The Covid-19 crisis in Andhra Pradesh has quickly escalated from being a local to a national and even a global issue. The state is now seeing daily numbers that rival the worst affected countries in the world.
Andhra Pradesh has shot up through the rankings to have the third-highest number of cases in India. The country’s tenth most populous state now has nearly two lakh cases and over 1,750 deaths. By the beginning of June, Andhra Pradesh had less than 4,000 cases, and by the beginning of July, it had reached 15,000 cases. By the beginning of August, cases had raced up to 1.5 lakh, and every day since, there has been an exponential rise, data from “covid19india.org” shows.
Andhra Pradesh’s first case dates back to March 12, when a young man who had returned from Italy to Nellore tested positive. The state’s first death, the father of a man returning from Delhi, was at the end of the month in Vijayawada. The state saw both an early wave of Tablighi Jamaat-associated cases and a cluster linked to the opening up of the Tirumala Tirupati Balaji temple.
Returning migrants from hotspot cities could be tied to the subsequent rise in cases, but then on, the outbreak has been local, and unchecked. What’s particularly unusual about the outbreak in Andhra Pradesh is that it is south India’s least urbanised state. As a result, cases are not concentrated in big cities as they are in other states but evenly spread among its districts.
For several days over the last two weeks, Andhra Pradesh has had the most cases for any state in the country, seeing over 10,000 new cases in a day.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Maharashtra has had the most cases for any state each day, save for one day at the end of June when Delhi raced ahead. Now, Andhra Pradesh is rivalling it on several recent days as the state with most new cases each day.
Over the last few days, Andhra Pradesh has in fact been among the regions with the most new cases globally, next only to the United States and Brazil, and Colombia on some days, a comparison with international data from Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering (JHU CSSE) shows.
And it’s only going to get worse; Andhra Pradesh now has the fastest doubling time for any large state, with cases doubling in less than 11 days, twice as fast as the national average.
This content was originally published here.