NEW DELHI: At a time when multiple cities in the country in states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana are shutting down due to an exponential rise in the number of novel coronavirus infections, there are some places that have managed to contain the spread of virus to a large extent, data analysed by this newspaper for the duration of Unlock 1 has revealed.
The biggest example of the turnaround is Meghalaya, where cumulative active cases dropped to 10 by June 30, which stood at 15 on June 1 when the government rolled out Unlock-1.
Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Mizoram are the six states/Union Territories that did not have any Covid-19 death by the end of June.
The states which recorded their first death during the Unlock-1 period were Tripura with a fatality rate of 0.07%, Ladakh with a fatality rate of 0.10%, Arunachal Pradesh with a fatality rate of 0.52% and Meghalaya with a fatality rate of 1.88%.
To take the example of a state with a fairly large population that has been able to bring the numbers down, one could look at Gujarat. It had 5,374 active cases in the beginning of June but was able to curb the growth of the virus and restrict the cases to just over 7,000 by the end of the month.
Compared to this, Maharashtra reported 37,543 active cases on June 1 and over twice as many cases by the end of Unlock 1 — 75,979. Gujarat, however, registered the worst fatality rate in the country at 5.66%, but that too was an improvement compared to its fatality rate of 6.17% on June 1.
Kerala, of course, has been one of the celebrated success stories across the world in the handling of Covid-19. When the fatality rate of most other states increased in June, Kerala’s fatality rate came down to 0.56% on June 30 compared to 1.88% in the beginning of the month.
West Bengal is another populous state whose entire health machinery was looking to be overwhelmed by the explosion of Covid-19 cases in the first few days of Unlock-1. But it was around June 14 when the upward trend of active cases was checked and the curve of recoveries rose sharply.
From having the fifth highest active cases in the country on June 1, West Bengal slipped to the ninth position in the all-India tally. The state also managed to bring down its fatality rate from 5.63% on June 1 to 3.59% on June 30.
Rajasthan, which became famous for its ‘Bhilwara model’, was another large state which was able to bring the spread of the virus under control.
From having seventh highest active cases of Covid-19 on June 1, Rajasthan slid down to the eleventh position by the end of June. The state had 2,688 active cases in the beginning of the month.
However, by June 30, it had a total of 3,375 cases, whereas most other states with a higher number of Covid-19 cases registered at least a two to three-fold increase in their number of active cases.
Consequently, Rajasthan registered a significant drop in the tally of its cumulative cases. From having fifth highest cases in the country — 9,100 cases on June 1 — the western state slid to the seventh position with 18,008 cases by the end of the month.
The sharp improvement in the situation could have probably come from its extensive testing and isolating strategy. When even the worst affected states like Delhi were conducting only 8,000 tests in the beginning of June, Rajasthan was conducting around 12,000-15,000 tests daily.