Despite record spike, India’s Covid tally 8 times less than 11 other worst affected countries combined together

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | | Edited by Abhinav Sahay
Jul 19, 2020 11:57 AM IST

The government has maintained that India has managed to slow down the spread of the disease making it more manageable.

India’s Covid tally may be zooming with record daily spikes being registered regularly but a deeper look at the statistics reveal the contagion situation in the country is better than several others, claimed the union health ministry through release of data comparing India with other 11 worst-affected countries.

India has conducted less number of tests per million of population compared to most other worst affected countries.(HT Photo)
India has conducted less number of tests per million of population compared to most other worst affected countries.(HT Photo)

While India’s 38,902 cases reported on Sunday- the highest for any 24 hours period so far—took the country’s tally to 1,077,618, the health ministry data shows that this is still eight times less than the number of cases recorded so far in 11 other worst-affected countries including the US, Brazil, Russia, Peru, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, U.K, Iran, Pakistan and Spain.

India’s total casualties due to coronavirus disease have reached 26,816 with 543 deaths reported over the last 24 hours, however, in comparison with the countries named above, the figure is still 14 times less, says the data released by the health ministry,

Also Read: India reports record 38,902 new Covid-19 cases in one day, tally over 10.77 lakh

“The 11 most Covid19 affected countries in the world (U.S, Brazil, Russia, Peru, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, U.K, Iran, Pakistan, Spain) together reported 8 times more cases and 14 times more deaths than India,” the tweet posted on central government’s press communication department’s website said.

The combined tally of coronavirus cases logged so far in the US, Brazil, Russia, Peru, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, U.K, Iran, Pakistan and Spain stands at 9,178,595 on Sunday morning, as per These countries’ combined death toll stands at 392,460.

According to the health ministry data, India’s containment efforts appear even more credible given the combined population density of these countries being 5 times less than India’s.

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The government has often said in the past that judging the success of India’s coronavirus containment efforts by merely looking at the total number of infections—which places the country in the third spot around the globe— will not convey an accurate assessment of the situation. The government has often argued that the nationwide lockdown along with the enhanced focus on surveillance, testing, treatment and isolation has slowed down the growth of the disease, making it possible to save more lives without letting the growth of the infection explode beyond the point of control and realm of effective management.

India took about 110 days to go from 1,000 confirmed cases to a million unlike the United States and Brazil, which took 49 and 91 days respectively, to cross the grim milestone after reaching the first 1000 cases.

The numbers are also encouraging from the point of view that India is the second most populated country in the world, with a population of at least 1.3 billion, and the caseload of a million means that only about 0.07% of the country’s population has been infected with the coronavirus. This is the lowest share of the infected population among the five countries with the highest number of confirmed cases.

In comparison, the United States with nearly 3.7 million confirmed cases and a population of 328 million has 1.13% of its population infected by the disease.

However, the number of tests conducted presents a different picture, which may not be very favourable for India. The US with 143,759 tests per million, Brazil--23,096 tests per million, Russia-- 169,092 tests per million, South Africa--40,826 tests per million, Peru-61900 tests per million, Chile--72,596 tests per million, Spain- 128,892 tests per million, UK-193,109 tests per million and Iran- 25,267 tests per million, are far ahead of India’s 9,989 tests per million. Only Pakistan and Mexico among the 12 worst-affected countries have conducted less tests per million—at 7,788 and 6.315 respectively, according to

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