NEW DELHI: India recorded its highest single-day Covid count in over five months on Wednesday with 53,364 people testing positive for the virus. The last time the country had surpassed this tally was on October 23 when 54,350 cases were recorded.
However, unlike in the second half of October, when the first wave was receding after having peaked on September 17, this time around the pandemic is surging rapidly. On September 17, the peak of the first wave in India, the daily count was just around 2,000 cases short of the one-lakh mark.
For the second consecutive day, the daily Covid toll breached the 200-mark with 248 victims succumbing to the virus on Wednesday. The toll was lower than the previous day’s figure of 276. On October 23 — when the cases were just about 1,000 more than March 24 — the day’s toll was 665. However, the active cases on October 23 stood at 6,86,792 and during the second half of October they were decreasing rapidly with each passing day as the number of patients getting discharged was outnumbering new cases. In contrast, active cases now have been rising at a very fast pace and stood at 3,96,889 on March 24. The last six days have seen an increase in active cases by a whopping one lakh.
The rapid increase on Wednesday by over 6,000 cases against Tuesday’s 47,281 infections was led by Maharashtra, which reported its highest-ever count at 31,855. Mumbai, too, recorded its highest-ever daily tally, aided by a massive jump in cases — from 3,514 the previous day to 5,190 on Wednesday. Active cases in Maharashtra are inching closer to the 2.5-lakh mark. The daily toll in Maharashtra was lower at 95 against 134 fatalities on Tuesday.
The Maharashtra government’s Covid-19 task force called for a stringent check on people’s movement in Mumbai, including shutting down of popular spots such as Juhu beach for a few weeks, restrictions on post-7pm movement of people and early closure of non-essential shops.
Gujarat, too, recorded its highest-ever count with 1,790 cases on Wednesday.
Apart from Maharashtra and Gujarat, 19 states and Union territories logged their highest number of cases since January or earlier — Karnataka (2,298 cases, highest since November 11), Andhra Pradesh (585, highest since December 9), Tamil Nadu (1,636, highest since November 22), Delhi (1,254, highest since December 18), UP (737, highest since January 8), Bengal (462, highest since January 17), Odisha (170, highest since January 17), Rajasthan (669, highest since December 31), Chhattisgarh (2,106, highest since November 21), Telangana (431, highest since January 1), Haryana (981, highest since December 14), Bihar (170, highest since January 20), MP (1,712, highest since November 25), J&K (195, highest since January 2), Jharkhand (194, highest since January 9), Uttarakhand (200, highest since January 16), Himachal (266, highest since December 25), Puducherry (125, highest since November 6) and Chandigarh (249, highest since September 20).