Coronavirus India tracker: The number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in India has crossed 29.75 lakh and the country has the third highest coronavirus cases in the world, besides being the biggest epicenter of Covid-19 cases in Asia. For the past 10 days, more than 55,000 cases have been reported in India every day. On August 22, India saw its highest single-day spike with 69,878 new cases being reported. Thirty-five of the country's 36 states and Union Territories have reported Covid-19 cases so far. Only Lakshadweep has not reported any case so far.
However, despite all this, the central government continues to maintain that community transmission has yet not taken place in India.
According to the latest data put out by the Union health ministry, as on August 22, the number of Covid-19 cases in India was 29,75,701, of which 22,22,577 have recovered and 55,794 have died so far.
Among states, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are the hotspots for Covid-19 cases. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Karnatka have also reported the highest number of Covid-19 deaths, accounting for more than 65 per cent of the country's Covid-19 toll.
The scale of this health emergency is such that a country inhabited by nearly 1.3 billion people had been under a severe lockdown from March 25 till May end. This was by far the biggest lockdown in the world. However, with cases continuing to rise, states after states have gradually started going back to the lockdown phase to restrict the spread of the viral infection.
This health emergency has put immense pressure on the country's healthcare system and the economy has been severely disrupted. The International Monetary Fund has predicted that India's GDP growth for 2020-21 will fall to 1.9 per cent, while the global economy is expected to suffer a loss of $9 trillion.
To help explain the scale of the coronavirus outbreak in India, IndiaToday.in brings to you this daily tracker on Covid-19 cases in India.
(Figures and charts used in this report are updated daily and are based on the data displayed on the website of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Individual state governments may have different numbers. (Read footnote for details on our methodology.))
Coronavirus cases: The national picture
The geographical spread of coronavirus outbreak in India has now extended to 35 states and Union Territories with Sikkim being the latest to report a Covid-19 case.
The first Covid-19 case in India was reported on January 30 in Kerala's Thrissur district. The patient, a student studying in Wuhan, China (the epicentre of the novel coronavirus pandemic), had returned home on account of the Lunar New Year festivities in China.
In a span of four days, two other cases were reported in Kerala--in Kasaragod and Alappuzha districts--prompting the state government to declare a state-level emergency on February 3. These two patients were also students who had returned from China.
Following detection, the three patients were immediately put in isolation at state medical facilities and over 3,400 people who were suspected to have come in their contact were quarantined and observed for novel coronavirus-related symptoms. Days later, the three patients were discharged upon recovery.
The second batch of Covid-19 cases was reported in the first week of March in Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Bengaluru.
How Covid-19 cases are rising in India
As mentioned above, the first Covid-19 case in India was reported on January 30 in Kerala's Thrissur district and by February 3, India had three confirmed Covid-19 cases.
India did not see any new case for nearly a month, until March 2 when two positive cases were reported, one each in Delhi and Hyderabad. Both the patients had a travel history to countries already affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The graph below shows the trend that Covid-19 cases have followed in India.
Good news! People are recovering too
While the number of new Covid-19 cases in India have been rising rapidly with tens of new cases being reported, there is also some positive news.
Some of the patients who were admitted and put in isolation after they tested positive for Covid-19, have recovered and been discharged.
The first three cases in India were reported in Kerala between January 30 and February 3 and were put under isolation. However, later in February they recovered and were discharged.
Since then, more patients have recovered in India.
India's first 50 Covid-19 cases
While most patients in India have had a travel history to countries that have reported a high number of Covid-19 cases, of late there have also been many cases where local transmission (i.e. people contracting the disease in India) has been reported.
IndiaToday.in had earlier analysed travel histories of the first 50 Covid-19 patients in India. Our analysis showed that 39 of them had a travel history to a country that was already affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The remaining 11 contracted the disease through local transmission in India.
These first 50 Covid-19 cases were reported from: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, J&K and Ladakh.
The global picture
The interactive dashboard below has been prepared by the World Health Organisation and monitors Covid-19 cases on a daily basis. You can explore the dashboard to find global trends and developments in regards to the coronavius pandemic.
(NOTES ON METHODOLOGY:
How we collect data?
The figures used in this report are based on the numbers put out by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The ministry collects data from individual states and keeps updating the tally on its website multiple times in a day. But since there is no fixed time when these numbers are updated, we don't update our numbers throughout the day. Instead, we take the numbers that are available on the ministry's website at 11.59pm every day. Besides this, at times the ministry's website releases an overall figure with a note saying state-wise details are awaited. For our report, we DO NOT take the overall figure unless it matches with the state-wise breakup.
*Since May 6, the Union Health Ministry has decided to issue only one daily bulletin on Covid-19. It is released at 8 am every day.
Any limitations in this?
While this method helps us track Covid-19 cases in an ordered manner with state wise numbers for each date, it has certain limitations. Unlike the World Health Organisation that releases a daily situation report, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare doesn't.
Besides this, it is possible that a case that was declared positive by a state government on Monday, was not reflected in the central government's numbers for that day because there was a delay in the state submitting its report to the Centre. (There have been such instances. Example: The first case in West Bengal was reflected in the Centre's list one day after the state government announced it.)
In such cases, the case would be reflected in the Centre's list on the next day (i.e. Tuesday, a day after it was actually detected). For the sake of uniformity, in this report we are strictly following the numbers put out by the central government. However, despite this limitation (in terms of occasional delayed reporting), the methodology we have adopted ensures all cases that have been detected are added in our figures.
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