New Delhi: As India entered into fourth week of the nationwide lockdown, the rate at which the number of coronavirus cases in the country was doubling, brought some hope that restrictions on 170 hotspot districts may yield results. If reports are to be believed there are 59 districts in 23 states and UTs  that have not reported any positive cases in the last 14 days, which proved that the containment and hotspot strategies are working. Also Read - COVID-19 Cases Cross 17000-Mark, Centre Issues Fresh Guidelines For Non-coronavirus Health Facilities

Besides, government data yesterday showed that 18 states and Union Territories have shown an improvement than the national average doubling rate. The states and Union Territories where the doubling time is less than 20 days are Delhi where it is doubling in 8.5 days, Karnataka in 9.2 days, Telangana 9.4 days, Andhra Pradesh 10.6 days, Jammu and Kashmir 11.5 days, Punjab 13.1 days, Chattisgarh 13.3 days, Tamil Nadu 14 days and Bihar 16.4 days. Also Read - Death Toll Due to Coronavirus Rises to 101 in Bangladesh, Total Cases at 2,948 Now 

Places where the doubling time is between 20 days to 30 days include Andaman and Nicobar Islands at 20.1 days. In Haryana, the cases are doubling in 21 days, in Himachal Pradesh 24.5 days, Chandigarh 25.4 days, Assam 25.8 days, Uttarakhand 26.6 days and Ladakh 26.6 days. States with doubling time of more than 30 days are Odisha and Kerala which reported time of 39.8 and 72.2 days respectively.

However, this week will be crucial in assessing the impact of the relaxations — if it saves both lives and livelihood jaan and jahan, as said by Prime Minister Narendra Modi or ends up losing the gains which the country made till now,  in tacking the spread of the deadly virus. The assessment of relaxation will help the government in deciding future course of action.

All the eyes will also be glued on dynamics of the pandemic in 170 hotspot districts which the government has identified for aggressive testing and containment operations.

Meanwhile, the testing capacity is expected to rise with increased availability of testing kits and the pooled testing strategy of various states. This will help health officials in identifying the spread and transmission of disease across the country.

The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 559 and the number of cases inched closer to 18,000 in the country, according to the Union Health Ministry.