India records highest single-day COVID rise of 2,61,500 cases

The death toll increased to 1,77,150 with a record 1,501 new fatalities in 24 hours till Sunday morning, the data updated at 8 am showed.

India in April and May witnessed a surge in COVID-19 cases, leading to a devastating second wave of the pandemic. Representative photo

A record single-day rise of 2,61,500 coronavirus infections has taken India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,47,88,109, while active cases have surpassed the 18-lakh mark, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday (April 18), a day after prime minister Narendra Modi said the country will fight COVID with “even greater speed and coordination” than last year.

The death toll increased to 1,77,150 with a record 1,501 new fatalities in 24 hours till Sunday morning, the data updated at 8 am showed.

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Active cases registering a steady increase for the 39th day, standing at 18,01,316, comprising 12.18 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has dropped to 86.62 per cent, the ministry said.

The prime minister held a review meeting on Saturday to take stock of the COVID situation in which he discussed “aspects relating to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination”. He said “the entire national capacity” should be utilised to increase vaccine production.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,28,09,643, while the case fatality rate has further dropped to 1.20 per cent, the data stated.

India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed 20 lakh on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 26,65,38,416 samples were tested up to April 17 with 15,66,394 samples being tested on Saturday.

The 1,501 new fatalities include 419 from Maharashtra, 167 from Delhi, 158 from Chhattisgarh, 120 from Uttar Pradesh, 97 from Gujarat, 80 from Karnataka, 66 from Madhya Pradesh, 62 from Punjab and 39 from Tamil Nadu.

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These fresh fatalities also include 37 each from Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, 34 each from Bihar and West Bengal, 32 from Haryana, 30 from Jharkhand, and 27 from Kerala.

The ministry said a total of 1,77,150 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 59,970 from Maharashtra, 13,270 from Karnataka, 13,071 from Tamil Nadu, 11,960 from Delhi and 10,540 from West Bengal. It said that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to co-morbidities.

“Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,” the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.

During the review meeting, the prime minister said there is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment. He said early testing and proper tracking were key to reduce mortality. He called for close coordination with states in handling the pandemic and  reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines.

(With agency inputs)

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