Residents wait to give their sample at a Covid-19 testing centre in Chennai (AFP photo)
NEW DELHI: New Covid-19 cases dipped for the second straight day on Monday but the absolute numbers remained high. At 18,870, fresh infections reported in the country during the day were the third highest to date, the previous two days having reported the highest counts. The day’s toll from the virus was 415.
South India has seen a sharp rise in cases over the past few days. The five southern states, along with UT Puducherry, together accounted for 6,985 new cases on Monday, 37% of the day’s total. On Sunday, the number was 7,150, 36.2% of the total (19,741). By contrast, the share of the south in India’s daily Covid-19 count on the first two days of June was below 22%.
Over the past three days, all five southern states and Puducherry have reported their highest single-day jump in cases, with Telangana and Karnataka registering over 1,000 cases on at least one of these days.
On Monday, Tamil Nadu reported its highest single-day jump in infections with 3,949 cases. In Karnataka, 1,105 new infections were detected, the second-highest after Sunday’s count of 1,267. Similarly, Telangana reported its highest count of 1,087 new cases on Saturday, while cases jumped by 813 in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday.
India’s Covid-19 caseload stood at 5,67,423, as per data collated from state governments. The death toll was 16,882 while the number of recovered patients was over 3.35 lakh. Active cases had risen to over 2.15 lakh.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra has recorded over a lakh cases in June so far. With an addition of 5,257 cases on Monday — the fourth consecutive day of adding 5,000-plus cases — the state tally touched 1,69,883. Of the total, 1,02,231 cases were added in June alone, and Mumbai’s share was 37,079, roughly 37%.
Maharashtra reported 181 deaths on Monday, taking its toll to 7,610. Officials said 78 of the deaths occurred in the last 48 hours, while 103 were unreported ones from earlier. Mumbai contributed 92 of these deaths, which included 72 unreported deaths. The civic body’s death toll currently stands at 4,462.
In Tamil Nadu, fresh Covid-19 infections were close to 4,000 for the second day on Monday, which saw 62 deaths pushing the toll to 1,141. Chennai on Monday recorded 2,167 cases. As the disease spread into the districts, the case doubling time dropped to 14 days for Tamil Nadu from 17 days on June 20, but a bigger worry was the rapidly dropping doubling time for deaths. In June, the state recorded 947 deaths, excluding the 200 deaths in Chennai yet to be added to the official toll.
Statistics released by the state health department show that Covid 19 deaths in TN have been doubling in 10-11 days. “We are now beginning to see a spike in deaths in districts. If we don’t contain the disease, it could increase. The only effective way to do this is to increase diagnosis and initiate early treatment,” said former city health officer Dr P Kuganandam.
In Gujarat, Ahmedabad recorded an alarming 145% jump in the number of dead cremated at 24 city crematoriums in May this year, as compared to the same month in 2019,. The trend has continued in June as 3,380 cremations took place till June 18 this year as compared to 2,523 cremations in the entire month in 2019.
The data, shared by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation in reply to an Right to Information application, is an indication that loss of lives was much higher this year even if one factors in deaths due to Covid-19 and a maximum 12% rise in deaths expected by AMC year on year.
Gujarat in 24 hours ending 5 pm on Monday recorded 626 cases – 13 cases every 30 minutes – the highest for the state so far. The state's tally has now reached 32,023. It's the third consecutive day for the state to post the highest daily tally and 600-plus cases. It’s also the highest daily tally for Surat district that for the first time crossed the 200-cases mark.
Delhi’s Covid-19 count crossed the 85,000 mark on Monday with 2,084 more persons testing positive for the disease. The death toll from the disease has touched 2,680, authorities said.