9,887 new Covid-19 cases in India in 24 hours, 294 deaths in highest single-day...

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India’s tally of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) surged to 236,657 after 9,887 new cases and 294 deaths, the highest so far, were recorded between Friday and Saturday, the Union health ministry data showed.

According to the health ministry’s dashboard, there are 115,942 active cases of Covid-19 and 114,072 people have been cured of the highly-infectious disease so far.

India on Friday had overtaken Italy as the sixth worst-affected nation in the world, according to US’ Johns Hopkins University.

Also read: With more than 2.35 lakh Covid-19 cases, India overtakes Italy to become sixth worst-hit country

The country is also inching towards adding 10,000 daily new cases, reporting more than 9,000 cases for the third consecutive day; it was 9,851 on Friday and 9,304 on Thursday. On Friday, India’s tally was 236,657.

India is likely to hit the peak of infections sometime in June-July before the curve of daily new cases begins to fall.

The number of fatalities has risen to 6,642, more than that of China’s which has recorded 4,638 deaths.

Globally, 6.7 million people have contracted the respiratory disease and 394,887 have succumbed due to the illness, according to Johns Hopkins’ coronavirus tracker.

India’s case fatality rate (CFR) or the proportion of deaths to the total number of cases has been steady at 2.8%, much lower than the global mortality rate of 5.8%, even as the number of cases has continued to see an upward trend.

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At an average, the country has reported 239 daily new deaths in the last seven days, 33% higher than the average of 179 of the week before that.

According to experts, India has managed to slow the spread of infections with an early decision to enforce strict lockdowns, first imposed on March 25, but the number of infections is likely to continue rising as the government eases restrictions to help spur an ailing economy.

The key, they say, is to control the case fatality rate, which will determine if the health infrastructure in the country is capable of withstanding the outbreak that has ravaged nations around the world.

Some of the worst-hit countries and the current epicentres of the pandemic such as the US and Brazil have a mortality rate of 5.7% and 5.5%.

Maharashtra has crossed the 80,000-mark and its death toll stands at 2,849, while Tamil Nadu has reported 28,694 Covid-19 cases and 232 fatalities. Delhi remains the third worst-hit area in the country with 26,334 infected people and 708 deaths. Gujarat comes next with 19,094 cases of the coronavirus disease and 1,190 deaths.

Indian states worst hit by Covid-19—particularly Maharashtra, Delhi and Gujarat—are also the ones that have tested a higher number of samples than the national average and reported higher per-capita infections and deaths, according to an HT analysis of testing data for 10 states.

Another worrying trend that has emerged from data shows that a majority of the 10 states has seen a rise in positivity rate (percentage of tests that are positive) in the past few weeks despite no major spike in their rates of testing.

Delhi, which also has the highest testing numbers among the 10 states, has reported the highest number of cases and deaths per million population (1,262 and 33 respectively).

Both figures are around seven times the national average of 360 and 3%, respectively.

Maharashtra has also conducted 4,177 tests per million, significantly more than the national average of 3,291. Compared to the national average, it has 3.9 times the number of cases per million (637) and 4.7 times (22) the number of deaths per million.

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