India’s coronavirus case trajectory worse than United States, Brazil

Updated on Aug 07, 2020 07:18 AM IST

Though India has performed better than the two nations on several parameters such as case fatality rate (CFR) and recoveries, its steady rate of increase of Covid-19 cases raises serious concerns about a potential surge.

Private security guards wait to be tested for coronavirus infection, at Sector 46, in Noida on August 04, 2020.(Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)
Private security guards wait to be tested for coronavirus infection, at Sector 46, in Noida on August 04, 2020.(Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

India’s trajectory of cases at two million cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is more dangerous than what it was in the United States and Brazil when these countries hit the same grim landmark, shows an analysis by HT. This suggests that India’s caseload could surpass the tallies in these two countries unless the trend reverses or a vaccine is developed.

Though India has performed better than the two nations on several parameters such as case fatality rate (CFR) and recoveries, its steady rate of increase of cases raises serious concerns about a potential surge, keeping in mind the country’s population.

Also read| Covid-19: What you need to know today

Similarities in geography and demography have caused a prolonged outbreak of Covid-19 in these countries, which is largely responsible for these three nations to be the ones hit worst in the world. The US is the world’s third largest country by geographical area, Brazil fifth, and India seventh. As the infection wanes in one part of the country, it waxes in another. In terms of population, India is the second most populous country in the world, the US third, and Brazil sixth. Expectedly, per capita infection and death numbers are low for all three countries compared to smaller and less populous nations.

DOUBLING RATE

The doubling rate refers to the number of days it will take for any region to double its caseload. So if there were 1,000 cases in a region on a particular day and the doubling rate at the time was five days, it would mean that the cases would touch 2,000 five days later.

When Covid-19 cases in the United States touched two million on June 7, the country had a doubling rate of 60.2 days, and when Brazil hit the same caseload, its doubling rate was 35.7 days. As India touched two million cases on Thursday, it has a significantly worse doubling rate – 22.7 days.

Brazil crossed the two million-mark on July 16, incidentally the same day India crossed the million-mark. In the three weeks since, Brazil (which had twice India’s caseload to begin with), added a little over 850,000 cases while India added a million cases in the same time.

Also read| Covid-19: India posts its second million in just 21 days

In fact, if cases in India continue to grow at the same rate they have till now, the doubling rate suggests that the next million cases may take just a little over two weeks.

DEATHS, ACTIVE CASES & RECOVERIES

Active cases — those that are currently infected — form a crucial statistic as they directly influence the load on a region’s health care system. Of the two million cases in the US (when the US crossed that mark on June 7), 1,110,225, or 55.2% of the total caseload was active – the highest among the three counties.

 

India has the second-highest number with 605300 active cases, or 29.9% of the total caseload. In Brazil, 571,141 (28.34% of total cases) were active when the country reached two million cases.

The current proportion of active cases in the US is 45.7% and Brazil 26.1%. The US has thus far seen a total of 4.97 million cases and Brazil, 2.86 million.

Deaths is one category where India has performed significantly better than the other two countries. With 41,633 deaths till Thursday, India’s case fatality rate (CFR) of 2.1% is among the better in the world, and is lower than the global average of 3.75%. It is also significantly better than the CFR of Brazil (3.81% with 76822 deaths) and the US (5.72% with 115050 fatalities), when both countries hit the two-million-case mark.

In terms of recoveries, the US fares the worst among the three countries with only 39.2% (785,657) of its two million cases recovered. Brazil and India with 67.8% and 68.1% of cases having recovered, have done much better.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Jamie Mullick works as a chief content producer at Hindustan Times. He uses data and graphics to tell his stories.

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