Representative photo: Agencies
NEW DELHI: India’s Covid-19 death toll crossed 9,000 on Saturday with fatalities showing a steady rise in the past few days, even as new infections reported from across the country touched another new high. As many as 12,368 fresh cases were reported, the first time that the single-day count has crossed 12,000.
Saturday’s tally of new cases was the sixth single-day peak in the past eight days. India’s Covid-19 caseload has risen to over 3.21 lakh, just a day after crossing the 3 lakh milestone.
With 310 fatalities reported on Saturday, the country’s death toll rose to 9,195 — the ninth highest number of deaths from the virus in the world. Since India has the world’s fourth largest Covid-19 caseload, the mortality rate is quite low compared to most of the worst-hit nations.
However, deaths from the coronavirus have seen an uptick in the past 10 days, when 312 people on average have succumbed to the infection every day. That’s more than double the average of 137 daily deaths seen during the month of May.
The last 10 days have accounted for more than a third of all deaths from the virus since the first one on March 12. The surge is also reflected in India’s case fatality rate (the percentage of patients dying from the disease). The CFR, which had been gradually but consistently dropping since May 10, has shown a slight increase since June 12, rising from 2.8% to 2.9%.
The record spike in cases on Saturday was again led by 3,427 new infections reported from Maharashtra, with Mumbai reporting 1,380 cases. With 113 deaths on Saturday, a slight drop from the toll in the past three days, the state has recorded 3,830 deaths in all. Its CFR remains significantly higher than the national average at 3.66%.
Delhi remained a major source of worry for health authorities, as the city reported another record 2,134 new infections, the second straight day when the count has crossed 2,000. With this, the total tally of Covid-19 in Delhi has reached 38,958, third highest in the country after Maharashtra (1,04568) and Tamil Nadu (42,687). In terms of active cases, Delhi is second only to Maharashtra.
Besides Delhi, Telangana (253 new cases), Andhra Pradesh (222), Odisha (225), Ladakh (198) and Sikkim (33) were among the states that reported their single-day highest count of cases.
Infections also continued to surge in Tamil Nadu (1,989 cases on Saturday), Gujarat (517), Uttar Pradesh (503), Bengal (454), Haryana (415) and Rajasthan (333), among others.
Ladakh recorded a massive surge in cases on Saturday, taking the total tally in the Union territory to 437, officials said as a strict lockdown was reimposed June 30 in Kargil which has the most active cases. All the fresh cases were reported from Kargil.
Andhra Pradesh witnessed a new high in daily Covid-19 cases on Saturday with the pandemic infecting 222 more people including 22 police personnel. It also recorded two more deaths taking the Covid-19 toll to 82.
The fresh cases pushed the state’s cumulative Covid-19 caseload to 5,858 with as many as 94 people were declared cured on Saturday.
In Odisha, the biggest single-day spike in coronavirus cases so far of 225 took the number of infections in the state to 3,723, the health department said on Saturday. Worryingly, the test positivity rate — which refers to the percentage of samples returning positive — for the day was 5.7%, compared to the state’s average positivity rate of 1.9%. The 225 fresh positive cases emerged from 3,880 samples tested on Friday.
Tamil Nadu added 30 deaths, some of them from three weeks ago, to its Covid-19 toll on Saturday bringing into focus discrepancies in its count. And, with 1,989 fresh cases, the state’s tally rose to 42,687 cases, 30,444 in Chennai alone
Earlier this week, TOI had reported that at least 236 Covid-19 deaths in Chennai until June 8 had not been added to the pandemic death register. Now it turns out that two senior officials of the Greater Chennai Corporation, who face blame for the misreporting, are part of a nine-member committee formed to set things right. On Saturday, the committee added seven deaths that occurred between May 23 and June 7 to the toll.
With the death of a retired doctor from Parray Pora area of Srinagar who was tested positive for Covid-19 died at JVC Bemina during the intervening night on Friday and Saturday, the death toll in J&K has reached 55.