The recent rise in cases is surpassing the surge India saw in December when the country had just come out of a festive month and public celebrations.
India has been witnessing a steep rise in its daily caseload of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the past few weeks. A comparison of the government data from a week each of February and March shows that India’s infection tally has swelled by nearly three times.
According to the data released by the Union health ministry, India saw 86,711 total cases of Covid-19 in the third week of February (15-21). In the same period in March, the country recorded close to 2.5 lakh (240,082 to be exact) new cases of the infection. The recent rise in cases is surpassing the surge India saw in December when the country had just come out of a festive month and public celebrations.
In the last seven days, India has recorded more than 24,000 new Covid-19 cases every day, with the highest daily spike seen on Sunday when 43,846 infections were registered.
The gradual increase in the daily caseload in the third week of February did send the alarm bells ringing for authorities, particularly in states like Maharashtra and Kerala, after which the Centre advised them to increase the proportion of RT-PCR tests and regularly monitor mutant strains besides refocusing on strict surveillance and stringent containment in selected districts.
To stop the sharp spike from burdening India’s healthcare system, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the chief ministers on Wednesday this week and handed out a five-point plan to fight the deadly infection.
About 70 districts of the country have seen an increase of more than 150 per cent in the number of Covid-19 cases in the last few weeks, PM Modi said, adding that if the spread can’t be contained now, a situation of a nationwide outbreak can come up. But at the same time, he emphasised not to create panic among people.
India reported its biggest daily rise this year of 25,320 Covid-19 cases on Sunday. This is the fourth day that cases have consistently risen over 20,000 infections. Until March, only twice had cases crossed 20,000 in January.
So far India has reported 11.36 million cases of which 2,07,703 cases are active infections.
India’s Covid deaths increased by 161 to 158,607 over the last 24 hours, a notable spike considering an average of about a 100 daily deaths since February.
In the past week,india recorded the highest number of fresh covid-19 cases since mid-december,registering a sharp 33% rise over the previous week. Deaths from the virus too rose by 28% to a six-week high of 876 during the week (March 8-15).
In percentage terms, this was the sharpest weekly surge of infections since July. In absolute numbers, nearly 1.56 lakh (1,55,912) Covid-19 cases were recorded in these seven days, the highest in 12 weeks since December 14-20. The weekly case count has doubled in the past four weeks since the second surge of the pandemic began in the country.
India on Thursday saw a massive upsurge in its Covid-19 number as the country recorded 17,407 new cases, according to the Union ministry of health.