Data | Are States testing enough compared to the size of their coronavirus outbreaks?

Measuring a region’s testing rate in comparison to its outbreak size will help identify those which are not testing enough

Updated - May 18, 2020 02:42 am IST

Published - May 18, 2020 02:06 am IST

“The pandemic has brought into focus India’s low spending on public health.” Healthcare workers in Mumbai in April.

“The pandemic has brought into focus India’s low spending on public health.” Healthcare workers in Mumbai in April.

Are Indian States testing enough for COVID-19 ? While comparing the tests conducted per million population answers this question, it does not consider the size of the outbreak in these States. A method popularised by ourworldindata.org bridges this gap. By measuring the number of tests per confirmed case , it is possible to gauge which States are testing enough relative to the size of their outbreaks.

How to read the charts?

The five charts plot tests per million population (TPM) against cases per million people (CPM) in each State between April 16-May 16. Each coloured line traces the no. of tests per confirmed case in a State across this period.

The grey lines show the points on the chart where the number of tests are a fixed number of times larger than the number of  cases - 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 times larger*. For instance, the first grey line (10x) shows points on chart where the tests were 10 times more than the cases.

Relatively very high

Tests per million people (TPM) in these States are 200 times larger than their cases per million people (CPM) in recent days.

Viewing in app? Click to see graph

image/svg+xmlMost of theseStates hada relativelysmaller outbreak110100501002005001,0002,0005,00010,000AssamGoaTests per million peopleCases per million people10x20x50x100x200xChhattisgarhHimachal10,0005,0002,0001,00050020010050
 

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Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

Relatively high

TPM in these States are 100 times larger than their CPM lately.

Viewing in app? Click to see graph

image/svg+xml11010010x20x50x100x200xOdishaJharkhandUttarakhandKarnataka10,0005,0002,0001,00050020010050Tests per million peopleCases per million people
 

Jharkhand has improved its testing rates massively lately along with significant improvements in Karnataka and Uttarakhand.

Relatively good

TPM in these States are 50 times larger than their CPM in recent days lately.

Viewing in app? Click to see graph

image/svg+xml110100501002005001,0002,0005,00010,00010x20x50x100x200xHaryanaJammu and KashimrA.P.Kerala10,0005,0002,0001,00050020010050Cases per million peopleTests per million people
 

Andra Pradesh is about to surpass the 100x line.

Also read: Data | Obesity linked to serious coronavirus illness even in younger patients, poor too are at high risk

Relatively poor

TPM in these States are 20 times larger than their CPM lately.

Viewing in app? Click to see graph

image/svg+xml110100Bihar10x20x50x100x200xU.P.West BengalTamil NaduPunjabRajasthan10,0005,0002,0001,00050020010050Cases per million peopleTests per million people
 

Bihar started off well, but has slackened lately. Tamil Nadu was better in the middle, but has slackened again.

Relatively very poor

TPM in these States are 10 times larger than their CPM lately.

Viewing in app? Click to see graph

image/svg+xml11010010x20x50x100x200xGujaratMaharashtraM.P.Delhi10,0005,0002,0001,00050020010050Tests per million peopleCases per million people
 

Gujarat and Maharashtra are falling from poor to worse. M.P. is breaking into 20x.

Last word

While testing the entire population is the ideal solution to measure the infection rate in a region, depending on population and the availability of testing kits, this may not be a feasible response. So measuring a region’s testing rate in comparison to its outbreak size will help identify those which are not testing enough. In this regard, Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are falling behind.

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