In a first, recovery count exceeds active Covid-19 infections

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The total number of people who have recovered from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crossed the number of active cases in India for the first time since the start of the outbreak in March.

As of Tuesday evening, the number of recovered patients exceeded the number of active cases by 1,375, according to HT’s Covid-19 dashboard.

In the last week, an average of 4,529 new active cases have been added to the national tally every day, while 5,397 patients have recovered daily. If these trajectories continue, this gap is likely to widen in the coming days.

One of key factors for the number of recoveries catching up to active cases has been India’s low case fatality rate (CFR). Since 2.8% of infected people have died so far, the number of active cases (calculated by subtracting the number of recovered patients and deaths from the total tally) has been steadily dropping, particularly from the end of May.

Active cases outnumbered the total recovered patients throughout the outbreak until Tuesday – the gap peaking on May 11, when active cases had a 23,511-case lead.

Recoveries soon picked up pace as patients, particularly the 155,668 new cases reported through May, started getting discharged. On May 29, India reported 11,707 new recoveries (highest in a single day so far), helped by Maharashtra that discharged 8,381 asymptomatic patients in one day.

In fact, from May 15, new recoveries have been regularly higher than the average daily active case.

The development also came on the same day that the total number of tests conducted in the country crossed the 5 million-mark, according the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). As of Tuesday night, India tested 5,061,332 samples.

This means India has conducted 3,797 tests for every million residents – the lowest among the 10 worst-hit countries in the world. Italy, which has over 50,000 fewer cases than India, has conducted over 71,000 tests per million population; Spain which has a few thousand more cases than India has conducted over 95,000 tests per million.

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