India reported an unusually high number of new cases as well as recoveries on Saturday, thanks to adjustments made by Gujarat and Punjab.
Gujarat reported results of a special drive it had carried out over the last one week in Ahmedabad to look for potential ‘spreaders’. That drive discovered 703 positive cases in the last week, all of which were added to the state’s numbers on Saturday, resulting in a big spike. With 354 more cases discovered throughout the state, Gujarat reported 1057 new cases on Saturday, the highest ever on any single day. It now has 10,989 confirmed cases, and it has reclaimed the second spot in the list of states with maximum caseload.
By late night, Gujarat had reported more cases, and its actual number on Saturday stood at 11,026, almost 500 more than Tamil Nadu.
In Punjab, 952 positive, but asymptomatic, cases were sent back to their homes, following new guidelines that allow asymptomatic cases to be isolated at home. Close to 850 of these asymptomatic cases are returnees from Nanded. Punjab, like most other states, bunches ‘Recoveries’ and ‘Discharges’ together. So, these 952 have shown as having ‘recovered’ even though they have only been ‘discharged’ from official quarantine centres. After this adjustment, the number of recoveries in Punjab has jumped from 305 to 1257.
Thanks to the high numbers from Gujarat, the country recorded as many as 4,874 new cases on Saturday, a new single-day high. For the last one week, between 3,500 and 3,800 cases were being reported every day. The previous high of 4,370 was recorded on May 10, last Saturday.
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On Saturday, Bihar and Odisha also reported their highest numbers so far. Bihar reported 145 cases to take its total to 1178, while Odisha discovered 91 cases to reach 737. In both the states, a vast majority of new cases are amongst workers returning from other places.
In fact, that is true for several other states as well. In Rajasthan, 384 migrant workers have been found positive in the last five days. In Tamil Nadu, 93 people returning from other states tested positive on Saturday. In Karnataka, 13 of the 36 new cases reported on Saturday were those who were returning from other states.
The people on the move have also been the reason for a minor resurgence being seen in states like Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Assam and Goa, all of which had either stopped reporting new cases, or were finding them only sporadically.
Maharashtra and Gujarat, however, have been largely untouched by this trend. Migrant workers, or those returning from other states, contribute only a small fraction of the new cases in these states. On Saturday, Maharashtra reported 1,606 new cases. It now has 30,706 confirmed cases, out of which more than 18,000 are in Mumbai alone.