COVID-19 in India: Getting a deeper understanding

gralovis insights private limited
31 min readMar 9, 2021

Introduction

The Covid-19 disease started in Wuhan, China in Nov-Dec 2019 and the cases in China quickly rose to beyond 10,000 by the end of Jan 2020. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30th Jan 2020.

The first case in India was reported on 30 thJan 2020 in Thrissur, Kerala. In Feb 2020 airports all over India started announcing symptoms of the disease and asked the travelers to report if anyone has those symptoms. In early March, India started reporting cases from different places across the country. The awareness and concerns among the people had now started.

By the 2 ndweek of Mar 2020, schools started closing, and organizations started asking people to work from home. On 11 thMar 2020, the WHO declared it a pandemic. At that time India still had just 60 cases.

On 19th Mar 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the people and requested everyone to observe a one-day self-imposed curfew on Sun 22nd Mar 2020. The curfew was a big success. On 24th Mar 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a three-week lockdown to start from midnight of 24th/25th Mar 2020 up to 14th Apr 2020. This was the first lockdown and then there were some extensions and later relaxations and subsequent lifting of lockdown.

In this paper, we will attempt to get a general country-level understanding to a state-specific understanding and the progression of the pandemic post the end of the first lockdown (15th April 2020 onwards).

Further, we will also look at various socio-economic factors of the states while comparing the cases and deaths. The intention of this comparison is not to establish any cause-effect relationship. This paper intends to provide only a deep understanding that would remain at the back of the mind of the reader when doing any other specific study related to Covid-19 in India. The intention is to empower the reader with a deep “general knowledge” that could be used elsewhere.

In addition to the country-level and state-level analyses, we will have a mid-level structure of zonal analysis. These zones are the same as used by the Government of India to form the Zonal (advisory) Councils. These zones as depicted on the map are as follows:

Northern: Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Punjab, Rajasthan.

Southern: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep.

Central: Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh.

Eastern: Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal.

Western: Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra.

North-Eastern: Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura.

This paper is divided into three sections. The first section will deep-dive into the trajectory of cases (both total and active) and the trajectory of deaths. The second section will portray an overall comparison of the current situation. The third section will try to see the association of total cases and deaths with socio-economic indicators.

Section 1: The Trajectory of Total Cases, Active Cases, and Deaths

At the start, we would look at the trajectory of cases and deaths. Starting with total India, we will drill down into zones, and finally into states and union territories.

Since we will be doing comparisons, the number of cases themselves are not comparable across states as high population states will tend to have more cases than the low population states. For that reason, we will use total cases per million population and active cases per million population. This will make the data comparable.

The main reason why Covid-19 has caused disruptions in India and across the world is its relatively high death rate. Although most often the statistics that are being used is the number of deaths per million population, this is misleading to compare across states as those states with higher cases per million population will tend to have higher deaths per million population. So, studying this variable will not lead to any more understanding than what we have already seen. Therefore, we need to study deaths independent of cases. For this reason, we will examine deaths as deaths per thousand closed cases (where closed cases are those who have either recovered or have died).

The Trajectory at Total India

Overall, in India, the cases rose rapidly until October 2020 after which there was a slowdown.

Active cases peaked in mid-September 2020 and then started to decline. There was a little surge in the second half of November 2020 post which the active cases again continued to decline until recently in mid-February 2021 when the active cases have again started to rise. Is this going to move into a second wave, is yet to be seen.

The overall death rate in India has declined from an extremely high rate of about 23% to about 1.4% now. This rate, although much lower than the world average for Corona, is still high compared to seasonal flu which is about 0.1%. The death rate in India of about 1.4% to 1.5% has remained stable for over four months now.

The Trajectory in Northern Zone

In the Northern Zone, the number of cases per million is a close reflection of the national levels. However, the rise was less rapid than the overall level. Further, the slowdown has moved towards plateauing.

Active cases peaked in mid-September 2020 and then there was a sharp decline. However, late October to the whole of November saw another rise with a second peak by the end of November 2020. December 2020 to January 2021 saw another sharp decline but in late February 2021, there is yet another but slower rise.

