Data | The curious case of Gujarat's COVID-19 curve: remained flat throughout May

The unique pattern of case increase in Gujarat highlights the need to ramp up testing relative to the size of the outbreak in the State

Updated - November 28, 2021 12:04 pm IST

Published - May 27, 2020 12:47 am IST

A health official (left) collecting sample for a swab test from a mobile testing van in Ahmedabad, Gujarat on April 27, 2020. File

A health official (left) collecting sample for a swab test from a mobile testing van in Ahmedabad, Gujarat on April 27, 2020. File

Among the four States/UTs with the highest number of COVID-19 infections, Gujarat has a unique pattern of steady daily case increases through May.

Despite its relatively high overall case load, the State’s tests per confirmed case remain low. Gujarat needs to increase testing relative to the size of the outbreak.

Also read: Coronavirus | ‘Model State’ Gujarat under great strain

A unique curve

The graphs show daily cases (in red) and daily tests (in blue) conducted in four States/UTs with the highest infections since May 1.

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Daily cases vs daily tests

image/svg+xmlDelhiGujaratMaharashtraTamil Nadu100050008004008004001053211551510515105CASES ('000)TESTS ('000)CASESCASESCASESMay 1May 16May 1May 1May 1May 25May 25May 25May 25TESTS ('000)TESTS ('000)TESTS ('000)

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The daily increase in cases has remained nearly constant in Gujarat in the 320-440 range despite variations in testing levels. On May 16, Gujarat announced a backlog of cases related to super-spreaders , resulting in a single-day spike.

Low on tests

The graph shows the seven-day rolling average of tests conducted in States with a high number of infections. Gujarat was steadily showing higher levels of testing till May 7, but a reduction* resulted in lower averages between May 8 and 18.

Since then, there was again a steady increase. Along with Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, Gujarat has conducted a low number of tests among States with a high case load.

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Seven-day rolling average of tests

image/svg+xml15105Apr. 10Apr. 20Apr. 30May 10May 20AVG. TESTS ('000)T.N.RAJASTHANGUJARATMAHARASHTRADELHIM.P.

Tests per confirmed case

The graph below shows the number of tests conducted per confirmed case over time. Gujarat’s tests per case remained low along with Maharashtra’s and Delhi’s.

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image/svg+xml50403020100TESTS/CASESApr. 9Apr. 19Apr. 29May 9May 19T.N.RAJASTHANGUJARATMAHARASHTRADELHIM.P.

* The drop in average number of tests conducted corresponds to the period when former Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra was sent on a two-week home quarantine (on May 5) after he came into contact with an infected person and eventually transferred out of the post (on May 18).

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