The number of cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) has increased worldwide, and India is also experiencing an increase. It added more cases in one day (149 on March 28) than its total less than two weeks ago (110 on March 15), although the growth rate was volatile (Chart 1). It may well have to do with reporting and testing. However, the difference is undeniable. The number of affected districts increased from 82 to 132 in a few days (Chart 2).
The most affected states remain Maharashtra and Kerala. They represented more than a third of the cases. The majority of them are Indian citizens, although there are also foreign nationals (Chart 3).
A comparison with the most affected countries, including the United States, which overtook China to have the highest number of confirmed cases last week, shows that India’s growth trajectory offers some comfort. The number of cases in India increased by approximately nine times in the two weeks after crossing the 100 mark. In other countries, cases increased by a multiple of more than 44 in the same period (Chart 4). Undeniably, part of this has to do with weak testing. South Korea tested about 20,000 a day. Austria has announced plans to test 15,000 a day. India has tested a total of less than 30,000 people since the epidemic.
The number of deaths as a percentage of confirmed cases is 2.6%. This is lower than in many countries (Chart 5). Demographics can play a role. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to the disease. India has fewer people over the age of 65 (Chart 6) than the rest of the world.
StatsGuru is a weekly feature. Every Monday, Business Standard guides you through the numbers you need to know to make sense of the titles; Compiled by BS Research Bureau.