Pune | Updated: March 19, 2021 7:25:07 am
Maharashtra reported 25,883 new cases of coronavirus infections Thursday, its highest single-day count since the start of the epidemic. Its previous highest was achieved on September 11 last year, when 24,886 cases were discovered.
But Maharashtra is not the only state reporting high numbers. Punjab (2,369), Karnataka (1,488), Gujarat (1,276), Tamil Nadu (989), Madhya Pradesh (917) and Haryana (633) notched up their highest single-day counts for this year, indicating that the second wave of infections is rapidly spreading across the country.
Some other states, like Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, have also begun to show a surge. Bihar reported more than 100 cases on Thursday, crossing the three-figure mark for the first time in one-and-a-half months.
Unlike Maharashtra, however, none of these states, except Punjab, is anywhere close to the peaks they had logged during the first wave last year.
High numbers from several states took the national total to close to 40,000 cases Thursday, a figure that was last achieved on November 28 last year. At least 160 deaths were reported from across the country, including those that some states classified as having caused by co-morbidities.
Maharashtra has had a much sharper rise in the ongoing current wave compared to the one seen last year. Till February 9, the state had been reporting less than 3,000 cases a day. In less than 40 days, the surge has taken the state past its previous record. Last year, the state had crossed the 3,000-figure mark for the first time on June 5. It had taken more than four months to reach the September 11 peak. The decline had started immediately, thereafter, though.
There is no way to say whether Thursday’s count would serve as a new peak, especially given the manner in which coronavirus cases have been rising in Maharashtra in the last one week.
After Maharashtra, the state with the highest count on Thursday was Punjab, which reported 2,369 cases, the maximum since September 20 last year. Punjab has recorded higher numbers on only three occasions.
Four cities in Maharashtra — Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur and Nashik — reported numbers that were higher than that of Punjab. Pune, the worst affected district in the state, has been reporting the highest number for any city in the country for several days now. On Thursday, it found 4,973 new cases. Nagpur, which went into a week-long lockdown from Monday, reported 3,831 cases, its highest ever.
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