Grooms wearing masks look on during a mass marriage ceremony amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Mumbai, India February 14, 2021. (REUTERS)
Grooms wearing masks look on during a mass marriage ceremony amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Mumbai, India February 14, 2021. (REUTERS)

India saw nearly 87,000 Covid-19 cases this week, second wave fear looms

The spike of 86,711 Covid-19 cases comes amid concerns about laxity in the safety protocols enforced by the government to prevent infection spread and it has prompted many states to reinforce stricter rules.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Arpan Rai, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 21, 2021 11:17 AM IST

India reported close to 87,000 cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the last seven days, with the highest addition on Sunday when the country saw 14,264 fresh infections within a span of 24 hours.

The spike of 86,711 Covid-19 cases comes amid concerns about laxity in the safety protocols enforced by the government to prevent infection spread and it has prompted many states to reinforce stricter rules.

The country had registered 18,855 infections on January 29 but the tally had dipped after that, showing that India's grip on Covid-19 handling was in control.

Also read | Covid-19: The threat of a second wave

An analysis by HT this week shows that three states and one Union Territory have seen their seven-day averages of daily Covid-19 cases rise by between 20% and 69% of lows seen after the end of the first wave of the pandemic.

Flagged as areas of concern by the Union ministry of health and family welfare on Tuesday, Kerala and Maharashtra have contributed the highest number of cases, forcing authorities to be on guard. Maharashtra chief minister moved swiftly to enforce a lockdown in some parts of the state after a spike in the number of daily new cases. The state accounts for the highest number of daily new cases in the country. On Saturday, it reported 6,112 daily new cases.

The importance of adherence to Covid-19 appropriate behavior is strongly reiterated for breaking the chain of transmission of the virus and containment of the spread of the disease, the health ministry said on Saturday, signalling citizens to be cautious.

This rise has coincided with the detection of the two mutations of the Sars-CoV-2 virus in India.

Scientists fear this can make vaccines less effective and trigger re-infections. India now has all three coronavirus variants that have caused a massive resurgence of cases globally — B.1.1.7, first discovered in the United Kingdom; B.1.351, dominant in South Africa; and P.1, from Brazil. These have a unique collection of mutations, which make them spread more readily or cheat vaccine-immunity.

Experts have warned against complacency, underlining that a tepid outlook towards disease spread will undo months of progress and sacrifices made in the fight against the disease.

Also read: What led to a dramatic fall in Covid-19 cases in India? Experts debate

Here's a timeline of the cases this week:

February 15

India's tally of Covid-19 cases rose to 1,09,16,589 with 11,649 new infections, while fresh fatalities were recorded below 100 for the ninth time this month, according to the Union health ministry data on Monday. The death toll increased to 155,732 with 90 new fatalities.

February 16

A single day rise of 9,121 new Covid-19 cases and 81 fatalities pushed India's tally of cases to 10,925,710, death toll to 155,813, the health ministry data showed.

February 17

With 11,610 new Covid-19 cases, India's tally climbed to 10,937,320, while the number of recoveries surged to 10,644,858, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday. The death toll due to the viral disease went up to 155,913 in the country with 100 more fatalities, the ministry's data showed. On Wednesday, India saw 136,549 active cases of the coronavirus infection, which accounted for only 1.25% of its total caseload, the data stated.

February 18

The data released on Thursday showed some red flags. A single day rise of 12,881 new Covid-19 cases and 101 fatalities pushed India's tally of cases to 10,950,201, death toll to 156,014.

February 19

Daily new cases of Covid-19 in the country climbed to over 13,000 after 19 days taking India's tally of cases to 10,963,394, while the recoveries surged to 10,667,741, according to the Union health ministry on Friday. There were 13,193 new cases and the death toll increased to 156,111 with 97 daily new fatalities.

February 20

The daily cases of Covid-19 climbed to about 14,000 in India after nearly 22 days, taking India's tally to 10,977,387 and recoveries surged to 10,678,048, according to Union health ministry data on Saturday. There were 13,993 new cases and the death toll increased by 101.

February 21

Daily Covid-19 cases in India registered an increase for the fourth consecutive day with the country recording 14,264 new cases, taking the tally to 10,991,651. The death toll increased to 156,302 with 90 daily new fatalities.

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