India’s trajectory a worry as world nears 20 million Covid-19 cases
As the pandemic accelerates in some of the world’s most populous regions, 19,922,762 total cases of the coronavirus disease had been recorded across the world till late Sunday night with 731,747 fatalities.
India’s trajectory of daily cases of Covid-19 is now ahead of that of the United States’, making it the country with the highest number of daily infections, as total cases globally appear set to breach the 20 million-mark on Sunday night with the US, India and Brazil leading the surge in infections.
As the pandemic accelerates in some of the world’s most populous regions, 19,922,762 total cases of the coronavirus disease had been recorded across the world till late Sunday night with 731,747 fatalities — reflecting a global case fatality rate of 3.7%. Of these, 2,212,737 cases and 44,462 deaths have been reported in India (CFR of 2.01%), which is the third worst-hit nation in the world after the US and Brazil.
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In the seven-day period between August 1 and August 8, India reported 399,263 new Covid-19 cases against 384,089 cases in the US — the highest and second highest most daily cases globally. This is the first time the average weekly trajectory in India eclipsed United States’s, which has been hit the hardest by the pandemic by a significant margin. The average daily new cases over the past week indicates India may be beginning to close the gap.
To be sure, the US on Sunday reached the extraordinary milestone of five million cases, more than twice those in India. Even Brazil, which breached the three million-mark on Sunday, has nearly 800,000 more cases than India, so the latter may not be overtaking the two worst-hit countries any time soon.
Brazil had the third highest number of daily cases on average in the above mentioned time period – 304,493. In the seven days before that, India reported 366,196 new infections while the US reported 447,026 and Brazil 312,442, according to HT’s dashboard and Worldometer.
This is the first time in a month-and-a-half that any country’s cases have grown faster than the US’s. The last time this happed was on June 25, when Brazil was reporting a steady spike in cases and the second surge of cases in the US was only kicking off.
Among the three worst-hit nations, only India’s trajectory is currently rising — the other two have been reporting a near-steady decline in new infections over the past few weeks.
Together, US, Brazil and India were responsible for more than 1.1 million (61%) of the 1.8 million new cases reported across the world.
In all, infections have been reported in at least 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019. After a rapid initial outbreak, China managed to control the outbreak by the end of February (the nation has since dropped to the 30th place globally, with 84,619 cases). However, by then, the virus spread to several other countries, particularly in Europe. Italy became one of the earliest hot spots of the outbreak in Europe along with Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany.
The World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 outbreak a public health emergency on January 30, 2020, and a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
The US, meanwhile, has been the worst-hit nation in the world since it overtook China on March 26. As of Sunday night, it has more than 5,166,319 cases and 165,269 deaths.
In terms of continents, nearly a third (31%) of cases have come from North America, followed by Asia’s 25% of cases and South America’s 24% of cases. Europe accounts for over 15% of all confirmed cases in the world.
As countries across the world started lifting months of lockdowns induced by Covid-19, many that had largely controlled a first wave, started seeing a second wave of cases. Key among them was the United States, but cases have also been rising in Europe the past few weeks with nations such as Spain, Italy reporting new batches of cases since the last week of July.