India continues to break daily Covid spike record
NEWDELHI, 21st Jun: India crossed another grim milestone of four lakh COVID-19 cases on Sunday recording the addition of one more lakh in just eight days including the latest biggest single-day spike of 15,413 cases amid renewed concerns over the rapid rise in new infections in the country.
The spike in cases has been marked by new peaks in daily numbers (over 12,500) for four consecutive days to take the country's tally to 4,10,461 while the death toll rose to 13,254 with 306 new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data.
However, there has been a steady improvement in the recovery rate with around 55.48 per cent of the COVID-10 patients being declared virus free. The number of recoveries stood at 2,27,755 while there were 1,69,451 active cases, the data showed. One patient has migrated.
India took 64 days to cross the 1-lakh mark from 100 COVID-19 cases, another fortnight to reach two lakh cases and then in another ten days it went past the 3-lakh mark. Also, it took 18 days for the cases to double to the current tally from 2,07,615 that was registered on June 3.
The country witnessed a surge of 2,19,926 coronavirus infections from June 1 till 21 with Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh being the top five states that accounted for the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, an analysis of the official data showed.
The first case in India was recorded in Kerala on January 30.
Harvard Global Health Institute Director Dr Ashish Jha has expressed concern over how quickly the new coronavirus cases are rising in India, and said when populous states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh get hit hard, the country could see a "large increase” in virus infections and deaths.
“Right now I'm concerned by how quickly the number of new cases is rising. India's density may be contributing to this and we've seen high rates of spread in some of the larger metro areas like Mumbai, Delhi and also Chennai,” Jha told PTI in New York in an email interview.
"But what concerns me most is major population areas --such as in Bihar and UP-- that have not yet gotten hit very hard. When they do get hit we will likely see a large increase in the number of cases and deaths, which we need to prepare for.”
“Given the lag between infection, onset of symptoms and death, I expect numbers to continue to rise in the coming weeks and months,” he said, as he stressed that the “trajectory” of cases is “very concerning” in India. The renowned health expert noted that the number of cases in India may be higher than what the data suggests because while testing has been improving, it has not been rolled out in a way that will capture all low-symptomatic patients. According to the Health ministry, the number of samples being tested every day continues to grow. In the last 24 hours, 1,90,730 samples were tested, while the total number analysed so far is 68,07,226, it said in a statement.
The first "Sunday shutdown" during the ‘Unlock' phase with an exception only for hospitals and allied health services brought Chennai and suburbs to a standstill while the city's civic body said its fever camps to help detect coronavirus cases have evoked tremendous response from the people.
It was a virtual curfew with deserted roads, bridges and intersections totally blocked by police using barricades and with the exception of police, sanitary workers and health personnel of the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) most others stayed indoors.