India records 53,480 new cases of Covid-19 in 24 hours; sharp spike in toll with 351 fatalities
India's coronavirus disease tally went up to 12,149,335 on Wednesday after 53,480 new cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, the data from Union health ministry showed.
The number of active cases went up by 11,846, and currently stand at 5,52,566, the ministry's data showed.
The disease also killed 354 people, which pushed the death toll to 1,62,468. The number of patients who have been discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours is reported to be 41,280.
Covid-19 situation is turning from "bad to worse" in the country and is a huge cause for worry, especially for some states, the Centre said on Tuesday. It also warned that the whole country is at risk and any complacency at this stage, and at any level, will have "heavy costs".
"COVID-19 situation is turning from bad to worse. In the last few weeks, especially in some states, it is a huge cause for worry. No state, no part of the country should be complacent," NITI Aayog member (Health) V K Paul said at a media briefing.
"Hospitals and ICUs have to be readied. If cases increase rapidly, the healthcare system would be overwhelmed," Paul warned.
Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan, who accompanied Paul at the briefing, said that eight of the top 10 Covid-19 high-burden districts of the country are from Maharashtra and that Delhi, taken as one district, is also on the list.
He said the 10 districts with maximum active Covid cases are Pune (59,475), Mumbai (46,248), Nagpur (45,322), Thane (35,264), Nashik (26,553), Aurangabad (21,282), Bengaluru Urban (16,259), Nanded (15,171), Delhi (8,032) and Ahmednagar (7,952).
Bhushan stressed that efficient implementation of "test, track and treat" remains the only proven strategy for control of transmission.
The active cases - which show the number of patients infected with Covid-19 right now - have been increasing for more than 20 days and now comprise 4.47 per cent of the total infections, while the recovery rate has further dropped to 94.19 per cent, the health ministry has said.
According to some experts, the relatively low count of new cases (56,211) on Tuesday could be because of lower testing on account of Holi festival on Monday. India has been recording a daily spike of over 60,000 cases for a few days until Monday.