Data | COVID-19 cases rising in the north-eastern States

Residents of Luguthang village in Arunachal Pradesh’s getting COVID-19 vaccine.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

While the second wave of COVID-19 is going down in the rest of India, infections are rising in many north-eastern States. The Delta variant is responsible for the majority of the cases in six of the eight northeastern States. The surge is despite the fact that a majority of the tests in the region are conducted using the Rapid Antigen Detection Tests (RADT), which are not as reliable as the RT-PCR tests, considered the “gold standard” of testing. Worryingly, the cumulative case fatality rate (CFR: deaths/cases) is high in Manipur and Meghalaya and is rising in Nagaland and Assam. These are the four States with poor vaccination rates in the region.

Delta on the rise

The first map shows the biweekly growth rate in new confirmed COVID-19 cases on July 19, 2021. The second map shows the share of COVID-19 sequences that are of the Delta variant on July 5, 2021. Finally, the bar graph shows the % of RADTs among all COVID-19 tests conducted in July across the north-eastern States with such data.

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About 96% of cases that were sequenced in Nagaland, 79% in Manipur, 75% in Meghalaya and Tripura, 66% in Assam and 60% in Arunachal Pradesh were due to the Delta variant. However, it is important to note that only a fraction of all cases is sequenced.


RADTs can register as many as 50% ‘false negatives’ — i.e. samples of those infected by COVID-19 wrongly returning a negative result. RT-PCR is a more accurate test.

With a biweekly increase of 65%, Mizoram recorded the highest rise in cases, followed by Manipur (55%) and Arunachal Pradesh (39%). Except for Mizoram and Sikkim, the Delta variant was predominant in most cases sequenced in other States. Among the States with data, more than 60% of tests are RADTs in Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram.

Fatality rate

The chart shows the CFR of north-eastern States between March 1 and July 19, 2021.


Vaccination rate

The chart shows the vaccination rates of north-eastern States and the rest on July 20, 2021.


CFR is decreasing in Sikkim and Tripura and is relatively low in Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram, the four States where the vaccination rates are significantly higher. In States with a higher vaccination rate, the CFR is either lower or decreasing. In States with a lower vaccination rate, the CFR is either higher or increasing.

Source:, State Health Bulletins,

Also read: Data | Medical expenses climb after second wave, adds to financial stress

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 11:31:56 PM |

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