19 Mar 2021: These three Indian states could be the next coronavirus hotspots
More than a year into the coronavirus pandemic, Maharashtra still remains the worst-affected Indian state. While the Western state's coronavirus story is worrying, three other states face the risk of becoming the next hotspots and necessitate immediate attention.
The states — Punjab, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh — are buried under a high growth rate of cases and surging positivity rates, an HT report detailed.
Data: 20 most populous states were assessed, findings painted poor picture
To ascertain the emerging hotspots, the daily assessed 20 states.
The factors that were taken into consideration were — a rising positivity rate, a high growth rate, and fewer tests per million. The change in the seven-day daily average of cases was also taken into account.
It was judged that Eastern regions are doing a better job at handling the crisis than Western regions.
Findings: Punjab trumped Maharashtra in seven-day average of new cases
For the week ending on February 16, Maharashtra's seven-day average of positivity rate was 7%. It surged to 16.4% for the week ending on March 17.
Alarmingly, the seven-day average of new coronavirus cases grew by 426% in the last 30 days in Maharashtra.
This number is only second to Punjab where the seven-day average of new cases swelled by 531%.
Testing: Last week, MP logged one of the lowest testing figures
Punjab and Maharashtra were followed by Haryana on this list, where the seven-day average of fresh cases grew by 398% in the same time frame. The corresponding figure for Madhya Pradesh was 277%.
Another disturbing facet of MP's coronavirus battle is the fewer tests being conducted.
In the last week, MP conducted merely 191 tests per million people daily.
Change: Among 707 districts, only 162 fared well
Moreover, the change in the seven-day average of daily fresh cases was also assessed for 707 districts (the 11 districts of Delhi were considered as one unit).
For the week ending on February 16 and the one ending on March 17, the seven-day average was zero for 162 districts.
Another 182 districts reported a marginal change in the seven-day daily average of cases.
Spike: In 363 districts, seven-day average of cases saw a rise
However, the troubling figure emerged from 363 districts, where the seven-day average of daily fresh cases saw a rise. Seventy-seven of these districts witnessed an increase from zero average daily cases a month back.
Meanwhile, Goa and all the north-eastern states performed well.
They housed the most number of districts that had zero average new cases a month ago and comparable figures on March 17.
India's number: India added more than 40,000 fresh coronavirus cases yesterday
Quite naturally, the seven-day average of India has also surged in one month.
From 11,235 cases a day for the week ending on February 16, the average went to 26,991 per day for the week ending on March 17 — a rise of 140%.
Yesterday, India recorded over 40,000 fresh coronavirus cases, the highest this year, pushing the nationwide tally to 11.51 million cases.