The Death rate which was initially at its peak of about 16% has sharply declined and now plateauing at about 1.6% for over three months.

The Trajectory in the UT of Ladakh

Ladakh cases started late and saw a rise in June 2020. Then after a little plateauing in July 2020, the cases started rising again and have now been plateauing since January 2021.

Active cases saw their first peak in late June 2020 and then declined fast. It rose again in late July 2020 to touch a higher peak and then had a second decline until the end of October 2020. Then there was the third rise in November 2020 and a subsequent decline which has now plateaued to quite low levels.

The benefit of a late start in the number of cases has helped Ladakh to keep its death rate low from the very beginning. It had a high of above 2% which subsequently declined and rose again to plateau at about 1.3% over the last couple of months.

The Trajectory in the UT of Jammu & Kashmir

Jammu & Kashmir witnessed a steady rise in cases until October 2020 and then there was a slowdown and since Jan 2021 the cases have been plateauing.

Active cases rose slowly in the beginning and then shot up in waves to peak in mid-September 2020. Post the peak there has been a sharp decline and the active cases have plateaued for a month.

The death rate was higher than 10% in the beginning which sharply declined to about 2.5% and then steadily declined and have plateaued at about 1.6% for over two months.

The Trajectory in the State of Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh witnessed an initially slow and later steady rise in cases until December 2020. Now since January 2021, the cases have moved towards plateauing.

Active cases did not rise much until mid-July 2020, post which there have been two peaks — a lower peak in mid-September 2020 and a higher peak in December 2020. Since December 2020 active cases have sharply declined and have started plateauing since January 2021.

The death rate was at an initial peak of about 12.5%, but rapidly declined and fluctuated between 8% to 5% during May 2020. Since June 2020 there was a sharp decline in the death rate and since July 2020 the death rate has plateaued to about the current level of about 1.7%.

The Trajectory in the State of Punjab

Punjab witnessed initially a slow rise in the number of cases and then a steady sharp rise until September 2020. Since October 2020 the rise has slowed down.

Active cases rose slowly and then sharply to peak in September 2020. Subsequently, there was a sharp decline until October 2020 and then another rise to a lower peak by the end-November 2020. Active cases once again declined in December 2020 and January 2021 but again witnessing the third rise since February 2021. Will this peak be lower than the second or higher is yet to be seen.

The death rate dropped sharply from an initial peak of 34% to about 16% in early-May 2020 and then again sharply declined and since mid-May 2020 has been plateauing to the current level of about 3.3%.

The Trajectory in the UT of Chandigarh

The number of cases witnessed a slow rise until July 2020 and then sharply rose until September 2020. Since October 2020, the rise has slowed down.

Active cases initially rose slowly and then sharply to peak in mid-September 2020. Subsequently, there was a sharp decline until the beginning of November 2020 and a second rise to a second but lower peak in end-November 2020. Then there was a decline and plateauing but now there appears to be the third rise since mid-February 2021.

The death rate peaked in early-May 2020 to about 11% and then there was a sharp decline and start of plateauing in late-may 2020 to a current level of about 1.6%.

The Trajectory in the State of Haryana

Haryana witnessed a steady rise in the number of cases until September 2020. The cases started plateauing in January 2021.

Active cases rose steadily until mid-August 2020 and then sharply to peak in mid-September 2020. Subsequently, there was a sharp decline and another sharp rise to a second and almost equal peak in end-November 2020. Then there was again a sharp decline with some plateauing and the third start of a rise in late-February 2021.

The death rate has remained in control with an initial peak of a little over 5% and a sharp decline in April 2020. During May 2020 and June 2020, the death rate fluctuated between about 1.5% to about 3% and then again declined and has been plateauing to the current level of 1.1% for about four months.

The Trajectory in the UT of Delhi

Delhi has witnessed a steady rise in the number of cases until November 2020. Since January 2021 there has been a plateauing in the level of the number of cases.

Active cases rose sharply to the first peak in June 2020. Active cases declined and rose again to a second and a higher peak in mid-September 2020. Active cases declined yet again and rose yet again to a third and even higher peak in mid-November 2020. Subsequently, active cases sharply declined and have been plateauing since January 2021.

