COVID-19 cases skyrocket in India

NEW DELHI, MAR 28 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 3/28/2021 12:45:40 PM IST

 62,714 test +ve, highest 1-day jump in five months


Single day death cross 300 for first time this year

India on Sunday broke all records of 2021 with the highest 62,714 coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours  in five months, while the day’s deaths hit the year’s peak at 312 and the active cases also touched a fresh high of 4.86 lakh, taking the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 1,19,71,624, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday.

Registering a steady increase for the 18th day in row, the active cases have increased to 4,86,310 comprising 4.06% of the total infections, while the recovery rate has further dropped to 94.58%, the data stated.

Eight states and UTs have a weekly positivity rate of coronavirus infection higher than the national average of 5.04 percent, with Maharashtra recording the highest rate at 22.78 percent, the Union Health ministry said on Sunday. Apart from Maharashtra, the other seven states and UTs with higher positivity rate than national average are Chandigarh (11.85% positivity rate), Punjab (8.45%), Goa (7.03%), Puducherry (6.85%), Chhattisgarh (6.79%), Madhya Pradesh (6.65%) and Haryana (5.41%).

The daily death toll of 312 is the highest since December 25, 2020 when 336 new deaths were reported.

Over 5.94 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered till now in the country, the Union Health Ministry said. 

The ministry said of the total 5,94,92,824 doses, 81,26,776 healthcare workers were given the first dose and 51,62,679 HCWs were given the second dose.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday instructed officials to be prepared to impose lockdown-like restrictions if people fail to adhere to Covid-appropriate behaviour.

The chief minister held a meeting with the Covid-19 task force and officials concerned to discuss the steep rise in infections that the state is witnessing in the past few weeks.

Why second wave could be much worse 
Coronavirus disease cases in India are rising at a rate not seen since May last year, and the daily infections in two states have already hit record highs, indicating that the country’s second wave may be worse than the first wave despite the ongoing vaccination drive.
The most striking feature of India’s second wave of infections has been the speed at which the numbers have been growing. On Friday, more than 62,000 positive cases were detected in the country. Just ten days ago, this daily count of cases was less than 30,000.
Last time, it had taken 23 days for India to move from 30,000 cases a day to 60,000. And, at that time, in July and August last year, there were far greater number of susceptible people who could have been infected. 
Five months of continuous decline in coronavirus numbers, after the peak achieved in middle of September, had given rise to hopes that the critical infection level in the community had already been reached. And, though the possibility of a fresh waves was never ruled out, it was expected that these would only be short-lived with lower and lower peaks compared to that achieved in September.
However, at the rate at which new infections are getting detected, there seems to be a real threat of the September peak getting surpassed. 
States like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have just begun to show the surge. Apart from Maharashtra and Kerala, the two states that have reported more than 10,000 cases in a day, are Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. 
The other remarkable feature of the second wave is the high concentration of cases in a few states. Maharashtra has been contributing more than 60 per cent of the cases every day. 
As of now, there is no indication that this second wave is coming to an end anytime soon. It could again happen all of a sudden, like last time, when the numbers, rather inexplicably, had begun to come down after reaching 98,000 cases a day. With more and more people getting vaccinated, and a large proportion having already been infected, the expectation is that the second wave would last for a shorter period of time than the first.
What is also possible is that different states might peak at different times. That has already happened earlier.

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