Hovering around 20 days in the latter half of August, the doubling rate of Covid-19 cases in Ludhiana has significantly improved in September, government data reveals.
Currently settled at 27.43 days, if this doubling rate continues, the number of positive patients in Ludhiana – 14,908 on Wednesday – will double to 30,000 only by the mid of October.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, doubling rate helps estimate the time taken for the cases to double – the lower the number of days, the higher the spike in Covid-19 cases.
Sometimes, a large surge or dip in the number of cases can give an erroneous impression of the spread of the disease. Therefore, doubling rate is calculated using the average of five, seven or 10 days to capture the Covid curve over longer periods.
For instance: if Day 1 had 100 cases and these multiplied to 200 in a week, the doubling rate will be seven days; if it increased to 400 in the next two weeks, the rate will be 14 days, and so on and so forth. Hence, the higher the number of days, slower the progression of the outbreak.
The rate is calculated on the emergence of new cases, and thus, changes every week.
After recording the highest spike of cases in a single day with 462 positive cases on August 21, the doubling time was down to 19.44 days in the third week of month.
However, as the first 11 days of September recorded 304 or fewer cases, the doubling time increased to 28.51 days by the week ending on September 8.
This figure again dipped to 27.43 days by the week ending on September 15 as September 12 recorded district’s second-sharpest surge in cases with 435 new infections within a single day. However, the cases have been fewer since.
From an average 975 samples per day in the beginning of August, the number of daily samples now being collected for testing in Ludhiana is 4,686.
DIP IN ACTIVE CASES
Another silver lining is that the number of active cases is also on a decline. As per government data, the number of active cases was 1,214 in the beginning of August and multiplied to 2,334 on August 21.
But as of September 16, with a total of 14,908 cases and 622 deaths, the active cases have reduced to 1632.
According to district epidemiologist Dr Ramesh Kumar, the doubling time helps assess the situation, but Ludhiana’s status will be better analysed after a month. “The district has seen a decline in a number of parameters. The positive cases were 438 on Tuesday, but came down to 286 on Wednesday. Hopefully, with better awareness among Ludhiana residents, cases will start to swiftly come down soon,” he said.