The death rate declined sharply from an initial very high peak of about 44% to about 5% in late-April 2020. The death rate has been plateauing to about the current level of 1.7% for about four months.

The Trajectory in the State of Rajasthan

Rajasthan witnessed a steady rise in cases until November 2020. The cases have been plateauing since January 2021.

Active cases rose steadily and then sharply to their first peak in early 2020 and then declined and rose sharply again to a second and higher peak in end-November 2020. The active cases subsequently declined and have started plateauing in February 2020.

The death rate sharply dipped from an initial high of about 11% to about 6% in early-May 2020. Then the death rate slowly declined until November 2020 and has been plateauing to about 0.9% for about three months.

The Trajectory in Central Zone

Central Zone first witnessed a slow rise and then a sharp rise in the number of cases until September 2020. Subsequently, the rise slowed down. The number of cases started plateauing in February 2021.

Active cases rose slowly until June 2020 and from July 2020 witnessed a sharp rise to a peak in mid-September 2020. Subsequently, active cases declined and rose a little in end-December 2020 and then declined again. Active cases have very lately started plateauing since mid-February 2021.

The death rate dipped sharply from an initial peak of 31% to about 5% in early June 2020. Since then it declined slowly and has now been plateauing to a level of about 1.4% for a couple of months.

The Trajectory in the State of Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand witnessed a slow rise and then a sharp rise in the number of cases until September 2020, Subsequently, the rise slowed down and started plateauing in February 2021.

Active cases did not rise much until June 2020. Thereafter, there was a sharp increase in active cases to peak in mid-September 2020. Active cases sharply declined until early-November 2020 and then rose again to a second but lower peak in mid-November 2020. The active cases have since been on the decline.

The death rate was low in the beginning and it peaked at about 6.5% in late-May 2020. Subsequently, the death rate sharply declined to below 2% in early June 2020 and has been plateauing to the current level of 1.8% since then.

The Trajectory in the State of Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh saw a steady rise in the number of cases until September 2020. It then slowed down and is now plateauing since mid-January 2021.

Active cases rose slowly until Jun2 2020 and from July 2020 there was a sharp rise to a peak in mid-September 2020. Subsequently, there was a sharp decline in active cases until October 2020. In November 2020, active cases remained steady and then started to decline again but at a slower rate than earlier.

The death rate in Uttar Pradesh sharply declined from an initial peak of about 16% to about 4% in mid-May 2020. Subsequently, the death rate declined at a slower rate and has been plateauing to the current rate of about 1.5% for almost five months.

The Trajectory in the State of Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh witnessed a steady increase I the number of cases until September 2020. The rate of increase in cases has been slowing down since then.

Active cases rose slowly until June 2020 and then from July 2020 there was a sharp increase in active cases to reach a peak in late-September 2020. Subsequently, active cases declined sharply and rose sharply again to a lower peak at the end-November 2020. Thereafter, the active cases declined slowly until mid-February 2021 and have started rising again for the third time.

The death rate sharply declined from an initial extremely high peak of 50% to below 10% in May 2020. Subsequently, the death rate declined slowly and has been plateauing to about 1.5% for the last two months.

The Trajectory in the State of Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh witnessed a slow increase initially in the number of cases until July 2020 and thereafter a sharp increase until September 2020. Subsequently, the increase in the number of cases has slowed down.

Active cases went up slowly until July 2020 and then there was a sharp increase from August 2020 to reach its peak in mid-September 2020. Thereafter the active cases have been declining steadily.

With no early deaths, the deaths started in late-May 2020 and went up to a low peak of about 1.7% and then dipped sharply to 0.5% and steadily rose again to a peak of 1.9% in early-September 2020. Subsequently, the death rate sharply declined to about 1.1% and then started plateauing at about 1.2% for the last two months.

The Trajectory in Eastern Zone

Eastern Zone witnessed a steady increase in the number of cases until October 2020 and then there was a slowdown in the increase.

Active cases increased steadily and then sharply reached a peak in mid-August 2020. The peak continued until late-September 2020 after which the active cases started to decline steadily.

