Coronavirus in India: Highest single-day spike of 40k pushes count past 1.1 million
Daily cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) surpassed the 40,000 mark for the first time since the outbreak on Sunday, taking the national tally of infections past 1.1 million, with the latest 100,000 cases being reported in three days.
India reported 40,118 new cases and 675 deaths on Sunday, taking the total number of cases to 1,116,597, and deaths to 27,487.
While the spread of the virus, Sars-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, is beginning to show signs of plateauing in some urban epicentres of the contagion such as Delhi, other regions such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Bihar have started showing spikes in daily new cases.
Nearly half the new cases on Sunday came from three states, Maharashtra (9,518), Tamil Nadu (4,979) and Andhra Pradesh (5,041) – all record single-day highs. Several states and UTs such as Uttar Pradesh (2,211 new cases), West Bengal (2,278), Bihar (1,412), Rajasthan (934) and Jammu and Kashmir (701) reported record single-day case spikes on Sunday.
Delhi reported 1,211 new cases, Karnataka 4,120 and Telangana 1,296, according to respective state bulletins.
In the past week, until July 19, India recorded more than 34,000 new cases a day on average, compared to 26,000 a week before — a statistic that highlights the rate of cases growing in the country. The doubling rate of cases — the number of days it takes for infections to double — is currently 20.2 days.
Experts have said that the focus of the battle against the virus now needs to shift to rural parts of the country that traditionally have been beyond the reach of adequate health care mechanisms, and where new hot spots are now feared to surface.
The number of recovered Covid-19 patients in India has crossed 700,000, with the recovery rate standing at 62.7%.
In graphics: Coronavirus Live Tracker
As of Sunday, the country had 388,786 active cases and the case fatality rate (CFR) — the proportion of people who have died among known infections — was 2.5%, against the global average of 4.2%. The US, which has 3,859,590 cases and 143,042 deaths, has a fatality rate of 3.7%; and Brazil, with 2,076,635 cases and 78,871 deaths, is at 3.8%.
Amid an increase in the number of new cases recently, several states such as Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttar Pradesh have announced reimpositions of lockdowns of various degrees in several districts to curb the spread of the outbreak.
The Union ministry of health and family welfare said on Sunday that India’s CFR is “progressively falling” and is one of the lowest in the world, crediting the country’s “efficient clinical management of hospitalised cases”. Proactive measures such as aggressive testing and timely diagnosis of the central, state and Union territory governments have helped in detecting cases early, the ministry said in a press statement. “Effective clinical management of the moderate and severe cases through a well executed standard of care protocol has ensured high rate of recovery among the Covid patients,” it said.
Testing has been ramped up across the country in the past few weeks. According data released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the country has tested 300,000 samples every day over the past week. This is a two-fold increase from the average 150,000 samples being tested every day a month ago.
Experts said that India’s low mortality rate points to the country’s effective management of infections.
“There may be a rise in cases but the good thing is that our mortality rate is low, meaning we are losing fewer patients to Covid-19. It speaks a lot about how we are effectively managing our positive cases. Our health care system isn’t at all overwhelmed so we are able to provide treatment to everyone who needs it,” said Dr Jugal Kishore, head, community medicine department, Safdarjung Hospital.