Empire Diaries Desk
May 31, 2020, New Delhi: Having got off to a sluggish start in terms of reporting the number of coronavirus infections nationwide, India has finally and disturbingly emerged as the new major global hot spot of the deadly Covid-19 respiratory disease.
Going by trends and India’s coronavirus testing rate, by Monday, the world will know that the number of confirmed cases in India is higher than that of virus-riddled France or Germany.
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India is currently reporting about 8,000 infections per day, with the recent spike in numbers attributed to an increased quantity of nationwide Covid-19 testing. Considering that this daily rate of cases continues (if not rises) over the coming days, then India will clearly overtake France and Germany, and rise to the 7th position in the world in terms of number of infections.
At the time of writing this article, India reported at least 173,400 coronavirus infections, as per trusted global watchdog Worldometer. On the other hand, the number of infections stood at about 186,800 in France, and at least 183,000 in Germany.
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What is even more interesting and rather very alarming is that in about 9 to 11 days’ time, India’s coronavirus infection numbers will go past that of even Italy – which was Europe’s most badly-hit country at one stage of the pandemic. Italy’s number of cases now stands at 232,248.
Many people in India will be really alarmed to learn after the coming weekend that their country will have become more badly affected than badly-hit European nations. But then there’s also a positive takeaway for India from the latest trends. When it comes to the number of people killed by the Covid-19 pathogen, India’s official death toll stands far less than that of France and Germany.
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The virus has claimed at least 28,700 lives in France, while Germany has witnessed over 8,500 deaths. In comparison, India has so far recorded an overall coronavirus death toll of less than 5,000.
We are not going into a raging debate on whether India is allegedly under-reporting the actual number of deaths. That is besides the point here, mainly because the governments of France, Germany and Italy, too, may not have reported the actual number of deaths, among many others.
On May 29 — barely two days back — India’s Covid-19 fatalities crossed that of China after it reported 4,706 deaths overall, according to a live tracker run by the US-based Johns Hopkins University. India also went past Turkey to become the ninth worst-affected country.
TESTING RATE LOOKING UP
India’s testing rate, which used to be routinely criticised in the initial days of the pandemic when it was exceptionally low, has now picked up impressively. Across the country, now 2,527 people per 1 million have been tested for the coronavirus. Nearly 3.5 million Indians have been tested for the disease so far.
India’s testing rate is, however, quite low when compared with the per-million testing rates of France and Germany – the two countries that India will overtake in terms of number of infections after the weekend. France’s testing rate is 21,217 people per million, while Germany’s testing frequency is even higher – at 47,194 per million.
To add perspective to the importance of testing rates, among the 10 most affected countries in the world, fourth-placed Spain has the highest testing numbers – at 76,071 per million. It’s important to take note of this number because if or when India’s testing rate reaches that level, the number of cases and fatalities in the country would certainly jump exponentially.
Going by the trends, it’s quite clear that mid-June onwards, India’s numbers will firmly be in the global spotlight as the country’s Covid-19 figures will race towards those of the most badly-affected nations such as the US, Brazil, Russia and the UK.
(Data collected from international coronavirus monitoring group Worldometer)
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