COVID-19 Part 1 – Situation In India

Countdown displays the time before India's countrywide lock-down ends (14th April, 2020, 23:59:59)!
Stare at it and #StayHome
Countdown displays the time before India's second countrywide lock-down ends (3rd May, 2020, 23:59:59)!
Stare at it and #StayHome
Countdown displays the time before India's second countrywide lock-down ends (17th May, 2020, 23:59:59)!
Stare at it and #StayHome

On 22nd of this March, I downloaded a CSV file provided by to test my newly learned skills. The file contained daily updates of COVID-19 from all the countries, all over the world. According to the website, this data is taken from The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). I wanted to see the power of data visualization in discovering useful insights that we usually do not get with raw forms of data, like a text file.

What I found was astonishing. On 22nd March, India had around 250 confirmed cases of the infection and using the data, I was able to accurately determine what was heading towards us. I predicted the date on which India will have 1000 confirmed cases. I took the snapshots of my findings and posted it on my WhatsApp feed late that night (2 AM, 23rd of March, 2020) and continued posting them daily and as I joke sometimes saying – Shakira’s hips may lie but data never does, my prediction was quite correct.

I predicted that 6 days from then, on 28th of March, India will hit the 1000th case. And, Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reported the 1000th case on the morning of 29th.

What I did wasn’t much of a rocket science but exponential growth isn’t that intuitive to human brain. The logic and methods behind my findings are mentioned in this blog.

India reported its first case on 30th January, 2020. The very first question I had on my head was with regards to the number of tests being carried out in India. It’s one of the lowest in the world and I wanted to know if, after 51 days of its first reported case, there was any country that had such a less number of cases given how contagious the disease is.

I quickly wrote a Python script to visualize the graph of all the countries that had reported their first case more than 51 days ago and then I tried to find the one whose graph looked most similar to that of India’s.

Fig: All countries with more than 51 days of history of COVID-19 (As of 22nd March)


The answer turned out to be Australia. When it comes to the total number of cases, the two counties shared their figures within 10% of each other on any given day. The graph looked so similar that I could say with a certain degree of confidence that India was following Australia’s footsteps (at least for the initial stage).

Fig: Total cases in India and Australia (As of 22nd March)


The red and the blue line in the graph above represent the total number of cases in Australia and India respectively, as of 22nd March, 2020. The similarities showed up in the graph for daily new cases being reported too.

Fig: Daily new cases in Australia and India ( As of 22nd March, 2020)


Things have changed at the time of this writing (30th March, 2020). The trajectory of Indian curve has deviated from that of Australia’s and the daily reported cases in Australia are too inconsistent to predict India’s number with it.

Australian Vs Indian numbers (As of 30th March)


I cannot speak for the inconsistencies in Australia’s numbers, but the deviation of India’s curve could be a direct result of a 21-days countrywide lock-down that the central government has enforced.

The time is tough and there doesn’t seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel as of now. For India, a country with a population of over 1.3 billion, 1000 cases only look like the beginning. A developing country where hundreds and thousands of people work to get food on their table by the money they earn on that same day, announcing a countrywide lock-down is easy but having people to follow it is quite challenging. With lack of self-isolating people, things are going to get chaotic.

The stock market has dropped 38% from its highest point within just over 2 months. With the supply chain disrupted, the values of food items and dairy products have plunged for suppliers because they cannot sell their stock and it has sky-rocketed for consumers because of the high demand.

And to make things worse, there are those educated idiots who know what’s happening and yet they violate the lock-down procedures because they lack the dissociative skill to survive a pandemic. They step out of their house because they cannot contain the urge to. I’ve put a count down on this page for such idiots to have something to stare at. The countdown displays the time remaining before the lock-down ends.

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