NEW DELHI: India reported nearly 2 lakh fresh Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, with the daily case count almost doubling in 10 days amid an unprecedented surge in the pandemic.
A total of 1,99,620 new cases was recorded, just 380 short of the 2-lakh milestone, a mere 10 days after the single-day case tally had crossed 1 lakh, as per TOI’s data collated from state governments.
The US, the only other country to log over 2 lakh cases in a day, had taken 21 days to hit the grim milestone after crossing the 1-lakh mark. Cases in the US hit 1 lakh on October 30 last year and crossed 2 lakh on November 20. The country went on to record a peak of 3,09,035 cases in a single day on January 8, as per the worldometers.info website.
Such has been the second-wave surge in India that daily cases have hit a new high on nine of the last 11 days — the only two exceptions being Mondays, when numbers usually drop sharply due to lower testing and staff shortages over the weekend.
The death toll from the virus was over 1,000 for the second day running as 1,038 fatalities were recorded on Wednesday, the highest daily toll since October 2. On Tuesday, India had reported 1,035 deaths.
The pandemic continued to spread alarmingly through several states, particularly those in the Hindi heartland. As many as nine states posted their highest-ever rise in daily count on Wednesday. Uttar Pradesh logged 20,510 new cases, becoming the second state after Maharashtra to record more than 20,000 infections in a day. The state had recorded over 10,000 daily cases for the first time just four days ago, when the count had hit 12,787.
The pandemic in Delhi was surging almost as sharply, with the capital reporting 17,282 cases on Wednesday, having hit the 10,000 mark just three days ago. Other states that saw daily cases at an all-time high were Karnataka (11,265), Madhya Pradesh (9,720), Gujarat (7,410), Rajasthan (6,200), Haryana (5,398), Bengal (5,892) and Bihar (4,786).
In Bihar, active cases rose by 17.7% in the last 24 hours, going from 20,149 on Tuesday to 23,725 on Wednesday, with the positivity rate at 4.7%.
The positivity rate in Kerala, which voted for a new assembly on April 6, jumped to a record high of 13.45%. The state recorded 8,778 new cases, the highest since October 28.
Maharashtra, the worst-hit state, logged 58,952 fresh cases, a slight drop from Tuesday’s count of 60,212. The state continued to lead the country in cases as well as fatalities, with 278 deaths reported in the last 24 hours. Chhattisgarh reported 120 deaths, followed by Delhi — where fatalities rose sharply to 104 — Gujarat (73), UP (68), Punjab (63) and MP (51).