Poll-bound states see COVID-19 surge as daily count near 90k; Maharashtra reports 49,447 cases
Corresponding to the rapid surge in cases, the number of active cases too have registered a steady increase for the 24th day in a row with the tally reaching 6,58,909, which is 5.32 percent of the total infections
India on Saturday recorded 89,129 new COVID-19 cases in a day, the highest daily rise in around six-and-half-months, taking the nationwide tally of infections to over 1.23 crore, according to the Union Health Ministry data on Saturday.
The death toll increased to 1,64,110 with 714 more fatalities in a day, also the highest since 21 October.
The jump in cases reported on Saturday was the highest since 20 September last year when 92,605 new infections were recorded in a span of 24 hours.
Corresponding to the rapid surge in cases, the number of active cases too have registered a steady increase for the 24th day in a row with the tally reaching 6,58,909, which is 5.32 percent of the total infections. The recovery rate has further dropped to 93.36 percent, the data stated.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,15,69,241, while the case fatality rate has dropped to 1.32 percent, the health ministry data stated.
The number of daily coronavirus cases peaked in September last year with 97,894 infections being reported on the 17th day of the month, after which India began witnessing a gradual decline in cases. The active caseload was the lowest at 1,35,926 on 12 February and comprised 1.25 per cent of the total infections.
The 714 new fatalities on Saturday include 481 from Maharashtra, 57 from Punjab, 43 from Chhattisgarh, 16 each from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, 14 each from Kerala and Delhi, 12 from Tamil Nadu, 11 from Gujarat and 10 from Haryana.
Of the 1,64,110 fatalities reported so far in the country, 55,379 are from Maharashtra, 12,750 from Tamil Nadu, 12,591 from Karnataka, 11,050 from Delhi, 10,335 from West Bengal, 8,836 from Uttar Pradesh and 7,225 from Andhra Pradesh and 6,983 from Punjab.
The health ministry has stressed that more than 70 percent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.
"Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research," the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.
8 states witness steep rise in COVID-19 cases
Eight states witnessed a steep rise in daily new COVID-19 cases and accounted for 81.42 percent of the infections reported on Saturday, the Union Health Ministry said.
These eight states are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.
Ten districts — Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur, Thane, Nashik, Bengaluru Urban, Aurangabad, Delhi, Ahmednagar and Nanded — account for 50 percent of the total active caseload of the country.
Maharashtra has shown a nine-fold jump, the maximum increase in the number of active cases in the last two months. In percentage terms, Punjab has reported the maximum increase in active cases. According to the latest figures released by state authorities, Maharashtra 49,447 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest rise in a day so far, taking the tally to 29,53,523 while 277 fatalities pushed the toll to 55,656. The state has 4,01,172 active cases. The city of Mumbai alone reported 9,090 fresh COVID cases and 27 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Five states — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Punjab — cumulatively account for 77.3 percent of the total active cases in the country. Maharashtra alone accounts for 59.36 percent of the total active caseload of the country.
Twelve states — Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala — are displaying an upward trajectory in daily new cases, the health ministry said.
On the other hand, thirteen states and UTs have not reported any COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours. These are Odisha, Assam, Ladakh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Sikkim, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Arunachal Pradesh.
Cumulatively, 7,30,54,295 vaccine doses have been administered through 11,53,614 sessions, according to the provisional report till 7 am on Saturday. The cumulative vaccination figure includes over 6 crore first doses, while the second dose numbers are also nearing 1 crore, the ministry said.
Poll-bound states record surge, Karnataka orders curbs
The cases also saw an upward trend in the four poll-bound states and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
Tamil Nadu reported 3,446 new COVID-19 infections and 14 fatalities on Saturday, pushing the caseload to 8,96,226 and the toll to 12,764, the state health department said. Chennai saw most of the new infections with 1,290 cases, taking the aggregate to 2,52,431. The metropolis leads in the number of fatalities too with 4,264.
Kerala reported 2,541 new COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths pushing the total caseload to 11,32,431 and the death toll to 4,658. Kozhikode reported the most number of cases (568) on Saturday followed by Ernakulam with 268 and Kannur with 264 cases. Currently, there are 357 hotspots in the state.
Meanwhile, health officials have also warned of the second wave in Puducherry. The Director of Health and Family Welfare Services S Mohan Kumar, in a video address, said, the virus was spreading at an alarmingly large scale and people should not lower their guard. The UT reported 191 in the last 24 hours taking the total caseload to 42,132.
The polls are due on 6 April in the two states and the Union Territory.
Daily COVID-19 count from West Bengal and Assam was not available at the time of filing this article but the eastern state had reported its highest ever spike on Friday with 1,733 new cases. West Bengal's cumulative count as per Union Health Ministry is 5,89,922. The state is witnessing eight-phased elections since 27 March, the third leg of which is due on 6 April.
Assam's cumulative count is at 2,18,533 as of Saturday 8 am according to Union Health Ministry.
With inputs from PTI
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the gap between official figures and the bodies coming for a funeral is because the funeral of suspected patients is also being done as per COVID-19 protocols
Currently, people aged above 45 years are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in India.
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