Coronavirus: In a first, health ministry reports over 1,000 new cases in a day

NEW DELHI: The health ministry said on Saturday that India’s
Covid-19 count had for the first time seen an increase of more than 1,000 cases in 24 hours. Many of these cases, however, had been accounted earlier in TOI’s round-ups of reports from states, which have been indicating an overall surge in the Covid-19 outbreak in the past three days.

Delhi, meanwhile, recorded five deaths of
coronavirus patients in the past 24 hours, the highest single-day toll in the capital so far, even as the number of new cases continued to remain high at 166. Delhi has so far recorded 1,069 cases, the second city after Mumbai to cross the four-figure mark.

Meanwhile, ICMR said it had tested 1,79,374 samples for the Covid-19 infection from 1,64,773 individuals in the country till 9pm on Saturday, out of which 4.3% were positive.

As per reports from states, Saturday saw 825 new Covid-19 cases in the country, the second-highest after Friday’s 863.

Lav Aggarwal, joint secretary in the ministry, said 1,035 fresh Covid-19 cases and 40 deaths due to the disease were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the official number of cases to 7,447 and the number of deaths to 239 nationwide.

Reports from states collated by TOI put the total number of cases in the country at 8426, and the death toll at 290, with 32 reported on Saturday.

Maharashtra continues to report the maximum number of cases, 187 on Saturday, but the situation in Delhi seems to be deteriorating fast as well.

Among the 166 new cases reported in the capital, 128 were related to the Nizamuddin cluster caused by the
Tablighi Jamaat meetings in March. But in order to avoid profiling of positive cases, the government has put their data under a new category called ‘positive cases – under special operations’.

Delhi has a capacity of 2,406 beds designated for Covid-19 patients in all its hospitals. Because of the sudden rise in cases in the state, only 32% of these are vacant, government data shows. “If the trend of sharp rise in cases in Delhi continues, we may soon reach a crisis situation. Government will have to designate more hospitals for Covid-19 treatment,” said a senior doctor.

Maharashtra recorded 17 Covid-19 deaths on Saturday, taking the toll in the state to 127, by far the highest in the country.

Rajasthan continued to reported rising numbers of new cases, which went up from 98 on Friday to a new high of 139. The state’s total count of Covid-19 cases is now 700.

Tamil Nadu recorded 58 new cases on Covid-19, taking its tally to 969, the third highest in the country.

Kerala, which recorded India’s first Covid-19 case on January 30 and remained among the most affected states for nearly two months, continued to show a sharp decline in fresh cases. On Saturday, the coastal state recorded only 10 new infections. “The fall in new cases and the meteoric rise in the number of people recuperating are reasons enough to rejoice. But such positive developments should never be reasons for the society to slip into complacency,” Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan said.

Coronavirus cases continued to multiply in Gujarat. The state recorded 90 new cases on Saturday, taking the total to 243. The state also recorded three more deaths, all men from Ahmedabad, taking the state’s death toll to 22.

The cases in Gujarat were propelled primarily by the spike in Ahmedabad district. An analysis of positive cases show that it took Ahmedabad 19 days to records its first 100 cases between March 20 and April 9. In the next two days, April 10 and 11, the city added 101 more cases, taking its tally zooming to 243.

Telangana saw two more deaths and 16 new coronavirus positive cases on Saturday taking the state’s tally of cases to 503. This included 393 active cases, 14 deaths and 96 people being discharged.

Uttar Pradesh recorded 21 new cases. Three more persons tested positive for Covid-19 in Jharkhand on Saturday, taking the state’s total count to 17.

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