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NEW DELHI: While Maharashtra and the southern states continue to log the highest number of fresh Covid-19 cases and deaths in the country, there has been a significant surge in infections in at least six states of north and east India, home to millions of workers employed in other parts of the country.
In the past 23 days (July 24-August 16), when cases in India doubled, infections in these six states put together rose 2.6 times. These six — Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bengal and Assam — were also among states where concerns had been raised over inadequate testing, leading to a rise in the number of tests in recent days.
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Meanwhile, fresh cases in the country dipped for the second straight day, with 53,230 infections recorded on Monday, down from over 67,000 reported on Saturday.
Deaths from the virus recorded on Monday also dipped slightly to 902. However, the toll has stayed over 900 for the sixth day running, as per data collated from state governments. India’s total caseload stood at 26,98,877 while recoveries rose to over 19.7 lakh.
Significantly, active cases in the country decreased for the second straight day. The dip on Monday was sharper at over 8,000, with total active cases dropping to 6,74,650 from 6,83,401 on Sunday.
The change in active cases will now be watched keenly as the number denotes the pool of Covid-19 infections in the country. The drop in fresh cases over the past two days, and consequently in active cases, appears to be linked to decreased testing during the Independence Day weekend.
The surge of the coronavirus in the six ‘migrant’ states of north and east India can be also be gauged from their rising share in India’s total cases. On July 24, the collective share of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bengal and Assam in the country’s Covid-19 cases was 15.6%. By August 16, it had risen to over 20%.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu added 5,890 Covid-19 cases and 120 deaths on Monday. The cumulative death toll touched 5,886. The state has 54,122 patients still under treatment. While 16% of the cases are still active, the recovery rate was close to 82%, the overall case fatality rate in the state was 1.6%.
With the addition of 8,493 new Covid19 cases, lowest in the last 13 days, Maharashtra crossed 6 lakh cases on Monday. The time taken for the state to go from 5 lakh to 6 lakh cases has been only nine days. The total cases in the state stand at 6,04,358 of which 1,55,268 are active cases (25.6%).
Maharashtra also reported a dip in Covid-19 fatalities on Monday, recording 228 deaths, the lowest in 21 days. The state had reported 227 deaths on July 27.
Andhra Pradesh reported 6,780 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, the lowest single-day count in the last three weeks, and 82 deaths. The cumulative caseload stands at 2,96,609 as of August 17. The cumulative death toll now stands at 2,732. The last time the state reported less than 7,000 new cases in a day was on July 27.
In Rajasthan, 14% of all Covid-19 cases have been reported in the last seven days as the state reported the biggest single-day jump of 1,334 new infections on Monday, taking the cumulative tally to 62,630.

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