India’s total number of novel coronavirus cases passed five million on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health data showed, as the pandemic extends its grip on the vast country at an ever-faster rate.
It added one million cases in the past 11 days. The world’s second-most populous country with more than 1.3 billion people has reported 82,000 deaths, while 3.8 million people have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The sharp increase has taken India from the seventh most affected country in the world at the end of May to the second-highest today.
If India continues to average the 90,000 daily cases it is seeing today, it would overtake the United States within weeks and become the most affected country in the world.
Confirmed cases are the number of people who have tested positive. Given that there is no standardised global measurement for testing, this figure is expected to be a lot higher. Epidemiological models suggest that the daily number of actual cases could be nearly 10 times more.
India’s first confirmed case was reported on January 30 in the southern state of Kerala. Over the course of February, known infections remained in the single digits largely due to a lack of testing.
However, during the first three weeks of March, cases quickly increased to 400. On March 25, the government announced a hard-hitting nationwide lockdown to help prevent the spread of the disease.
Below is an animated graphic that shows how the coronavirus spread across Indian states since March:
Here’s how many new infections and deaths were recorded over the past four months according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University:
March: 1,394 new cases, 35 deaths.
April: 33,466 new cases, 1,119 deaths.
May: 155,746 new cases, 4,254 deaths.
June: 394,872 new cases, 11,992 deaths.
July: 1,110,507 new cases, 19,111 deaths.
August: 1,995,178 new cases, 28,777 deaths.
Until 15 September: 1,239,070 new cases, 15,488 deaths.
India’s hardest-hit state is Maharashtra – home to Mumbai, the nation’s financial hub. The virus has particularly hit India’s densely populated cities, including Pune (239,000 cases), New Delhi (225,000 cases) and Bengaluru (176,000 cases)
Below is a state-wide map of COVID-19 cases in India: