It is heartening to know that India’s daily case count is coming down. What is worrying though is that the country has set a new global record of COVID deaths.
India recorded a total of 2.67 lakh positive cases in the last 24 hours with 4,529 deaths – the world’s highest one day death toll so far, breaking the US’ one day record of 4,475, set in January this year. India’s overall case count is now past 2.54 crore.
More than 20 lakh tests in a day!
It seems Wednesday was a day of firsts as more than 20 lakh tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, the highest number of tests conducted in one day in India.
The daily case count continued the downward trend on Wednesday (May 19) — the third consecutive day when cases have stayed below the 3-lakh mark. On Monday (May 17), the daily cases dropped below 3 lakh for the first time since April 21.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan recently informed that country’s average positivity rate has dropped to 13.31 percent though it remains above 15 per cent in 22 states.
Rising deaths though remain a cause for concern. Wednesday is the seventh day since May 12 when the country has registered over 4,000 daily COVID deaths.
Reasons for high death toll
Experts say one of the reasons for high death numbers could be delayed reporting by states. Maharashtra, for instance, reported over 2,000 deaths in the last 48 hours. Of the total, 1,096 deaths that occurred over a week ago were added to the toll in the last two days as part of the data reconciliation exercise, reported The Times of India. Similar incidents were reported from other states like Uttarakhand.
Another reason for high deaths could be prolonged recovery time since the disease this time (second wave) is more severe than last year. Serious complications after recovery have been found in 2% cases.
Virus spread under 2% so far, says govt
The Union Health Ministry took pride in announcing that only 1.8 per cent of the country’s population has contracted the virus so far. “Despite the high number of cases reported so far, we have been able to contain the spread to under 2 per cent of the population. We can’t let our guards down, hence continued focus on containment is critical,” a health official said on Tuesday (May 18).
As states struggle to meet the vaccination demand, the Centre claimed the states collectively have over 1.94 crore doses.
NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul said on Tuesday (May 18) that clinical trials for the 2-18 age group will begin in the coming 10 days.