15 districts across 9 states report over 50% Covid-19 cases: Ministry data

Union health ministry data shows that five districts -Mumbai, Indore, Jaipur, Pune and Ahmedabad - account for a third of all the coronavirus cases in the country.
A demonstration of swab testing process in progress at the newly installed testing centre at Poddar Hospital, Mumbai, Saturday, April 18, 2020.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
A demonstration of swab testing process in progress at the newly installed testing centre at Poddar Hospital, Mumbai, Saturday, April 18, 2020.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 19, 2020 09:35 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

The ministry of health finally updated on Saturday the number of cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) across districts, showing that the pandemic has now spread to 56% of India’s districts, but that 15 districts across nine states account for half the cases -- data that will come in useful as India opens up its unaffected (and relatively less affected) areas for business and other activities , albeit with social distancing and other norms, starting Monday. The data also shows that five districts, Mumbai, Indore, Jaipur, Pune and Ahmedabad, account for around a third of all cases.

The concentration is similar to that seen in other countries. In the US, New York State, for instance, accounts for 33% of all cases and New York City alone, 19%. In China, Hubei province accounts for 81% of the total cases.

To be sure, the data released by the ministry is only for 12863 cases . According to the ministry, on 18 April, there were 14,378 cases. The number of dead stood at 480. The ministry’s dashboard lags HT’s dashboard by a few hundred cases usually. HT’s dashboard is based on data from the Covid19india.org tracker and state health departments.

According to the data, 11,783 cases for which districts are known, have been reported from 406 districts, nearly 56% of the 731 districts in the country. All the analysis is based on these numbers -- 11783 cases across 406 districts.

There are 1,080 other people who have been found positive from Tablighi Jamaat members who were quarantined in Delhi. They have not been classified into any specific district -- perhaps because they come from all over and the March congregation of the Jamaat has emerged a super-event, infecting thousands directly and indirectly. On Saturday, the ministry said in a briefing that 4,291 Covid-19 cases around India are linked to the Nizamuddin Markaz cluster, and that the event has resulted in around 40,000 people being quarantined.

Even though 406 districts have reported cases of coronavirus, the 11,783 cases are not evenly distributed among them. More than 50% of these cases come from just 15 districts across nine states. These 15 districts are either predominantly urban areas or have a significant share of urban population. About one in three cases reported in India come from just five districts – Mumbai, Indore, Jaipur, Pune and Ahmedabad. Together, 4,137 cases have been reported from these five districts alone. Of them, Mumbai has the highest number of cases: 2070, or 17.6%, of all cases in the country. (See map)

 

Of the 406 districts which have reported cases, 226 have reported fewer than 10 cases. This analysis is important because it could decide which districts can partially lift lockdown restrictions after April 20. Of them, 68 districts have reported only one case, 41 have reported two cases, while 64 districts have reported three to five cases each.

That most cases are largely confined to big cities is evident with the city-level figures as some cities have more than one district. For instance, none of the 11 districts of Delhi appear in the list of 20 districts with the highest number of cases, but if Delhi is seen as one unit (say a single district), it appears in fifth place. Add to it 1,080 positive Tablighi Jamaat members, and Delhi is second to only Mumbai in terms of number of cases.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022