March 31, 2021 6:16:23 pm
The Centre on Tuesday had said that the Covid situation in the country is going from “bad to worse” and urged states to achieve 100 per cent vaccination coverage of those above the age of 45 years in surge districts within the next two weeks.
“The situation is becoming bad to worse. There is a serious cause for concern. In some states, in particular, there is a huge cause of worry. But no state can be complacent. What the trends show is that the virus is still very active and can penetrate our defences. And when we think we have found ways to control the virus, it strikes back. The active cases, which were above a lakh, is now at 5.4 lakh. Two-thirds are in one particular state. But the fact is that it is a five-time rise,” Dr V K Paul, who heads the country’s Covid task force, said.
India reported 53,480 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total tally of infections to 1,21,49,335, according to data from the Health Ministry.
A total of 354 deaths were reported on Tuesday, the highest since December 16, out of which 140 were reported from Maharashtra. The overall death toll stood at 1,62,468. There are now more than 5.52 lakh active cases in the country while over 1,14,34,301 people have recovered from the disease.
The death count in Karnataka (21) has been the highest since December 9. Other states — Punjab (64), Chhattisgarh (35) and Tamil Nadu (16), Madhya Pradesh (10), Uttar Pradesh (10) — also reported more than the usual number of deaths.
The Centre said that the country has seen the sharpest rise in weekly Covid-19 cases and fatalities since May 2020.
On March 29 this year, India reported 68,020 cases, which was the highest single-day spike since October last year.
The total number of active cases rose from 4 lakh to 5 lakh in four days this time, making it the fastest-ever rise in 1 lakh cases in the country.
To put the numbers into context, it is important to consider that at its peak, India added 3 lakh cases (3-6 lakh) in 26 days in the first wave. The first 3 lakh cases in the country were added in 124 days after the beginning of the pandemic last year.
On March 10 last year, 50 new Covid cases were reported across the country. By the time the Janata Curfew was observed on March 22 last year, there were 360 cases in the country and 16,021 samples had been tested. And by March 25, when the nationwide lockdown was imposed, there were 606 cases and 10 deaths reported. Only three days later, it was reported that there were more than 1,000 cases across India.
On March 31 last year, there were 1,397 total cases in the country, 35 deaths and 124 people had recovered from the infection. By April 5, there were 100 confirmed deaths due to the virus. And on April 14, when the lockdown was further extended till May 3, the country had recorded 10,000 cases and the test positivity ratio was 4.7%.
The number of cases doubled to 20,000 in 7 days, after which on May 16, India saw 4,987 new infections, which was the highest single-day spike back then. On April 29, there were 1,000 confirmed deaths and 31,787 total cases. The caseload touched 50,000 on May 7 and on May 16, India with 85,940 cases overtook China in terms of the total number of cases reported.
As the country began to unlock after 75 days of lockdown on June 8, there were 2,50,000 cases and 7,200 deaths.
On September 12, India recorded 97,570 infections in 24 hours, the highest single-day spike.
India’s Covid-19 tally had crossed 50 lakh on September 16 and surpassed the one crore-mark on December 19.
The first time that the daily case count had breached the 50,000-figure was on July 29 last year. On that day, 775 deaths were reported in the country. At that time, the daily case count time had already remained in the 30,000 and 40,000 range for two weeks before hitting the 50,000 mark. This time, however, the rise in cases has been much more rapid, with the country registering more than 30,000 cases for two days and more than 40,000 cases for five days before hitting the 50,000-mark.
It also took 32 days for the daily case count to rise from 18,000 to 50,000 during the first wave. This time, it took only 17 days — from 18,377 on March 11 to 50,518 on March 27.
The daily case count in Maharashtra rose from 11,000 to 21,900 in 31 days last year. This has happened merely in nine days during the second wave. Moreover, in Mumbai, the daily case count has risen from 850 to 2,100 in 30 days last year. This time, it took only 24 days.
This month, the daily case count breached the 50,000-mark for the first time since November 6 last year. Back then, Delhi was recording almost 7,000 cases daily. The worst-hit state at that time was Kerala — in two weeks ending November 6, the southern state had reported almost one lakh new cases. In that time, Maharashtra reported less than 80,000 cases and 72,000 new infections were reported in Delhi.
Also, back then, apart from Delhi and Kerala, there were only two states with caseloads of more than a lakh — West Bengal and Haryana. Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh had the most caseload in the country.
Unlike in the first wave, the rise in the number of cases this time is restricted to a few states, with most infections being recorded in Maharashtra. The Centre has said that 84% of the new cases are being reported from eight states — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh.
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