After showing signs of slowing down for three days, the number of new Coronavirus cases in India has shown a sharp jump on Wednesday, even as 30% of those tested in Delhi returned positive on that day.
Delhi reported an all time record of 2,414 new cases on Wednesday, with experts pointing out that the actual COVID-19 cases in big cities of India is likely to be much much higher than official figures.
On Wednesday, Delhi tested 8,093 people and is set to increase the number of daily tests to 18,000 over the next few days.
The ratio of positive cases is in line with a leaked ICMR survey that reportedly found that as 20-30% of the people in India’s COVID-19 hot spots have already caught the virus.
Maharashtra, another area of concern, too reported near record levels of fresh cases on Wednesday.
The state saw 3,307 new cases, slightly less than the all time high of 3,607 new cases reported last Thursday. Two thirds of the cases reported from Maharashtra on Wednesday are from Mumbai and Thane.
Numbers from two other states — Uttar Pradesh and Haryana — also set new records.
Haryana reported 560 new cases — the latest in a series of new peaks — while Uttar Pradesh reported 583 new cases.
Haryana typically tests around 5,000 people a day, indicating that the percentage of positive cases has crossed the 10% mark for those tested.
Uttar Pradesh has been testing around 15,000 people per day, indicating that only around 4% of the tested samples are turning positive as of now.
Numbers from Uttar Pradesh and neighbor Bihar have surprised many experts, given that these are the states that bore the brunt of the reverse migration of out-of-work daily wagers from hot spots like Mumbai, Delhi and Gujarat.
A whopping 45 lakh workers are estimated to have returned to Uttar Pradesh in the last one month or so from places like Mumbai and Delhi. Even if 1% of these people were carrying the virus with them, the total number of cases in Uttar Pradesh would be 45,000 — nearly three times the official figure for the whole of the state.
Similarly, around 40 lakh are estimated to have returned to Bihar, but the total number of Coronavirus cases reported so far from that state so far is just 6,940.
In other words, Bihar has reported 1 positive Coronavirus case for every 1,000 migrant worker who has returned to the state — at a rate of around 150 new cases per day against an inflow of 1.5 lakh people each day.
In comparison, a state like Kerala is reporting 1 positive case for every 310 returning migrants. The state is reporting around 80 fresh cases per day and gets around 25,000 returning migrants per day.
Meanwhile, despite the strong increase reported by India, the country continues to be quite a distance behind the US and Brazil, which currently dominate the global chart of new infections.
Brazil reported 37,278 new cases on Tuesday — the second highest daily COVID-19 tally reported by any country ever. The record for the highest ever additions in a single day is held by the US, which saw 39,072 new cases added on April 24.
On Wednesday, the US has so far reported 26,071 new cases.
The rate of daily additions in the US has remained stable at around 22,000 for nearly a month after showing a declining trend from early April — when it was adding around 30,000 new cases per day — through May 10.
The disruption in the decline is attributed to decisions by certain states, especially those ruled by the Republican party, to relax lock-down restrictions 2-3 weeks ago.