With an addition of 127 cases so far today, the western Indian state of Gujarat has dislodged the national capital Delhi as the state with the second highest number of Coronavirus 2019 cases in India.
The state, which also crossed the 2,000 patient milestone today, also has the highest death rate — along with Madhya Pradesh — among all resolved COVID-19 cases.
SURGE IN NUMBERS
The total number of COVID-19 cases reported from Gujarat so far is now at 2,066, out of which almost a thousand have been added in the last four days alone, according to crowd-sourced data sharing platform Covid19India.Org.
Out of the 2,066 cases, 1,858 are currently infected.
Gujarat is second only to Maharashtra in reporting a high number of fresh cases of Coronavirus infections over the last four days.
The state has reported 977 new cases between Thursday and Monday, second only to Maharashtra, which reported 1,465 cases during the same four-day period.
In comparison, Delhi reported only 441 new cases and Madhya Pradesh only 321 new cases for the same period.
Rajasthan, another hotspot, reported 445 new cases between Thursday and Monday.
According to the latest numbers, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have substantially higher death rates compared to other states of India.
A total of 77 people have so far succumbed to Coronavirus infection in Gujarat, while only 131 have recovered.
In other words, a whopping 35% of all resolved cases of Coronavirus infections in both these states resulted in deaths, with only 65% making a recovery.
Even Maharashtra, considered the COVID-19 capital of India, had a lower death rate of 28.9% among its resolved cases.
Another state with a relatively higher death rate from resolved COVID-19 cases is Punjab, with 29.6% of all resolved cases ending in death.
Delhi, despite having a high number of cases, recorded a death rate of just 9.8%, meaning that only 1 out of 10 cases with an outcome ended in a death, compared to over 1 in 3 cases in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
The comparable death rate is about 1 in 8 for Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, and around 11% (or about 1 in 9 cases) for Telangana and Rajasthan.
It was, however, higher for Andhra Pradesh, at 17.9% — or about 1 in 5.6 resolved cases have resulted in deaths in that state.
It should, however, be noted that the death rates are likely to come down as these states manage to catch COVID-19 cases in the early stages and give proper care to the infected people from the early stages.
Most of the initial cases that come to light in a state tend to come to light in advanced stages, reducing the chances of a recovery and increasing death rates.
Another factor that brings down the death rate is the detection of asymptomatic individuals through widespread testing, as is being rolled out in Delhi.
On the other extreme, in terms of death rates, are states like Tamil Nadu, Haryana and Kerala.
Only 0.7% of all resolved cases in Kerala resulted in deaths, meaning that only 1 in 148 resolved cases resulted in deaths in this state.
In Haryana, the number was 2.1%, or about 1 in 48.
The death rate was 3.6% — or 1 in 28 — in Tamil Nadu.
The relatively strong performance of Haryana, in comparison to its neighbors like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, is attributed to the fact that a large chunk of the early COVID-19 patients in the state were IT and MNC employees from Gurgaon. These patients, who belong to the upper strata of the society, presumably had better access to timely healthcare, allowing them to make a full recovery.
The higher-than-average numbers for Kerala and Tamil Nadu is attributed to the relatively strong public health facilities as well as the high number of asymptomatic individuals that helped ‘dilute’ the death rates.
On a pan-India level, around 15%, or 1 in 6.5, cases that have so far given an outcome have resulted in deaths.
This is better than comparative numbers for many other countries, such as the US, where 37% of the cases were resolved by death, and France, where the number was 35%.