Covid report card: India’s daily death count is now the highest, beating US and Brazil

Annapurani V Chennai | Updated on September 18, 2020 Published on September 18, 2020

But the nation compares well with the global pandemic hotspots on several other parameters

The number of Covid-19 cases in the country has crossed 52 lakh and India’s tally is now the highest in the world after the US.

While the number is large, many of the cases are asymptomatic and 77 per cent of the patients have recovered completely. The number of Covid-19 deaths per day is more critical at this juncture, as it gives a more accurate picture of the country’s progress in fighting the pandemic.

Covid fatality can be examined across three data-sets — cumulative deaths, deaths per million and daily death count. While India compares well with the US and Brazil in the first two parameters, the third set of numbers is worrying.

Cumulative deaths in India as on September 18, at 7.30 pm, were at 84,689, were well below the 202,266 in the US and 135,031 in Brazil. In terms of deaths per million population, on September 17, it was the lowest in India, at 61. It stood at 610 in the US and at 634 in Brazil. While Russia’s number was 131, it was as high as 942 in Peru.


However, the daily death count in India has moved past both the US and Brazil for now. While the average daily death count in India is currently around 1,100, it is around 800 in the US and Brazil.

We looked at the seven-day moving average of daily deaths for this analysis in order to smoothen the curve.

The day-wise fatality count for India stood at six on April 1 and grew to 201 on June 1. It reached the peak with 2,004 deaths on June 16 before declining to 1,130 on July 22. Over the past couple of weeks, the daily death numbers are hovering in the 1,000-1,200 range.

The fatality rate (cumulative deaths/cumulative confirmed cases) for India is currently at 1.61. The peak fatality rate was recorded in April, at 3.60 per cent, but the ratio has reduced steadily since then.

The daily death count in the US peaked in April, at 6,409 and declined to 5,000 by May 3. Over the past couple of weeks, the number has swung from a high of 1,101 to a low of 375. On September 17, the count stood at 940.

Similarly, in Brazil, the daily death count was as high as 1,473 on June 6, but fell to 612 around the middle of the month. It again rose to 1,374 on June 25. For most of July, the fatality numbers were in the range of 600-1,300. In September, the numbers have ranged between 310 and 1,215.

State and city ‘toppers’

Among the States and Union Territories, data showed that Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi had the highest number of fatalities on a cumulative basis.

The numbers reveal that Maharashtra is the worst affected. Its daily death count stood at 468 on September 17, against 59 in Tamil Nadu, 93 in Karnataka, 72 in Andhra Pradesh and 38 in Delhi.

Of the five cities with the highest number of cumulative deaths, the top three were from Maharashtra.

On September 17, the count in Mumbai, Pune and Thane stood at 8,323, 5,059 and 4,417, respectively. Chennai came in next with 3,020 cumulative deaths, followed by and Bengaluru Urban, with 2,555. The daily death count on September 17 was 43 in Mumbai, 123 in Pune, 27 in Thane, 10 in Chennai and 34 in Bengaluru Urban.

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Published on September 18, 2020
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