On Tuesday, there were 10,887 active cases of the coronavirus disease in Delhi; the corresponding number for Kerala was 10,103. The difference is narrowing — Kerala, once touted as a global role model on how to manage the disease, saw more daily cases than Delhi, once criticised for its poor record in managing Covid-19, on Tuesday (1.167 to 1,056).
It’s important to look at active cases. According to the HT dashboard, India recorded 1.53 million coronavirus disease cases cumulatively till Tuesday evening, but almost a million of these (986,061) have recovered. Another 34,200 people have succumbed to the virus. That leaves 510,063 active cases. From helping identify new clusters of infections (or hot spots) to highlighting where health care efforts need to be focused, this is the relevant number (and it doesn’t get enough attention, including in this column).
Interestingly, the number of recovered patients is certain to cross a million as I write this on Wednesday afternoon [Editor’s note: According to the HT dashboard, India ended Wednesday with 1,019,297 recovered patients]. That’s definitely a number worth celebrating.
As is the Mumbai sero survey (antibody test) data that was released on Tuesday and showed that around 40% of the around 7,000 people surveyed in the city have Sars-CoV-2 antibodies — indicating that they have been exposed to the disease. Of this, 57% of the roughly 4,200 people tested from the city’s slums and 16% of the approximately 2,800 from residential societies showed antibodies. The sample was much smaller (a third) of a similar sero survey in Delhi, which showed that 23% of those surveyed were exposed to the disease; and unlike the Delhi survey, the Mumbai one was conducted in only three of the city’s 24 wards (the Delhi one covered all 11 districts). Still, the Mumbai survey is good news for two reasons: one, it means the death rate (as measured by the case fatality rate) in Mumbai is much lower than what it is on paper; and two, thes