India became the eighth nation in the world to cross 10,000 Covid-19 deaths as it recorded 2,006 deaths on June 16, mostly due to Maharashtra and Delhi updating their fatalities.
India reported its first death on March 12 which means that it took 96 days to cross 10,000 deaths – the slowest (in terms of the number of days) amongst the eight countries.
The United States reported its first death on February 29 and breached the 10,000-mark on April 4 – taking just 35 days to arrive at the figure. Spain was the fastest to register 10,000 deaths, reaching there in just 30 days.
The fact that India took three times the number of days than Spain and more than two-and-a-half times the corresponding number from USA, UK and Italy, shows that the stringent and early lockdown in India was effective in containing the number of deaths and gave the administration time to prepare for adequate health facilities for when the number of critical patients increased later.
In terms of the corresponding number of cumulative cases on the day 10,000 deaths were crossed, no other country has recorded a higher number than India. Just for perspective, UK breached the 10,000 deaths figure with only approximately one-fifth the number of cases!
India reported a sudden rise of more than 2,000 deaths on June 16 with two of its states adjusting their death numbers – this meant that India’s Mortality Rate as of June 16 went up to 3.37%.
Only the US had a lower Mortality Rate on the day it crossed 10,000 deaths. Brazil had more than double the Mortality Rate, Mexico and Italy more than three times, France almost four times and UK close to four-and-a-half times as compared to India on the day they crossed 10,000 deaths.
The backlog of deaths reported on June 16 saw the daily number surge to 2,006. Till then, India saw a high of 395 deaths on June 15.
US reported 2,693 deaths on April 21, Brazil – 1,492 on June 4, UK – 1,172 on April 21, Italy – 919 on March 27, France – 1,438 on April 15, Spain – 961 on April 2 and Mexico – 1,092 on June 4.
India had conducted 60,84,256 tests up to June 16. This implied that India’s Tests per Death ratio on the day it crossed 10,000 deaths was 510. This is, by far, the best Tests per Death ratio amongst the 8 countries under analysis.
The UK had conducted just 24 Tests per Death when the number of deceased crossed 10,000 in the country. Italy, France and Mexico – all have shockingly low numbers. This is mainly because these countries witnessed a sudden exponential rise in the number of cases and corresponding deaths and did not get enough time to ramp up their health infrastructure or conduct enough tests.
In terms of the prevailing Tests per Death ratio, India is only behind Russia (2,086 tests per death), Turkey (562 tests per death) and Germany (527 tests per death) amongst the 20 countries who have reported a minimum of 3,000 Covid-19 deaths. The corresponding ratio for USA is 216, Spain – 178, UK – 166, Italy – 136, Sweden – 66, France – 47, Brazil – 38 and Mexico – 23.
In terms of the current cumulative Mortality Rate (MR), India is at Number 5 after Russia (1.35%), Chile (1.83%), Turkey (2.67%) and Peru (2.98%). Germany has a MR of 4.73%, Brazil – 4.89%, USA – 5.39%, China – 5.57%, Sweden – 9.26%, Spain – 9.31%, Mexico – 11.82%, UK – 14.07%, Italy – 14.49%, Belgium – 16.06% and France – 18.73%.
Thus, while India has done exceptionally well to contain the Covid-19 mortality numbers as compared to other nations, the recent rise in Mortality Rate is concerning. 6,757 of the total 11,921 (almost 57%) of the total Covid-19 deaths in India have been reported post Unlock 1.0 in the first 16 days of June. The Mortality Rate has risen from 2.84% on May 31 to 3.37% on June 16 – that is a significant rise.
Unlike, most other nations, India is yet to hits its peak and a further surge in cases will lead to a spike in the corresponding deaths too. India must ensure that its rate of growth of deaths does not exceed the rate of growth of cases and the Mortality Rate comes down.
At the end of the day, saving lives is the only thing that matters.