In the deadliest week yet of the Covid-19 pandemic, India recorded more than 26,00,000 new cases and nearly 23,800 deaths in the past seven days, although daily infection numbers registered a slight drop after hitting a peak of over 400,000 on Friday. India reported 3,70,188 fresh cases on Sunday, the second consecutive day of falling numbers following a tally of 392,000 on Saturday. There was a slight drop in the death toll from the virus as well, with 3,375 fatalities reported on Sunday, a day after casualties had climbed to an all-time high of close to 3,700.
Overall, however, the daily numbers remain very high. The April 26-May 2 week ended with India posting the highest number of new cases recorded in any country over a seven-day period for the second week running. Last week, the country had logged nearly 22,50,000 cases. During its worst week of the pandemic (January 4-10), the US had reported 17,70,000 new cases, as per worldometers.info.
While weekly numbers were still on the rise, there was a discernible slowdown in the growth. The current week’s numbers were16% higher than the April 19-25 case tally, down from a growth rate of 47% in that week. Deaths rose at a high rate of 47% although lower than the previous week’s growth of 89%. In that week (April 19-25), India had recorded 16,257 deaths.
Worryingly, the positivity rate during the current week was 21.4%, higher than the rate of 19.8% in the previous week. This could be an indication that the current surge was not over yet. Positivity rate is the percentage of people reporting positive for the virus out of the total number tested. On Sunday, fresh cases dipped in several key states. Maharashtra reported 56,647 new cases, the first drop below the 60,000 mark in the state in six days. At 669, fatalities too dropped below 700 after being more than 800 in the past two days. Fresh cases in Karnataka dipped below 40,000 after two days to 37,733. The state had recorded a high of 48,296 on Friday.
On the other hand, six states and UTs reported their highest daily cases, led by Andhra Pradesh, where 23,920 fresh infections were reported.
India's Covid tally had crossed the 20,00,000 mark on August 7; 30,00,000 on August 23; 40,00,000 on September 5; and 50,00,000 on September 16. It went past 60,00,000 on September 28; 70,00,000 on October 11; crossed 80,00,000 on October 29; 90,00,000 on November 20; and surpassed the 10 million mark on December 19.
The new fatalities include 828 from Maharashtra, 375 from Delhi, 332 from Uttar Pradesh, 269 from Chhattisgarh, 217 from Karnataka, 173 from Gujarat, 155 from Rajasthan, 122 from Uttarakhand and 120 from Jharkhand, 113 each from Punjab and Tamil Nadu.
A total of 2,11,853 deaths have been reported so far in the country, including 68,813 from Maharashtra, 16,147 from Delhi ,15,523 from Karnataka, 14,046 from Tamil Nadu, 12,570 from Uttar Pradesh, 11,344 from West Bengal, 9,022 from Punjab and 8,581 from Chhattisgarh. The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.
"Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research," the ministry said on its website, adding that statewise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.
Maharashtra, Delhi among 10 states that account for 74% of cases
Ten states including Maharashtra, Delhi and Karnataka accounted for 73.71 per cent of the new cases reported in a day, the Union health ministry said on Saturday. With a record daily rise of 4,01,003 cases, India's total tally climbed to 1,91,64,969 on Saturday, according to ministry data.
Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar are also among the10 states that reported 73.71 per cent of the new cases. Maharashtra reported the highest number of new cases at 62,919, followed by 48,296 in Karnataka and 37,199 in Kerala.