The death rate sharply rose to a peak of 27% in early-May 2020 and then sharply declined to 5% in early-June 2020. Since then the death rate has slowly declined to a plateau at the current rate of 1.1% for the last five months.

The Trajectory in the State of Bihar

Bihar witnessed a slow and then a sharp increase in the number of cases. Recently, the number of cases has started to tend to plateauing.

Active cases rose slowly until June 2020 and then sharply reaching a peak in mid-August 2020. Subsequently, there was a sharp decline in the second half of August 2020 and from September 2020 the active cases have declined steadily.

The death rate declined sharply from an early high of about 4.5% to above 1.5% in early-May 2020. Subsequently, the death rate declined slowly and has now plateaued to the current level of 0.6% for over six months.

The Trajectory in the State of Jharkhand

Jharkhand witnessed an initially slow and then sharp rise in the number of cases until September 2020. From October 2020 the rate of increase has slowed down and the number of cases has started plateauing in February 2021.

Active cases first rose slowly and then sharply to reach a peak in early-September 2020. Subsequently, the active cases have been declining and have started to plateau in February 2021.

The death rate has sharply declined from an initial peak of an extremely high upper limit peak of 100% to about 14% by the end-April 2020. Thereafter, the sharp decline continued to start plateauing to the current level of 0.9% for about five months.

The Trajectory in the State of West Bengal

West Bengal witnessed a steady increase in the number of cases until mid-December 2020. Thereafter, the number of cases has been on a slow rise.

Active cases increased steadily to reach a peak in mid-August 2020 and then after a small decline rose again to a higher second peak in end-October 2020. Thereafter the active cases first fell sharply and then steadily.

The death rate rose from a high of about 19% to an extremely high peak of 48% in early-May 2020. Thereafter, the death rate first declined sharply and then steadily and have now plateaued to the current level of 1.8% for about three months.

The Trajectory in the State of Odisha

Odisha witnessed a steady increase in the number of cases until September 2020 and thereafter the rate of increase has declined.

Active cases rose slowly until June 2020 and then sharply reaching a peak in late-September 2020. Subsequently, active cases sharply declined until November 2020 and then continued to slowly decline until now.

The death rate was at an initial high of an extremely high level of 50%, which went down and rose again to subsequently decline sharply in mid-May 2020. The death rate has now plateaued to the current level of 0.6% for about six months.

The Trajectory in North-Eastern Zone

North-Eastern Zone witnessed a steady increase in the number of cases until October 2020 and then the rate of increase slowed down and have started plateauing in February 2021.

Active cases rose steadily to reach a peak in end-September 2020 and then sharply declined until mod-November 2020. Since then the active cases have been steadily declining and an initial plateauing seems to be emerging in late-February 2021.

The death rate sharply declined from an initial high of over 28% to about 6% in late-April 2020. Subsequently, the death rate steadily fell to a plateau of the current rate of about 0.6% for about five months.

The Trajectory in the State of Sikkim

Sikkim saw a late start in mid-June 2020 of getting covid-19 infections. Subsequently, it witnessed a linear (not exponential) growth in the number of cases. Since January 2021, the rate of growth has sharply declined.

Active cases sharply rose to a peak in late-September 2020 and then after a sharp decline rose steadily to a second but lower peak in late-December 2020. Subsequently, active cases declined sharply and now have been steadily declining since mid-January 2021.

The death rate steadily rose to a low peak of about 2.5% in early-December 2020 and then declined a little and now appears to be plateauing at 2.2%.

The Trajectory in the State of Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh started getting a significant number of cases from June 2020 and then these rose steadily until November 2020. Thereafter, the growth in the number of cases slowed down and is now moving towards plateauing.

Active cases rose steadily to reach a peak in early-October 2020 and remained at that level until mid-October 2020. Active cases then declined sharply and are now almost over.

The death rate at the initial stages of the late start was at a low peak of 2.6% which declined and has now plateaued at 0.3% for seven months.

The Trajectory in the State of Assam

Assam witnessed a steady increase in the number of cases until September 2020. Thereafter, the rate of increase slowed down and is now plateauing.

Active cases steadily rose to a peak in end-September 2020 and then sharply declined. The active cases are now appearing to plateau in February 2021.

