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Lockdown stats: How India compares to other coronavirus hotbeds

India’s fight against the Covid-19 outbreak has been unique. Clampdowns have been imposed much earlier than in many countries, including China, which failed to contain the spread of the virus. But the real test for India, curbing community transmission, has just begun.

ET Online|
Last Updated: Mar 25, 2020, 12.51 PM IST
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Corona
India’s fight against the Covid-19 outbreak has been unique.
Coronavirus

COVID-19 CASES

Confirmed
151,767
Deaths
4,337
India is now locked down and loaded in its fight against the coronavirus. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a 21-day nationwide shutdown in an effort to break the chain of transmission.

As the nation of 1.3 billion people shut down, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said India's covid fight could make or break the global war. WHO said India has a tremendous capacity to deal with the pandemic as it has experience of eradicating smallpox and polio.

India’s fight against the Covid-19 outbreak has been unique. Clampdowns have been imposed much earlier than in many countries, including China, which failed to contain the spread of the virus. But the real test for India, curbing community transmission, has just begun.

While India placed travel restrictions relatively early, and many states quickly shut off access to public places, the country’s high population density, overburdened public health infrastructure, high prevalence of non-communicable diseases and the prospect of transmission from younger people to the elderly in joint families all stack the odds against effective containment.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country has been growing at a rate seen at the early stages in countries where there was subsequently an exponential rise in infections in a matter of weeks.

India vs the world
When studying the progression of the outbreak, two phases remain important - the first 100 cases, and every case after the first 100. India took almost 3 months to reach the first 100 positive cases of coronavirus, which then multiplied four times over the next ten days.

Comparatively, Japan saw a 13% daily increase in cases before reaching 100 cases and a 8.1% daily increase in cases from its 100th case to its latest. The decrease in the average daily increase is indicative of a flattening curve and several countries, like South Korea and Singapore are on the same path.

But at least 23 countries, including India, are going in the opposite direction — the number of cases has risen faster after the 100th case than before it. In these nations, the curve is rising and measures to control the outbreak are either yet to take effect or have failed.

After reporting the highest number of cases initially, east Asian countries have managed to flatten their curves. The percentage change in daily average cases was lower after the 100th in China, Singapore, South Korea and Japan than before. They appear to have successfully flattened their curves compared to western Europe, the US and India.

Compared to countries like the US, Spain and France, Italy has begun to flatten its daily new case tally but the number of cases continues to remain high, over 69,000 on last count.

19 countries brought daily average cases down by over 10-percentage points. Only a handful of largely high-income countries, like Denmark and Ireland, have managed to considerably control the spread after reporting 100 cases. However, the number of cases in most of these nations remains much lower than heavily impacted parts of western Europe and east Asia.

Eight of them saw more than 30-percentage-point drop in daily cases. Iran, which has among the highest cases outside of China, saw a 60-percentage point decline in daily average cases after reporting its 100th case.
(Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

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