MUMBAI: More Indian states are experiencing the ‘second wave’ of Covid-19 infections, while Madhya Pradesh and Punjab are “lagging behind” in vaccination, a report said on Monday.
The report by the research wing of ratings agency Crisil said the top six states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat now contribute only 66 per cent of the new cases as of the week ended April 11, as against 75 per cent in the previous week.
“…the dispersal indicates that more and more states are now beginning to experience the second wave,” it said in the note.
A day after new infections topped 1.5 lakh, the note said increased testing can be one of the reasons for the surge, while the other is a higher positivity rate which now stands at 10.6 per cent of those tested as against 6.4 per cent at the peak of first wave in September 2020.
“India’s second Covid-19 wave is spreading faster than the first and in more states,” it said, adding that it has already impacted mobility in states. The overall mobility rose by a marginal 0.7 per cent in the week to April 11, while the same declined by 5.2 percentage points in Maharashtra.
Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, which are among the more affected in the second wave, have vaccinated relatively more people per million as of April 11 but “Punjab and Madhya Pradesh, which continue to show high growth rate in new cases, are lagging behind,” it said.
The traffic congestion index for major cities in some of the hardest-hit states – Mumbai (Maharashtra), Bengaluru (Karnataka), and Ahmedabad (Gujarat) – has nosedived in last few weeks, and is winding back to the levels seen during the nationwide lockdown last April, it said.
Meanwhile, foreign brokerage Barclays said that there can be a 0.2 percentage point dent to real GDP if the mobility restrictions and weekend lockdowns continue in states like Maharashtra for two months.
However, the brokerage said for now, it continues to maintain its GDP estimate at 11 per cent.
“India is experiencing a dramatic increase in active Covid-19 cases, with new infection rates now well above the previous highs seen in September 2020. The breadth of the crisis is also widening, with more states reporting rising positivity rates, and are implementing mobility restrictions and selective lockdowns to control infection rates,” it said.
The brokerage said it expects India to vaccinate 300 million people by August and take it to 500 million by end of 2021. PTI AA