Between August 28 and September 3, India recorded 78,414 cases daily on average, the highest in the world.

India became the third country with more than four million COVID-19 cases in the world on September 4, after the U.S. and Brazil with 6.253 million and 4.047 million cases respectively. The death toll in India reached 69,000, third behind the U.S.’s 1.898 lakh and Brazil’s 1.247 lakh. Data was based on reports from the State governments and the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracker.

September 4 saw 80,938 confirmed cases and 1,080 deaths registered till 10.20 p.m. with data yet to come from Assam, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura. This marked the third straight day when more than 80,000 infections were identified.

 

India currently has both the highest daily case load and the highest registered daily toll in the world if a seven-day rolling average is considered.

Testing rates up

One reason for the high case load has been that testing rates have gone up significantly with 11,69,765 samples tested in the last 24 hours. “With this steep exponential rise in daily testing, the cumulative tests were 4,66,79,145,” said the Health Ministry in a release.

Also read | Health Ministry holds COVID-19 meeting with 5 States

However, a look at the break-up of the tests available on the ICMR’s website shows that only 38.65% of these were the more accurate RT-PCR tests, with the rest being the Rapid Antigen tests variety, which allow for quicker diagnosis but are known to have higher false negative rates.

The Health Ministry’s release pointed out that the daily COVID-19 positivity rate was just below 7.5% while cumulative positivity rate was less than 8.5%. The Ministry also told The Hindu that “those undertaking rapid antigen (are obviously those who have been exposed or showing symptoms etc.,) are followed up even after they test negative and recommended RTPCR in case the physician sees a requirement for it.”

Also read | MPs can enter Parliament only if they have COVID-negative certificate: guidelines

The Ministry said that as per its data 2% of the COVID-19 cases are in ICUs and less than 3.5% of the active cases occupy oxygen supported beds currently.

(With inputs from Bindu Shajan Perappadan)

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