Govt says rise in Covid-19 cases linear, not exponential; wants more tests

Topics Coronavirus | Lockdown

Coronavirus tests increased 24 times post lockdown while the positive cases increased by 16 times, according to health ministry
India has seen a linear growth rate in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases and not an exponential one in the 30 days of the lockdown, with the number of confirmed patients staying in the range of 4-4.5 per cent of the total tested cases.

This was revealed by Environment Secretary CK Mishra, who is leading the Empowered Group-2, which is looking at the availability of hospitals and allied services.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases as on Thursday was 21,700 and the death toll was 686.

The number of tests conducted in the past 30 days increased 24 times to over 500,000 as of Thursday, while the number of positive cases increased 16 times.

“Things have remained in control... Testing is the most crucial tool and we are conscious this is not enough, but we are ramping up significantly in the coming days,” Mishra said.  Asked if the country will reach a peak by May 3, the last day of the lockdown, Balram Bhargava, director general of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said, “It is difficult to say... But we are in a very stable formation... We may have managed to flatten the curve.”

According to a rough comparison with other countries, done by ICMR and the health ministry, the UK, US and Italy saw a huge spike after they crossed the 400 cases mark, while India managed to stay on a linear curve.  These countries, Mishra said also had higher incidence of positive cases when they completed 500,000 tests, compared with India.

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