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Proof that Covid is now a rural pandemic in India

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Proof that Covid is now a rural pandemic in India
© Provided by The Times of India
Covid cases finally seem to be declining in India but this might be because of a slowdown in big cities. District-wise data shows rural areas now have a bigger share of cases in most states. More worrying than the reported case numbers is the very high percentage of positive tests in rural areas, which suggests a large number of cases are going undetected. A very large number of patients in the smaller centres could overwhelm the healthcare facilities, leading to an increase in deaths.

FULL COVERAGE: Coronavirus crisis in India

IN 13 STATES, RURAL AREAS HAVE MORE CASES


In 13 of the 24 states where districts can be split into rural and urban, small towns and villages have more cases than large urban centres. Since the second wave started, the share of cases in rural areas has risen in almost all states.

Analysis of daily average cases shows the curves for rural areas are far steeper than those for urban centres, likely because cases are declining in cities but rising steadily in rural areas.

RURAL SHARE IN DAILY CASES RISING IN 11 STATES

There are 11 other states where urban centres are still adding more cases daily but the share of rural areas in the daily average of cases has increased since April.

MORE CASES MAY GO UNREPORTED NOW

Daily new cases in states where the share of cases is higher in urban areas than rural areas There are 11 other states where urban centres are still adding more cases daily but the share of rural areas in the daily average of cases has increased since April.

A high test positivity rate means only the sickest patients are being tested, and many other cases are going undetected. Ideally, the rate should be less than 5%, but in Yanam district of Puducherry it is close to 100%. Last week, 17 districts reported over 48% test positivity. Many of them — Nuh, Kalahandi, Lahaul and Spiti, Rajsamand, etc — are among the least urbanised.
 

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