However, data from ICMR shows there has been a consistent decline in testing as well. While daily tests in the month to November 14 averaged 10,96,441, this dropped to 10,15,008 in the month to December 14 and further to 9,53,765 in the month to January 14. In the month to February 14, the country tested an average of 7,11,106 samples daily.
Infections have been relatively high in states like Maharashtra and Kerala — which account for 72% of the country’s infections — and also in Punjab and Bihar.
The failure to track infections may have caused deaths. On an average, India records seven new deaths for every 1,000 cases. States like Maharashtra and Kerala, which have a near 40% share in India’s deaths, record three and 12 deaths per thousand cases, respectively.
Punjab is not recording as many infections or deaths as the top two states but has the highest ratio of new deaths — 40 deaths for every 1,000 infections. A month ago, the tests were higher by 14% and the casualty ratio was 26. Chandigarh has been recording 30 deaths whereas Uttarakhand has been recording 32 for every 1,000 cases.
The data from Bihar is more puzzling. The monthly infection average has declined by 62% even as testing has fallen by 26%. While the daily infections in the state averaged 463 in the month to January 14, the average between January 14 and February 14 was only 169. However, the ratio of new deaths in Bihar during this period nearly doubled from 8 per thousand to 13.