The lockdown has led to massive reverse migration in India, with workers returning to their home states from all major commercial centres. On the flip side, these home states are now witnessing a rising graph of coronavirus cases. In fact, states that had largely been successful in securing their borders from the virus have witnessed the maximum spike in cases, India Today Data Intelligence Unit (DIU) has found.
On May 17, the day before India partially opened up, it had recorded 90,927 coronavirus cases and 2,872 deaths. Ten days later, the number of cases went up to 1,51,767 and deaths to 4,337. DIU has found that since May 18, cases have been doubling the fastest in Assam, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh – the four states which had most of their districts in the green zone till early May.
In the first ten days of Lockdown 4.0, the novel coronavirus cases have been doubling in India every 13.7 days on an average. But there are 12 states that are taking lesser time than the national average. Assam, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh have seen the fastest growth in Covid-19 cases.
As of May 3, around 64 per cent districts in Assam, 62 per cent in Uttarakhand, 86 per cent in Chhattisgarh and 58 per cent districts in Himachal Pradesh were in the green category. Around 15 per cent districts each in Assam and Uttarakhand, 7 per cent in Chhattisgarh and none in Himachal Pradesh were in the red zone.
Since Lockdown 4.0, cases have doubled in Assam every 3.45 days. As of May 17, Assam had 92 cases, which jumped to 616 on May 27. The state witnessed the highest single-day jump of 148 cases on May 26. It was also reported that maximum cases in Assam were people who had returned in the last three weeks.
Following Assam is Uttarakhand, where cases have been doubling every 4.2 days. The state had 88 cases as of May 17, which jumped to 401 in just 10 days. Like Assam, in Uttarakhand too, the inflow of migrants has caused a sudden spike in cases. Most of these returnees were from Maharashtra, according to regional news reports. On May 24, the state witnessed 91 new cases, its highest single day jump.
Chhattisgarh reported the third fastest growth, with cases doubling every 4.3 days. The state had 67 cases as of May 17, which jumped to 361 in 10 days. Chhattisgarh witnessed its steepest rise on May 27, when 70 new cases of Covid-19 were detected. Incidentally, Chhattisgarh shares its boundary with Maharashtra, the hotbed of coronavirus in India. This state too has seen a large number of migrants returning home.
Chhattisgarh witnessed its first Covid-19 death when a migrant worker en route West Bengal died in Durg district.
Since May 18, coronavirus cases in Himachal Pradesh have been doubling every 5.5 days. The Himalayan state had 78 cases on May 17, which jumped to 247 on May 27. The state witnessed the highest rise on Thursday, May 27. Here too, Mumbai returnees dominated the list.
Apart from these states, the doubling speed of coronavirus cases was faster than the national average in Bihar (7.25 days), Karnataka (9.06 days), Jharkhand (9.63 days), Odisha (10.3 days), Maharashtra (12.35), Kerala (13.23) and Tamil Nadu (13.64).