The death rate dropped from an initial high peak of 33% to 5% in mid-April 2020 and then steadily declined to the current level of 0.5% which has been plateauing at this level for about nine months.

The Trajectory in the State of Meghalaya

Meghalaya saw steady growth in the number of cases until mid-December 2020, Thereafter, the rate of increase declined sharply.

Active cases rose slowly and then steadily to a peak in mid-October 2020. Subsequently, the active cases declined sharply in October 2020 and then steadily from November 2020 onwards.

The death rate declined sharply in a few days from the extremely high maximum level of 100% to 9%. Thereafter, the death rate then declined slowly and has plateaued at 1% for the last five months.

The Trajectory in the State of Nagaland

Nagaland, after steady growth, witnessed an almost linear growth in the number of cases until November 2020. Subsequently, the growth in the number of cases has been declining.

Active cases grew steadily and then sharply reaching a peak in mid-August 2020. Thereafter, after a sharp dip, the active cases rose steadily to a second but lower peak in late-October 2020. Active cases again dipped sharply and rose again to a third but still lower peak in late-November 2020. The active cases have been steadily declining since then.

For a long time, there were no deaths reported, but from late-July 2020 to early-August 2020, the death rate witnessed a low peak of 0.9%, then sharply dipped and then steadily rose again to the current level of 0.7%.

The Trajectory in the State of Manipur

Manipur witnessed a steady rise in the number of cases until November 2020. Thereafter, the growth rate in the number of cases has been declining.

Active cases steadily rose to a peak in end-October 2020. Thereafter, the active cases declined steadily, then sharply, and now have been declining steadily since January 2021.

For a long time, no deaths were reported and from end-July 2020 the death rate grew steadily to a peak of 1.3% in early-December 2020 and has now started plateauing at a little lower level at 1.2%.

The Trajectory in the State of Tripura

Tripura witnessed a steady increase in the number of cases until September 2020. Thereafter, the growth rate slowed down and the number of cases has been plateauing for about two months.

Active cases grew steadily until mid-July 2020 and then sharply reaching a peak in mid-September 2020. Subsequently, the active cases declined sharply until October 2020 and then steadily.

Deaths started late in early-June 2020 and then steadily grew to a peak of 1.7% in mid-September 2020. Thereafter the death rate declined and has now started plateauing at 1.2% for over three months.

The Trajectory in the State of Mizoram

Mizoram witnessed a steady increase in the number of cases until November 2020 and thereafter the growth rate has been declining.

Active cases grew steadily to a peak in late-September 2020 and thereafter sharply declined and rose again to a second but lower peak in mid-November 2020. Subsequently, the active cases first declined sharply in November 2020 and then steadily since December 2020.

There were no deaths for several months and since the end-November 2020, there has been a steady increase in the death rate to currently a very low level of a little above 0.2%.

The Trajectory in Western Zone

Western Zone witnessed a sharp increase in the number of cases until September 2020 and subsequently has been increasing steadily until now.

Active cases rose first sharply, then steadily, and again sharply to reach a peak in mid-September 2020. Thereafter the active cases declined sharply until mid-November 2020 and then steadily until mid-February 2021. Active cases have again started to rise thereafter.

The death rate declined sharply from an initial peak of over 37% to under 10% in end-May 2020. Subsequently, the death rate has been declining slowly and has started to plateau at the current rate of 2.4% during February 2021.

The Trajectory in the State of Gujarat

Gujarat witnessed almost a linear growth in the number of cases until December 2020. Thereafter, the rate of increase has been declining.

Active cases rose steadily to a peak through September 2020 after which the active cases steadily declined and rose again to a lower peak in early-December 2020. Subsequently, the active cases declined steadily until early-February 2021 and have started rising again in the end-February 2021.

The death rate declined sharply from an initial high peak of 39% to about 10% in late-May 2020. Subsequently, the death rate declined steadily and has now started plateauing at the current rate of 1.6%.

The Trajectory in the UT of Dadra & Nagar Haveli

Dadra & Nagar Haveli witnessed a steady growth in the number of cases until August 2020. Thereafter, the growth in the number of cases has been declining.

