Covid-19: Why India stands out among worst-hit nations

NEW DELHI: Once leading the world in daily case count, India has shown a marked improvement in its coronavirus situation over the last few weeks. From hitting a peak of over 97,000 new cases in a single day last September, the country is now consistently reporting under 20,000 daily cases on an average. And while its battle against coronavirus is far from over, India’s Covid-19 graph does stand out when compared to some other badly-hit nations around the world.
Here’s an analysis …
Who’s at the peak
The United States leads the world when it comes to coronavirus infections and deaths. It has been reporting over 2 lakh cases daily for the last few weeks, with the average case count perilously close to its peak of nearly 3 lakh infections.
Similarly, the situation is also grim in UK, Brazil and Spain, all of which are reporting fresh infections that are close to the peak number.
The percent of the peak a country currently reports gives an idea of how far it is from containing the spread of the virus relative to the worst days of its outbreak.
In comparison, India’s current average daily case count stands at just 18% of its peak. If the declining trend holds, the percentage is expected to go down further.
Lesser deaths, more recoveries
India’s current recovery rate is at 96.5%, which is among the highest in the world.
When it comes to deaths, India has among the lowest case fatality ratio (CFR) vis-a-vis the worst-hit nations. The case fatality ratio is the percentage of deaths compared to the total number of cases.
India’s CFR currently stands at 1.4%. Meanwhile, Mexico has the highest CFR at 8.7%, way higher than others.
Lowest cases per million
India’s Covid-19 situation can also be understood through its average case count per million.
Despite being a densely populated nation, India has been reporting just over 7,500 cases per million people. The number is almost 1/10th compared to the US, which is averaging over 71,000 cases per million people.
And while India’s over testing rate is lower compared to other nations, there has not been a major decline in testing since India hit its peak in September. India was testing an average of 1 million people in the months of September and October, and the figures have now come down to 8 lakh per day. However, the proportionate fall in cases is much higher, indicating that the situation is under control
No more peaks?
For long, experts were divided over whether India would witness another Covid wave after the peak in September.
However, in December last year, several experts suggested that India may not witness another peak. Some said that if India does hit a new peak, it won’t be as bad as the first one.

This was evident from the constant decline in the case, or the flattening of the curve, over the last few months.
Meanwhile, countries like the UK and US continue to report record highs, with each peak worse than the previous one.
Both countries have already hit their third peak, with virus showing no signs of abating.

Asia