Madhya Pradesh is one of the 22 States and Union Territories that will be getting the latest tranche of aid from the Centre “to strengthen the health response”. Rs.890 crore being released by the Centre is based on the case load in those states, according to government.
According to the latest figures, Madhya Pradesh has 36,564 confirmed cases, of which 8,716 are active, while fatalities are 946. But for a state the size of Madhya Pradesh, 8.5 lakh tests, amounts to 10,107 samples tested for every million people in Madhya Pradesh. It compares quite poorly with many other states. Tamil Nadu in comparison is doing about 40,000 tests per million in a day.
The Centre, in a statement, while releasing the latest aid amount said: “The second instalment will be used for strengthening of public health facilities’ infrastructure for testing, including procurement and installation of RT-PCR machines, RNA extraction kits, TRUNAT & CBNAAT machines and BSL-II cabinets, strengthening of public health facilities infrastructure for treatment and development of ICU beds, installation of oxygen generators, cryogenic oxygen tanks and medical gas pipelines in public health facilities and procurement of bedside oxygen concentrators.” It does not, however, talk about medical staff who would be crucial in any effort to ramp up the health infrastructure.
In terms of the number of confirmed cases, Indore has borne the brunt of the pandemic in the state, with almost 22 per cent in the state being from the district, followed by Bhopal, with 20 per cent of the cases. Gwalior, Morena and Jabalpur are the other district with a high case load.
Indore has also witnessed the most fatalities with as many as 325 deaths so far. Bhopal has seen 201 deaths as of August 6.
Viewing the above chart, with the start day adjusted to when each of the districts reached their respective first hundred cases, it becomes clear that most districts are still witnessing a rapid rise in the number of cases. While Indore might be slowing down, Bhopal has caught up. Jabalpur and Gwalior are rising sharply too.
The weekly new cases chart shows that July has been a bad month, like other states. And, with comparatively fewer tests being conducted, Madhya Pradesh might still have not seen the full extent of the pandemic.
The number of tests being conducted to the number cases per week is low, so despite a drop in the number of cases there has not been a let up in the infection rate. It was about 3.3 per cent in early June and stayed almost the same at the beginning of July, but it is almost 6 per cent now.
One could also deduce that if more tests were conducted the infection rate would be much higher as more positive cases will be confirmed.
In the weeks ahead, Madhya would have to “test, test, test”, as the WHO chief had exhorted at the beginning of the pandemic itself.