NEW DELHI: India recorded its biggest single-day surge in Covid-19 infections by adding 83,029 fresh cases on Wednesday, crossing the 83,000-mark for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic. This is the third time that India has crossed the 80,000-mark and, worryingly, the three peaks came in the last four days alone, pointing at the rapid spread of the disease.
No other country in the world has come anywhere close to the 83,000-mark in a day. Earlier, the US had set a record in daily infections by reporting 77,255 cases on July 16 as per Johns Hopkins University figures — a grim milestone which India crossed on August 29 with 78,903 fresh cases.
The surge on Wednesday came on the back of Maharashtra reporting a record 17,433 fresh cases, breaching the 17,000-mark for the first time and becoming the only state in the country to do so. The state’s previous high was 16,867 cases on August 29. Maharashtra also crossed another harsh record by crossing the 25,000-mark in fatalities with 292 fresh deaths, taking the total toll to 25,195.
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With 1,023 fresh deaths, India’s cumulative toll reached 67,415. Maharashtra alone accounts for 37% of the figure. Tamil Nadu — which reported 98 fresh deaths on Wednesday taking the state’s toll to 7,516 — has the second-highest Covid toll in the country after Maharashtra. Karnataka, another badly affected state in the south, reported 113 deaths, pushing the state’s total toll close to the 6,000-mark at 5,950.
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In the north, while Delhi continued to report a surge in fresh cases in what could be a second wave of the infection, fatalities are growing at an alarming rate in Punjab, which reported 106 deaths on Wednesday — its highest ever in a day and in triple digits for the first time. Punjab’s toll now stands at 1,618 and its fatality rate of 2.8% is far higher than the national rate of 1.7%. Punjab health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu has given a call to people to urgently go for Covid-19 tests in case of symptoms as delay in testing/treatment is the main cause of the high mortality rate.
Andhra Pradesh (72 deaths), UP (75), Bengal (56), Delhi (19), Madhya Pradesh (27), and Haryana and J&K (15 each) are other states that reported several deaths on Wednesday. Goa hit a record in the daily toll by reporting 10 deaths.
Besides Maharashtra, at least five states reported their biggest single-day surge on Wednesday — Karnataka (9,860 cases), Uttarakhand (836), Tripura (566), Rajasthan (1,511) and Goa (636).
The cumulative caseload of the country as per figures collated from the state governments now stands at 38,45,059. As many as 29,60,451 of them have recovered while the active cases stand at 8,17,193.