Why is INDIA’S POSITIVITY RATE for Covid-19 Cases Continuing to Climb?

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I have been conducting Data Analytics Studies on the Coronavirus Pandemic for 114 days and have written 179 research-based blog posts on COVID-19 in these 114 days.

Positivity Rate is the percentage of those who have tested positive for Covid-19 out of all people who have been tested.

Look at the graph. India had a cumulative Positivity Rate of just 4.19% on May 18, which rose to 5.05% on June 2, then to 5.88% on June 17, and has now risen to 6.75% on July 2, an increase of 61% in 45 days.

The average Positivity Rate for these 45 days is 7.56%, which has resulted in this huge rise in the cumulative rate. The average during the last 7 days (June 25 — July 2) is 9.14%.

Since May 17, India’s lowest ‘daily’ Positivity Rate was 4.96% on May 18, and the highest was 10.75% on June 29.

The country with the most number of cases — USA — has a cumulative Positivity Rate of 7.98% and the country with the second highest number — Brazil — has a cumulative Positivity Rate of 13.25%. However, Russia’s cumulative Positivity Rate is just 3.27%, but that may be because Russia has tested 140,139 people per million residents (>14% of its population), compared with USA’s 107,369 (>10.73% of its population) and Brazil’s 53,359 (>5.33% of population). India has only tested 6,738 people per million, or only 0.674% of its population.

Why is India’s Positivity Rate going up? In my mind, it is because of 2 reasons:

(1) Many more tests are being carried out — average 203,205 tests per day (TPD) in the past 15 days, compared with average 143,096 TPD in the 15 days prior to that and only 113,861 TPD in the 15 days from May 19 to June 2

(2) More tests are being carried out by private labs as opposed to a higher percentage being carried out by government labs earlier.

If this is true, it could only mean that private labs’ testing is more accurate than that of government labs. While most people would just believe this on face value, when you consider that the average cumulative Positivity Rate of the Top 20 countries (in number of cases) is 7.34%, it becomes even more believable.

India carried out an average of 217,360 TPD in the past 7 days and recorded an average Positivity Rate of 8.94%. At the same rate, India will cross 750,000 cases in 6 days, by which time it would have overtaken Russia to reach the global No.3 rank in number of cases, after USA and Brazil; and 1 million (10 lakh) cases in 19 days.

However, if the national testing rate is ramped up to 250,000 tests per day — which now looks like a fair possibility given that we have crossed the threshold of 200,000 daily tests in 9 out of the past 10 days — and assuming that the Positivity rate remains at 8.94%, India will cross 1 million cases in 16 days.


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LATEST UPDATES (at 3:45 pm UTC; 3 July 2020):

  • The world has crossed 11.059 million cases
  • The global death toll is over 525,400
  • With 638,039 cases and 18,399 deaths. India is No.4 in the world in cases and No.8 in deaths. Maharashtra state, with 186,626 cases and 8,178 deaths, would rank No.16 in cases and No.15 in deaths if it were a country
  • Brazil became the 2nd country to cross 1.5 million cases
  • Saudi Arabia became the 14th country to cross 200,000 cases
  • 4 countries have crossed 600,000 cases (up from 0 on April 3)
  • 8 countries have crossed 250,000 cases (up from 1 on April 3)
  • 18 countries have crossed 150,000 cases (up from 1 on April 3)
  • 20 countries have crossed 100,000 cases (up from 3 on April 3)
  • 31 countries have crossed 50,000 cases (up from 8 on April 3)
  • 51 countries have crossed 25,000 cases (up from 11 on April 3)
  • Peru became the 10th country to cross 10,000 deaths
  • 2 countries have crossed 60,000 deaths (up from 0 on April 3)
  • 7 countries have crossed 25,000 deaths (up from 0 on April 3)
  • 10 countries have crossed 10,000 deaths (up from 0 on April 3)
  • 18 countries have crossed 5,000 deaths (up from 5 on April 3)
  • 25 countries have crossed 2,500 deaths (up from 7 on April 3)
  • 37 countries have crossed 1,000 deaths (up from 10 on April 3)


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