Two months into the outbreak in India at the start of May, Ladakh was by a large margin the region with the highest testing rate with 8,294 samples tested for every million residents. Delhi was second, with around 2,500 tests per million, followed by Andhra Pradesh (1962). Manipur (149 tests per million), Mizoram (151) and West Bengal (171) were the states testing the least. In terms of case fatality ratio (CFR), in Meghalaya, 8.3% of people getting infected were dying — the highest proportion in the country — followed by Madhya Pradesh (5.3%) and Gujarat (5.0%). Among the states that had reported death, fewest were dying in Kerala (0.6%), Bihar (0.6%) and Odisha (0.7%).
Jump six months to the start of October, and the states with smaller population now dominate the testing per million ranking. Ladakh was still at the top, and was followed by Arunachal Pradesh and Goa (Delhi was on the fourth spot with around 16,000 tests per million). Madhya Pradesh now was the state with the lowest testing rate in the country (25,097), followed by West Bengal (33,758) and Nagaland (37,407).
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By this time, most states had significantly improved their CFRs and the ranking had changed significantly. Punjab was now seeing the largest proportion of cases end in fatalities – 3%. In Maharashtra (by a large margin the worst-hit state in the country), 2.6% of cases were dying, while in Gujarat this number was 2.5%. States with smaller populations were again better performing in saving lives as only 0.1% cases were dying in Daman & Diu, followed by 0.2% in Arunachal Pradesh and 0.3% in Nagaland.
By the end of December, Delhi had gone on a blitzkrieg of testing through early November to curb the third wave in the Capital. As a result, it again finds itself among the best-testing regions (428,000 tests per million) behind Andaman and Nicobar islands. Madhya Pradesh (55,779) still has the worst testing rate in the country, followed by Nagaland and Rajasthan.
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Punjab and Maharashtra, meanwhile, remain the states seeing the worst mortality rate, while low-population states (Daman & Diu, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh) continue to save more lives.