Over 34,000 people in India have recovered from the SARS-CoV2 virus, and the recovery rate is rising steadily. But as of May 17 morning, India has the eighth highest number of active cases in the world.

The recovery rate is a function of a number of factors – a country’s death rate, the number of cases requiring hospitalisation, the quality of care, and discharge policies, among others.

India’s recovery rate has been growing steadily from a low of 10-11% earlier in the epidemic. This is to be expected as the epidemic progresses, but it could also have to do with India relaxing its discharge policy. For mild cases, the government no longer requires a negative test result for the person to be discharged, as long as they don’t show severe symptoms.

Over time, the growth in active cases in India has been slower than the overall growth rate, reflecting the rising number of recoveries.

Among states with at least 100 cases, Kerala has the best recovery rate, also reflecting the fact that the state saw the earliest cases. Punjab has consistently had a worryingly low recovery rate, as has neighbouring Chandigarh.

Maharashtra accounts for 40 per cent of all active cases in the country, followed by Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Delhi. Kerala, which virtually had no active cases by the beginning of May, has seen active cases grow after the arrival of expats.

India’s recovery rate is better than that of the United States, even though its epidemic has been going on for a longer time. India, however, is still some distance away from most European countries in terms of recovery. Germany, in particular, has an exceptionally high recovery rate.

As of May 17 morning, India has the eighth highest number of active cases in the world. But the key metric remains case fatality rate, which is low in India.

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