India’s 2nd Covid wave spreading faster but deaths lower than last year

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New Delhi: Swab samples being collected for Covid-19 Rapid antigen testing at Anand Vihar ISBT in New Delhi on Nov 18, 2020. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, April 5 – Indias second Covid wave is spreading faster than the first, though with a lower fatality ratio.

As per Crisil’s report, the past week (March 29-April 4), saw daily cases shooting up from 68,000 to over 1 lakh — a whopping 52 per cent increase.

In comparison, cases had risen only 9 per cent in the week, as India had seen similar per day cases in August last year.

Crisil said as of April 4, daily cases have crossed last year’s peak, and continue to exceed recoveries (60,000), leading to increasing case load.

The infection rate is faster this time around: cases increased by 52 per cent in the past week from 68,000 to 1,00,000, compared to a 9 per cent growth around August when cases per day were around similar levels.

The report said while daily deaths have slowly begun to increase, incremental case fatality ratio, proportion of daily deaths to new cases, is low at around 0.6 per cent compared with last year when with similar levels of cases, it was 1.3 per cent, indicating that while the virus is spreading faster, the death toll is lower than last year.

Crisil said that vaccination has been progressing at a slow speed�only 5.5 doses administered per 100 people in India against the world average of 8.3 doses.

“But it is expected to pick up pace in April with inoculation opening up for people aged 45 years and above,” it said.

The cases continue to be concentrated in Maharashtra, which accounted for 55 per cent of the new cases in March 29 – April 4 week.

Though Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh account for a lower share, they have seen the highest growth rate in new cases in that week, after Maharashtra.

At the all-India level, mobility to retail and recreation spaces remained relatively unaffected ever since the surge in cases began in mid-February. However, mobility in more -affected states, particularly Maharashtra, is beginning to weaken. The fresh round of restrictions in Maharashtra will accentuate this, the report added.

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