India records over 66 lakh COVID cases in April, highest since pandemic broke out

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NEW DELHI: India reported more than 66 lakh coronavirus cases in April, making it the worst month of the pandemic, and the total number of new cases recorded during the month is equivalent to what was earlier witnessed in over six months, showing the enormity of the second wave of COVID-19.

With a record number of over 3.86 lakh new cases recorded in the last 24 hours, India”s COVID-19 tally has risen to 1,87,67,962 — from 1,21,49,335 at the end of March 2021.

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Earlier, it had taken more than six months since September 22, 2020 for the caseload to increase by over 66 lakh.

The health ministry said since April, there has been a steep rise in the number of cases.

From April 5 onwards, the country saw over one lakh cases being reported in a day, while from April 15, the single-day rise in the number of cases went past two lakh and from April 22, it started recording over three lakh daily cases.

Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have emerged as the states of concern in the last four weeks, Joint Secretary in the Union Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said.

Sharing data, he said from February 4-17, 46 per cent of the cases came from Kerala, 25.6 per cent from Maharashtra and 4.2 per cent from Tamil Nadu. The remaining 24.4 per cent cases came from the rest of the country.

From February 18-March 3, Maharashtra contributed over 48.5 per cent of the total cases, Kerala 25.9 per cent and Punjab 3.3 per cent, while the rest of the country accounted for 22.3 per cent cases.

From March 4-17, Maharashtra contributed 59.5 per cent of the total cases, followed by Kerala (10 per cent) and Punjab (3.3 per cent). The other states accounted for 24.6 per cent of the cases.

From March 18-31, Maharashtra contributed 60 per cent of the cases, followed by Punjab (five per cent) and Karnataka (4.3 per cent). The rest of the country accounted for 30 per cent cases.

From April 1-14, Maharashtra contributed 43.2 per cent cases, followed by Chhattisgarh (7.4 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (6.2 per cent). The rest of the country accounted for 43.1 per cent of the cases during the 14-day period, Agarwal said.

From April 15-28, Maharashtra contributed 21.6 per cent of the cases, followed by Uttar Pradesh (10.4 per cent) and Delhi (7.8 per cent). The rest of the country accounted for 60.2 per cent of the cases during the period.

Agarwal said while 1,290 COVID-19 deaths were reported in the country in September last year, the figure dropped to 77 in March.

The death toll in April stood at 3,498.

From February 4-17, Maharashtra contributed 34.3 per cent of the deaths, followed by Kerala (18.2 per cent) and Punjab (6.4 per cent). The rest of the country accounted for 41.1 per cent of the deaths.

From February 18 to March 3, Maharashtra recorded 45.2 per cent of the total deaths in the country, followed by Kerala (14.7 per cent) and Punjab (10.3 per cent). The rest of the country accounted for 29.9 per cent of the deaths.

From March 4-17, Maharashtra contributed 44.6 per cent of the total deaths, followed by Punjab (16.3 per cent) and Kerala (11.5 per cent). The rest of the country accounted for 27.5 pc of the deaths.

From March 18-31, Maharashtra contributed 41.6 pc of the total deaths, followed by Punjab (19.7 per cent) and Chhattisgarh (6.5 per cent) while the rest of the country accounted for 32.1 per cent of the fatalities.

From April 1-14, Maharashtra contributed 42.7 per cent of the total deaths, followed by Chhattisgarh (11 per cent) and Punjab (8.3 per cent) while the rest of the country accounted for 38.1 per cent of the deaths.

From April 15-28, Maharashtra contributed 26.3 per cent of the deaths, followed by Delhi (12.3 per cent) and Chhattisgarh (8.9 per cent), while the rest of the country accounted for 52.5 per cent of the deaths, Agarwal said.

“We saw a peak in September. After that, we again saw a peak in April. This trend was also observed in other countries. Some countries have also observed a third wave.

“Many states that had witnessed a peak in September are recording high numbers and this has put the health infrastructure under strain and it is very important to work on this,” he said.

Agarwal cited the example of Maharashtra, which saw 24,886 cases in September, but the figure rose to 68,631 cases in April, which is 2.8 times higher.

“Same is the case with Uttar Pradesh, which saw 5.4 times more cases in April than September. Chhattisgarh saw a 4.5-time rise, Delhi a 3.3-time increase, Rajasthan a five-time spike and Andhra Pradesh saw a 1.4-time rise in the number of cases,” he said.

The number of active COVID-19 cases has reached 31,70,228 in the country, accounting for 16.90 per cent of its total caseload.

Eleven states — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Bihar — cumulatively account for 78.18 per cent of the active cases in the country, according to the health ministry.