India Overtakes China With Nearly 86k Cases: How Did We Get Here?

Death per lakh in China stands at 0.33 while in India, it is 0.20.

Updated16 May 2020, 07:03 AM IST
4 min read

With 85,940 COVID-19 cases on Saturday, 16 May, India has now outnumbered China which has 84,038 number of cases. There are many countries that have more cases than both India and China. The United States of America has the highest number of cases (13,90,406) followed by Russia (2,42,271), the UK (2,30,985), Spain (2,28,691) and Italy (2,22,104), according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine as of Wednesday.

While India has surpassed China in the total number of cases, the deaths reported in China are still higher than that of in India. China has a case fatality rate (CFR) of 5.5% and India's, 3.2%.

As of Saturday, India has a death toll of 2,752 and China 4,637.

Death per lakh in China stands at 0.33 while in India, it is 0.20. For a fair analysis and comparison of the number of total cases reported and CFR, the number of tests conducted by a country needs to be taken into account.

As of Saturday morning, India has conducted 21,34,277 tests. Similar data for China is unavailable. However, recently as reports of the second wave in China with cluster of new cases surfaced, the authorities announced that the entire population of Wuhan - where the pandemic first began - will be tested, reported CNN.

First 10,000 COVID-19 Cases

India Overtakes China With Nearly 86k Cases: How Did We Get Here?
(Photo: FIT)

The first case of coronavirus dates back to November last year in Hubei province in China, according to many reports. However, China informed the World Health Organisation by the end of December last year. According to WHO, the country "reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei Province". In the second week of January, WHO acknowledged the threat and informed other countries about the coronavirus.

India recorded its first COVID-19 cases on 30 January. Both China and India took about the same time to reach the first 10,000 cases. India took about 74 days to reach 10,000 cases and if China indeed recorded its first case in November as reported earlier, the country took about 75 days to record 10,000 cases.

India Overtakes China With Nearly 86k Cases: How Did We Get Here?
(Photo: FIT)

Countries such as the US and UK took about 54 days to reach 10,000. Italy and Spain were faster with 40 and 46 days. It is important to note that the lockdown measures were taken late in these countries in comparison to India.

Many studies and reports earlier have claimed that China's coronavirus cases may be four times higher than the official figures.

Indian & China COVID-19 Trajectory

A look at India's trajectory graph shows since the 100th case was recorded in the country, the number of cases swiftly rose and further, after the first lockdown was announced by PM Narendra Modi on 24 March, the doubling rate came down in a few weeks. However, in the last 6 days, the country recorded over 20,000 cases. Every day India is recording about 3,000 new cases on average. With this, India is likely to cross one lakh cases in the next 5 days.

Even as the country observed two more lockdowns (announced on 14th April and 4th May) after the first one and prepares to go in lockdown 4.0 by the end of the week (with some relaxations), the number of cases is consistently rising every day. As reported by FIT earlier, many experts have warned that the lockdown has slowed down the surge but as soon as it is lifted, cases are likely to rise. However, they also suggest removal of the lockdown (with a specific strategy) to not let the economy face the brunt, anymore.

FIT also reported that 5 big cities in India account for over 65% of total cases in the country. Mumbai alone contributes about 18% of the total cases. The city has recorded over 15,000 cases so far. With a high-density population, the financial capital is facing challenges in containing the spread.

China, on the other hand, seems to have flattened the curve. The country took about 20 days to reach 70,000 from 10,000 cases, however, it took 16 days to reach 80,000 from there. India covered the same in only 4 days.

Some states in India have flattened the curve. Kerala, where the initial cases were reported and the highest number of cases was diagnosed in the first month of the outbreak, has flattened the curve successfully.

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Published: 16 May 2020, 04:10 AM IST
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