A man is administered his first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine at Rajawadi Hospital in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, March 25. (Satish Bate/HT photo)
A man is administered his first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine at Rajawadi Hospital in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, March 25. (Satish Bate/HT photo)

India’s second Covid wave may be worse than the first: Key points

Covid-19 cases in India are rising at a rate not seen since May last year, and the daily infections in two states have already hit record highs
By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer
PUBLISHED ON MAR 26, 2021 09:32 AM IST

Covid-19 cases in India are rising at a rate not seen since May last year, and the daily infections in two states have already hit record highs. Here is all you need to know about the rise:

• It indicates the country’s second wave may be worse than the first wave despite the vaccination drive.

• India on Thursday reported 59,074 new Covid-19 infections, the highest in a single day since October 17, or in 159 days

• The country’s second Covid-19 wave continued to push daily case numbers up to levels not seen since the first wave was brought under control last November.

• The daily infection trajectory in two states — Maharashtra and Gujarat — has already surpassed the peaks of their first wave.

• Punjab is close to crossing its previous peak.

• Data shows the Indian outbreak has again started spreading geographically.

• This spread, measured by counting districts reporting at least one new case in the past week, fell to a nine-month low of 447 on February 19.

Also Read | India’s daily Covid-19 count surpasses 59,000 for the first time since Oct 17

• Since then, these districts have been increasing again and this number stood at 550 by March 23.

• For the week ending March 25, India reported 47,442 new infections every day on average, the highest the seven-day average has touched since October 28.

• While in absolute numbers, this is the worst the case rate has been in four months, the numbers get more alarming if we look at the rate that this is increasing in.

• Just seven days ago, the national seven-day average of daily cases was 28,551.

• This means that in just a week, the rate of new infections has increased by 66%.

• This is the largest week-on-week case growth witnessed in the country since May 10.

• An important distinction between the case trajectory in May and today is the sheer volume of cases.

• In May, there were only around 3,500 new cases across India every day, against the current new infection rate of over 47,000 new cases every day.

• This means that the case rate in the second wave is growing much faster than what was seen even when the peak of the first wave was ravaging through August and September.

• If such a week-on-week growth rate persists, then the second wave may surpass the peak of the first wave in April.

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