved, and the positivity rate declined from 9.60 per cent on July 1 to 4.31 per cent on July 31.
The state recorded a 370 per cent increase in testing in July. The massive increase probably led to a sizable change in the positivity rate. Telangana, which struggled with the highest positivity rate for most of June, managed to bring down its positivity rate from 24.04 per cent on July 1 to just 9.28 per cent on July 31.
The state also made progress in growth rate, which improved from 6.05 per cent in June to 4.22 per cent in July. The doubling time also improved from 11.57 days to 16.5 days.