COVID-19: India among countries with lowest cases, deaths per million; Here’s a look at how the states are faring

The total number of cases per million is highest in Bahrain, where the figure stands at 44,634. (Image: Reuters)

Coronavirus cases in India: In the global scenario of the coronavirus pandemic, India ranks fairly low worldwide in terms of total cases per million and deaths per million, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Wednesday. The ministry cited the data by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to back its statement. The infographics shared by the ministry in a tweet were prepared by WHO as on October 12. As per the infographics, while the world average for total cases of coronavirus per million people is 4,794, in India this figure is 5,199. The global average now stands at 4,830, as of Tuesday. Though higher than the global average, India’s tally is much lesser than countries like the UK, Russia, France, South Africa, the US and Brazil.

Even as of October 13, the figure of the total number of cases per million in India remained the same. A quick glance through the WHO data reveals that the average is driven by smaller countries like Japan, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and many others. The number of smaller countries with lesser cases per million is more concentrated than the number of countries on the higher side, causing the global average to steer towards the average of 4,830. Moreover, extremities on the higher side are countered by those on the lower side, by countries like China, where the total number of cases per million is a mere 62.09 despite being the source of the breakout. However, India is still on the lower side of the table, considering the fact that several major countries, including Italy, Iraq, Chile, Peru and Mexico have much higher figures. The total number of cases per million is highest in Bahrain, where the figure stands at 44,634.

On the other hand, if the number of deaths per million is considered, the global average as of Tuesday was 138.225. This figure in India stood at nearly 80. This figure is again much lesser than countries like Russia, France, the UK, South Africa, Brazil and the US, despite India having the second highest number of deaths globally in absolute terms.

Counting cases and deaths per million is a method of standardising the data for all the countries for a fair and more accurate comparison, since it takes into account the difference in populations of different countries. It is similar to the method of calculating percentages, but is more convenient for calculations where the base number is much higher. Such a comparison is not possible based on absolute numbers. It also gives a clearer picture in ascertaining the proportion of the population of a country that has been infected.

While India seems to be faring better with respect to other countries during the pandemic on these parameters, let’s take a look at the internal scenario of the country to see how the states are faring in terms of cases and deaths per million.

Coronavirus in India: A look at the states

Based on the states’ projected population estimates for mid-May 2020, Financial Express Online calculated the total cases per million and total deaths per million for each of the states and UTs, except Lakshadweep, where no case has been reported.

COVID-19: India states with cases per million

The total number of cases per million is the highest in Goa, where this figure stands at a whopping 24,683. Goa is followed by Puducherry, which has clocked a total of 22,641 cases per million. Ladakh stood third in this measure, with over 18,000 cases per million. Delhi and Andhra Pradesh, which are also among the leaders in absolute numbers, take the fourth and the fifth place respectively.

On the other hand, Bihar is the state which has the least number of cases per million, standing at 1,593 cases. It is followed by Madhya Pradesh with this figure standing at 1,754, and Mizoram with 1,785 cases per million. Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan stand at the fourth and fifth places respectively.

As far as North and Northwest India together is considered, the region has a figure of nearly 276 cases per million. On the other hand, the south Indian region, including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Puducherry, has a figure of nearly 982 cases per million. While Andhra Pradesh is leading in the region, Telangana has the lowest case per million count, at 5,493.

In northeast India, among the seven sisters, the cumulative cases per million figure is at 525, with Arunachal Pradesh accounting for the highest tally in the measure at 7,998 cases per million. On the other hand, Mizoram is the state with the lowest cases per million in the region, with 1,785 cases.

COVID-19 in India: Deaths per million in states

As far as the deaths per million measure is concerned, Puducherry is leading with a figure of 401. This is followed by 331 deaths per million in Maharashtra, which has the highest number of deaths in the country in absolute terms. Goa is placed third, with 334 deaths per million. The fourth and fifth places have been taken by Delhi and Ladakh, respectively.

The lowest death per million count is in Mizoram, where no death due to coronavirus has taken place so far. This is followed by Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu with 3 deaths per million. Bihar and Nagaland are tied at 8 deaths per million, while Arunachal accounts for 18 deaths per million.

If the north and northwest Indian region is considered, it has a total deaths per million figure of about 42. On the other hand, the south Indian region has a cumulative deaths per million figure of 107, while that in the northeast is 26.

With this, it becomes clear that out of the three regions, the southern region is the biggest cause of concern, both in terms of total number of cases per million and in terms of deaths per million.

Another key takeaway is that both Mizoram and Bihar have managed to keep their cases and death counts under control as compared to the rest of the country. Meanwhile Goa, Puducherry, Ladakh and Delhi have a scope for improvement since they fall among the states with highest cases per million as well as deaths per million.

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