Active cases rose sharply to a peak in mid-August 2020 and then have steadily declined until October 2020. Since November 2020, the active cases have been slowly declining.

Deaths started late in Dadra & Nagar Haveli and after an initial quite low peak of 0.5% in early-July 2020, the death rate sharply declined and has been plateauing at the current rate of 0.06% for over four months.

The Trajectory in the State of Maharashtra

Maharashtra witnessed a steady growth in the number of cases until September 2020. The growth rate in the number of cases declined until January 2021. Subsequently, since February 2021, the growth rate has again started increasing.

Active cases steadily rose to a peak in mid-September 2020. Thereafter, the active cases declined steadily until January 2021. In February 2021, the active cases have started rising sharply again and a second peak is expected in the future.

The death rate in Maharashtra declined sharply from an initial very high rate of 39% to about 10% in late-May 2020. Thereafter, the death rate has been declining steadily and has started to plateau at the current rate of 2.5%.

The Trajectory in the State of Goa

Goa witnessed a steady increase in the number of cases until September 2020. Thereafter, the number of cases has been growing at a slower rate.

Active cases rose steadily to a peak in mid-September 2020. Thereafter, the active cases declined sharply until mid-November 2020 and since then have been declining steadily.

With no initial deaths, the death rate steadily grew since late-June 2020 to a low peak of 1.6% in mid-September 2020. Subsequently, the death rate declined a little and has been plateauing at the current rate of 1.5%.

The Trajectory in Southern Zone

Southern Zone witnessed an initially slow and subsequently sharp increase in the number of cases until October 2020. Then the rate of increase has slowed down.

Active cases increased slowly, then sharply, and finally steadily to reach a peak in early October 2020. Subsequently, the active cases have sharply declined until November 2020 and since then have been slowly declining.

The death rate dropped sharply from an initial high of under 10% to about 2.5% in mid-May 2020. Subsequently, the death rate has been slowly declining and is now plateauing to about 1% for about three months.

The Trajectory in the State of Karnataka

Karnataka witnessed a steady rise in the number of cases until October 2020. Thereafter, the rate of growth in the number of cases started declining.

Active cases went up slowly until June 2020. In July 2020 the active cases increased sharply and then increased steadily during August-September 2020. The active cases peaked in early-October 2020 and then fell sharply during the rest of October. Since November 2020, the active cases have been falling steadily.

The death rate fell from an initial peak of 14% to a low of 2.1% in mid-June 2020. Thereafter it rose again to a lower peak of 5.6% in mid-July 2020 and then started declining again and is now plateauing at the current level of 1.3% for over two months.

The Trajectory in the State of Telangana

Telangana witnessed a steady increase in the number of cases until September 2020 and then a slowdown.

Active cases rose steadily to a peak in early-September 2020. Thereafter, active cases declined and have started plateauing in February 2021.

The death rate dropped rapidly from an initial peak of 13% to 3.3% in mid-May 2020 and then rose again to a lower peak of 7.9% in early-June 2020 and then dropped again sharply during the rest of June and then slowly to plateau at the current level of 0.6% for over four months.

The Trajectory in the State of Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh witnessed a steady increase in the number of cases until September 2020. Thereafter the rate of increase slowed down and has started to plateau.

Active cases first rose slowly and then sharply to a peak in the beginning-September 2020. Subsequently, the active cases declined sharply until November 2020 and then slowly.

The death rate dropped sharply from an initial very high peak of 41% to about 5% in April 2020. Subsequently, the death rate declined slowly to its plateau at the current rate of 0.8% for over four months.

The Trajectory in the UT of Lakshadweep

Lakshadweep did not get any case in the entire 2020. Since mid-January 2021 cases have been reported which are on a steep rise.

Active cases too have been rising since mid-January 2021 and have not touched the peak yet.

Only one death has been reported in Lakshadweep which puts the current death rate at a low of 0.3%.

The Trajectory in the State of Kerala

Kerala witnessed first a steady rise, then a sharper rise, and then almost a linear rise in the number of cases. Kerala is one of the few states where the number of cases is still on the rise.

Active cases went up slowly and then sharply to a peak through early-October to late-October 2020. Thereafter the active cases declined steadily until mid-December 2020 and they started rising steadily again to a second but lower peak in late-January 2021. Since then active cases have been declining.

The death rate rose sharply to a low peak of 2.1% in early-June 2020. The death rate then dropped sharply to around 0.8% in mid-July 2020 and then slowly declined to the current rate of 0.4%.

The Trajectory in the UT of Puducherry

Puducherry witnessed a steady increase in the number of cases until September 2020. Thereafter the rate of increase has declined.

Active cases rose steadily and then sharply reach a peak throughout September 2020. Thereafter, the active cases sharply declined in October 2020 and early-November 2020. Subsequently, the active cases declined steadily and have now started plateauing.

There were no deaths reported until early-June 2020. Thereafter, the death rate rose sharply to its peak of 5.6% in mid-June 2020 and then declined sharply during June. Subsequently, the death rate declined slowly to its plateau at the current level of 1.7% for about four months.

The Trajectory in the State of Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu witnessed a steady increase in the number of cases until September 2020, Thereafter the growth rate has declined.

Active cases went up sharply to a peak at the end-July 2020. Thereafter the active cases declined slowly until September 2020 and then sharply until October 2020. Subsequently, the active cases have been declining slowly.

The death rate declined sharply from an initial peak of about 11% to about 2.1% in end-April 2020. Thereafter, the death rate declined to plateau at the current level of 1.5% for over three months.

The Trajectory in the UT of Andaman & Nicobar

Andaman & Nicobar witnessed initially a slow rise until late-July 2020 and then a sharp rise until mid-August 2020. Thereafter, the rate of growth has slowed down and the number of cases is plateauing.

Active cases rose very slowly until late-July 2020 and then rose sharply to a peak in mid-August 2020. Thereafter, the active cases declined sharply until mid-September 2020 and then continued to decline steadily.

There were no initial deaths until late-July 2020 and then the death rate rose sharply to its peak of 4.4% in early-August 2020. Thereafter, the death rate declined sharply until late August 2020 and then slowly to plateau at its current level of 1.2 during February 2021.

Summary of Section 1

Most of the states and the union territories of India have witnessed a similar pattern in the growth of the number of cases which was steadily exponential until mid-September 2020, in the trajectory of active cases which peaked in mid-September 2020, and in the death rate which from an initial peak fell sharply and plateaued at a comparatively low level.

Although most states and union territories show a plateau, a few states appear to be moving towards yet another peak as their active cases have been increasing. But as the vaccination drive has picked up sharply in early-March 2021, we could expect this to get controlled shortly.

Section 2: The Current COVID-19 Map of India

Having seen the trajectories, it is time now to look at the latest situation to get a comparative understanding. For comparison we will look at total cases, active cases at their peak level, and total deaths.

Comparison of Total Cases

From the total cases point of view, the Southern zone was worst affected with an average of affecting almost 1.5% of the population. Closely trailing it is the Western zone. All the other zones have less than 1% of the population affected as of now which the Central zone performing the best at the lowest of 0.35%.

At the state/UT level, Goa, Delhi, Ladakh, Kerala, and Puducherry are the worst affected with more than 2% of their populations affected. While Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Meghalaya, and Gujarat are the best performers having the least affected of less than 0.5% of the population.

Comparison of Active Cases (Peak Level)

From the peak level of active cases point of view, the Western zone was worst affected with 0.17% of the population actively affected at its peak. Trailing next is the Southern zone. All the other zones have less than 0.1% of the population actively affected at their peak. The Eastern zone performed the best at the lowest peak of 0.03%.

At the state/UT level, Ladakh, Puducherry, and Goa were the worst affected with more than 0.3% of their populations actively affected at their peaks. While Gujarat, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, and Jharkhand were the best performers having less than 0.05% of the population actively affected at their peaks.

Comparison of Deaths

From the Death Rate point of view, the Western zone is the worst affected with an almost 2.4% death rate, while the Southern and North-Eastern zones have death rates below 1%.

