Andhra Pradesh emerges as new Covid hotspot
With almost 9,000 fresh infections every day, Andhra Pradesh is India’s new corona hotspot. While Maharashtra beats AP with 12,020 cases, keep in mind that a month ago Maharashtra had 7,975 cases every day while AP had a mere 2,432. In another 8-10 days, it is possible AP will beat Maharashtra and will contribute the most Covid-19 infections in the country every day.
In the last one month, India added 16,20,806 cases. Of these, 15% came from AP, 19% from Maharashtra and 2% from Delhi. In the month before this — that is, June 16 to July 16 — 27% of India’s 625,507 case came from Maharashtra, 13% from Delhi and 4% from AP. Indeed, of the 56 districts in the country that have more than 10,000 Covid-affected persons, the top 10 have a daily growth rate of more than 7.5%; and eight of these 10 districts are in AP.
These top 10 districts added 170,454 cases in the last one month and, of these, 148,851 came from AP. On the face of things, the more than doubling of testing — 22,200 per day on July 16 rose to 53,712 on August 16 — in AP is the reason for the jump in new infections from the state. But other states have increased their testing too — Maharashtra’s daily tests rose from 31,075 to 68,391 in the same period.
Yet, AP’s positivity — fresh cases as a share of fresh tests — rose from 11.5% to 17% while Maharashtra’s fell from 22% to 18% and Delhi from 30% to 6%. Delhi’s sharper fall, of course, is also due to the fact that it does a lot more Rapid Antigen Tests than others do — 62% of Delhi’s tests are RAT — which detect fewer infections than the conventional RT-PCR does.
Vizianagaram, with 12,245 cases, has witnessed a daily growth of 9.7% in cases. Infections in Visakhapatnam (24,296) has grown 9.4% and in East Godavari (39,418) by 8.8%. Meanwhile, SPS Nellore (16,741) has registered a daily growth rate in cases of 8.7%.
More important, unlike other states, infections are spread more evenly across the state. All the 13 districts in Andhra Pradesh have over 10,000 cases, and seven of those account for 70% of the infections. In the case of Karnataka, 41% of infections come from Bengaluru and similarly, Chennai’s share in Tamil Nadu’s infections is 33%.