With a total of 1,85,061 cases reported till late on Sunday, India zoomed past Germany (1,83,426 cases) in total coronavirus caseload to climb to the eighth spot among countries worst-hit by the virus. If present trends continue, India will displace France (1.88 lakh cases) to occupy seventh position in the next 24 hours.
Deaths from the virus were steadily rising as well. States reported 224 Covid-19-related fatalities on Sunday, the second highest single-day number so far after 270 deaths on Friday. The total toll rose to 5,404, of which over 2,000 have come in the past 12 days alone. But the country can take solace from the fact that the mortality rate, at 2.9%, was still much lower than most of the worst-hit countries.
Nearly 48,000 fresh cases have been detected in the past week alone, accounting for more than a quarter of all infections reported since the first positive case emerged on January 30. Daily cases have hit record highs on nine of the last 11 days.
With millions losing their jobs and businesses in dire straits, this paper has consistently advocated an expeditious exit from the lockdown even while acknowledging the possibility of fewer restrictions being accompanied by a surge in infections. As everyday life limps back to some semblance of normalcy in the weeks ahead, we must brace ourselves for grimmer numbers. It’s a hard moral choice to make, yes, but there can be no going back on opening up the economy. We can only hope, though, that governments around the country have used the two months of lockdown to strengthen their public health infrastructure and ramp up both testing and treatment capacities – and that they will continue to do so.
Sunday’s high of 8,237 cases came even as fresh cases in worst-hit Maharashtra (2,487) decreased by nearly 450 from Saturday’s count. At least five states, including Delhi (1,295 cases), Tamil Nadu (1,149), Uttar Pradesh (378), Bengal (371), Karnataka (299) and Telangana (199), recorded their highest jump in infections.
On the positive side, the number of people who have recovered from the infection has crossed 90,000. More than 4,700 recoveries were recorded on Sunday, taking the total count to 91,368, translating to a recovery rate of more than 49%.
Mumbai recorded 1,244 new cases on Sunday, out of Maharashtra’s 2,487. The city however recorded the second-highest daily jump in deaths at 52, out of the state’s 89 fatalities reported during the day. With this, Maharashtra has reported a total of 67,655 Covid-19 cases so far and 2,286 deaths.
The spike in the viral infection continued in Delhi, which recorded another high of 1,295 cases and 57 deaths, many of which were attributed to past fatalities being recorded now.
Tamil Nadu’s Covid numbers are rising with 13 deaths and 1,149 fresh cases reported on Sunday, the first time the daily count touched four figures. Now the state’s case tally is 22,333 and death toll 173.
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With 804 fresh cases, Chennai continued to worry public health officials, epidemiologists and doctors. The city also had cascading effects on its neighbours.
Uttar Pradesh too reported the highest single-day surge of 378 cases. Two NCR districts , GB Nagar and Ghaziaabd, again saw a Covid spike on Sunday, recording 49 and 33 cases respectively. With this, UP’s case tally has gone beyond the 8,000-mark. GB Nagar now has the second highest count in the state, 457, and highest number of active cases, 171.
Gujarat added 438 Covid-19 positive cases in a day – the second highest ever – taking the total to 16,794. Ahmedabad recorded 299 cases while Surat recorded 55 and Vadodara 34 new cases. Of the 31 deaths, 20 were reported from Ahmedabad.
Telangana recorded 199 new coronavirus cases, again the highest single-day surge in the twin states, even as five persons died, taking the death toll to 82.
On a day the Telangana government issued more relaxations and hassle-free inter-state movement, the total number of positive cases in the state jumped to 2,698.
Greater Hyderabad has emerged as a major worry for authorities, as it accounted for 122 of the total cases, with the government blaming people for not abiding by the lockdown rules.