At the state/UT level, Punjab has been comparatively extremely bad with a death rate crossing 3% at about 3.3%. Other worst performing states are Maharashtra and Sikkim with over 2% death rate. The best-performing ones with less than 1% death rate are Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep, Kerala, Assam, Telangana, Odisha, Bihar, Nagaland, Andhra Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

Section 3: Association of Cases and Deaths with Socio-Economic Indicators

In the earlier two sections, we have analyzed the pandemic data on its own. This has given us an understanding of patterns and performers. In this section, we will look at various socio-economic indicators and try to establish if any kind of association exists or not with the pandemic data.

At the outset, we would like to call out to the reader that we are not trying to establish any causation. The good old saying should be remembered — “Correlation does not imply causation.” In this section too we are trying to draw out patterns that may exist and add to our “general knowledge” of this pandemic.

In all charts, we have a trend-line and the shaded area of 95% confidence level of the association.

Indicator: Per Capita Net State Domestic Product

The Per Capita NSDP used for states and UT is like the per capita GDP used to compare countries. What we witness in this analysis is a strong positive association of per cap NSDP with total cases per million. That is the lower-income states have lower cases while higher ones have higher cases.

On the other hand, there is some positive but not very strong association of per cap NSDP with death rate.

Indicator: Urbanization

Urbanization or the percent population living in urban areas also has a strong positive relationship with total cases per million. That is lower urbanized ones have lower case rates while higher urbanized ones have higher case rates.

On the other hand, urbanization does not appear to have any association with the death rate.

Indicator: Human Development Index

The Human Development Index (HDI) has a good positive association with the case rate. This means that lower HDI ones have a lower case rate while higher HDI ones have a higher case rate.

On the other hand, HDI has a very weak or almost no association with the death rate.

Indicator: Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy at Birth has a positive relationship with case rate. This means that the lower the life expectancy the lower would be the case rate and the higher the life expectancy the higher would be the case rate.

Further, Life Expectancy at Birth also has a positive relationship with the death rate.

Indicator: Literacy Rate

The Literacy Rate has a positive relationship with the case rate. That is the lower the literacy the lower would be the case rate and the higher the literacy the higher would be the case rate.

On the other hand, the Literacy Rate has no relationship with the death rate.

Indicator: Poverty Rate

The Poverty Rate is the percentage of the population below the poverty line. The Poverty Rate has a negative relationship with the case rate. That is the lower the poverty rate the higher is the case rate and the higher the poverty rate the lower is the case rate.

Further, the Poverty Rate has a negative relationship with the death rate.

Indicator: Sex Ratio

Sex Ratio is the number of females per thousand males. There is no relationship between Sex Ratio and case rate.

On the other hand, there is a negative association of Sex Ratio with the death rate. That is the lower the sex ratio or the fewer the females the higher the death rate and the higher the sex ratio or the more the females the lower the death rate.

Indicator: Unemployment Rate

The Unemployment Rate has no relationship with the case rate.

Further, the Unemployment Rate has no relationship with the death rate.

Summary of Section 3

The association analysis reveals that there is indeed some relationship between socioeconomic indicators and the case rate. The general picture that we see here is that the more affluence or better socio-economic conditions are the places where the cases are higher. A similar pattern was seen when had analyzed the country-level data across 189 countries of the world at this link.

Final Takeouts

Although India has managed to control the pandemic much better than many other countries, all the states have not performed equally.

There are many good performing states and union territories for each of total cases, maximum active cases, and death rate. Of the many best performers getting very low levels, the top few for each of these are:

  • Total cases per million population: Bihar, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Maximum active cases per million population: Gujarat, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh
  • Total death rate per 1000 closed cases: Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh

However, there are only a few bad performers that are getting very high levels for each of these. These are:

  • Total cases per million population: Goa, Delhi, Ladakh, Kerala, and Puducherry.
  • Maximum active cases per million population: Ladakh, Puducherry, and Goa.
  • Total death rate per 1000 closed cases: Punjab, Maharashtra, and Sikkim.

The more affluent and better socio-economic states and union territories have performed poorly during the pandemic.

Credits

The sources of data for this report are:

Both sites are open source.

This report has been prepared by gralovis insights private limited, Mumbai — 400078, India.

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Originally published at http://gralovis.com.

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