India’s Positivity Rate Continues to Climb

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I have been conducting Data Analytics Studies on the Coronavirus Pandemic for 135 days and have written 206 research-based blog posts on COVID-19 in these 135 days.

Positivity Rate (PR) is the percentage of those who have tested positive for Covid-19 out of all people who have been tested. In my study, the Day’s PR is calculated based on the number of tests conducted on the previous day, assuming that it takes an average of 24 hours to get results, although this may differ from lab to lab.

Look at the graph. India had a cumulative PR of just 4.56% on 24 May, which rose to 6.26% on 24 June, and has now risen to 8.44% on 24 July.

India’s average PR for the last 15 days is 11.56%, compared to 9.54% during the previous 15-day period.

Since 17 May, when I started studying the PR data, India’s lowest “Day’s Positivity Rate” was 4.96% on 18 May, and the highest was 14.38% on 20 July.

Compared to India’s 8.44%, USA (the country with the most Coronavirus cases) has a cumulative PR of 8.09%; Brazil (the country with the second highest cases) has a cumulative PR of a whopping 47.81%; and Russia (the country with the fourth highest cases) has a cumulative PR of just 3.07%. India has the third highest cases.

So why does Brazil have such a high PR? Maybe because Brazil is only testing highly symptomatic patients, which looks likely as it has a low testing coverage of 23,094 Tests per Million (TPM), or maybe the number of tests are under-reported — I see no logic for any country to do that. And why does Russia have a very low PR? Maybe because they are testing all and sundry, which looks likely as it has a very high testing coverage of 1,80,217 TPM.

The average cumulative PR of the Top 30 countries (in number of cases) is 5.36%, so Indi’s PR is 57.5% higher. This is surely because India’s testing coverage at 11,478 TPM is much lower than the other 29 countries’ 64,589 TPM.

Why is India’s Positivity Rate constantly going up? As per my research, it is because of three reasons:

(1) Many more tests are being carried out — average 3,21,638 tests per day (TPD) in the past 15 days, compared with average 2,30,914 TPD in the 15 days prior to that and only 1,66,630 TPD in the 15 days during 10-24 June.

(2) More tests are being carried out by private labs as opposed to a higher percentage being carried out by government labs earlier and the private labs’ testing is more accurate than that of government labs.

(3) India is now being more selective in testing people who are more likely to have the disease, compared with two months ago.

Based on the testing rate and PR of the past seven days, India will cross 20 lakh (2 million) cases in 16 days (10 August).


  • The World will cross 16 million (1.6 crore) cases today.
  • USA will cross 4.25 million (42.5 lakh) cases today.
  • Russia became the fourth country to cross 8,00,000 cases.
  • South Africa became the fifth country to cross 4,00,000 cases.
  • Mexico overtook Peru to reach No.6 rank in cases.
  • Colombia overtook Bangladesh and Turkey to reach No.15 rank in cases.
  • Argentina became the 20th country to cross 1,50,000 cases.
  • Iraq became the 23rd country to cross 1,00,000 cases.
  • Kazakhstan overtook Ecuador and Sweden to reach No.27 rank in cases.
  • India became the seventh country to cross 30,000 deaths.
  • Iran became the tenth country to cross 15,000 deaths.


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LATEST UPDATES (at 08:50 am UTC; 25 July 2020):

  • The world has crossed 15.961 million (1.596 crore) cases
  • The global death toll is over 643,100
  • With 13,39,176 cases and 31,425 deaths, India is No.3 in cases and No.6 in deaths.
  • India’s Maharashtra state, with 3,57,117 cases and 13,132 deaths, would rank No.8 in cases and No.12 in deaths if it were a country
  • 4 countries have crossed 7,50,000 cases (up from 0 on April 3)
  • 13 countries have crossed 250,000 cases (up from 1 on April 3)
  • 20 countries have crossed 150,000 cases (up from 1 on April 3)
  • 23 countries have crossed 100,000 cases (up from 3 on April 3)
  • 41 countries have crossed 50,000 cases (up from 8 on April 3)
  • 58 countries have crossed 25,000 cases (up from 11 on April 3)
  • 2 countries have crossed 80,000 deaths (up from 0 on April 3)
  • 8 countries have crossed 25,000 deaths (up from 0 on April 3)
  • 11 countries have crossed 10,000 deaths (up from 0 on April 3)
  • 22 countries have crossed 5,000 deaths (up from 5 on April 3)
  • 29 countries have crossed 2,500 deaths (up from 7 on April 3)
  • 44 countries have crossed 1,000 deaths (up from 10 on April 3)


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