NEW DELHI: India recorded its highest single-day spike in Covid-19 cases as well as fatalities, with 24,201 fresh infections and 608 deaths from the virus reported on Saturday. This was the third straight day of record rise in infections as more than 23,500 cases were reported on Friday and over 22,000 the day before.
India’s Covid-19 caseload has risen to 6,72,968, as per data collated from state governments. The tally is set to cross Russia’s Covid-19 count (at present 6,74,515) on Sunday, if current infection trends hold. That will put India at the third spot, behind the US (over 29.1 lakh cases) and Brazil (15.5 lakh), among countries with the highest coronavirus cases.
Saturday’s record surge in infections was again led by Maharashtra, which recorded a massive 7,074 new cases, crossing the 7,000 mark for the first time. At least six other states reported their highest single-day jump in cases, with Karnataka registering 1,839, Bengal 743, Gujarat 712, Rajasthan 480 and Kerala 240. Fresh cases crossed the 100 mark for the first in Goa, which added 108 to its tally.
The daily death toll also went past 600 for the first time, discounting the 2,003 deaths reported on June 16, which mostly comprised backdated fatalities recorded during data reconciliation exercises in Maharashtra and Delhi. These two states reported the highest deaths on Saturday too, with Maharashtra adding a record 295 fatalities to its count and Delhi reporting 81 deaths. The toll was high in Tamil Nadu, where 65 deaths were recorded, Karnataka (42), Uttar Pradesh (24), Gujarat (21) and Bengal (19).
As south India continued to witness a huge spike in the coronavirus infections, Telangana and Karnataka pushed Bengal to the eight position while climbing to the No. 6 and 7 spots, respectively, in the list of states with the highest cases.
In an ominous warning of the way the pandemic could play out over the next few weeks, Karnataka’s Covid-19 caseload crossed 21,000 on Saturday, with the state reporting 1,839 more cases. With this, the state tally touched 21,549.
Bengaluru, for the first time, reported more than 1,000 cases a day, with a tally of 1,172. The day also saw 42 deaths all over the state, the highest reported so far. Of these, 24 were from Bengaluru, including two who died at home. There are 226 patients in ICUs across the state, including 124 in Bengaluru alone.
A day after its tally crossed one lakh, Tamil Nadu recorded 4,280 fresh Covid-19 cases on Saturday, taking the total active cases to 44,956. The death toll rose to 1,450 with 65 more fatalities reported. This included 37 in Chennai, which pushed the city’s death toll to 1,033.
As the state shows a steady climb in new infections, Chennai dropped below 2,000 cases for the first time in days, registering 1,842 fresh cases, even as epidemiologists indicated that several other districts had started to show a spike in infections.
Gujarat in 24 hours ending 5pm on Saturday recorded its highest 712 cases – or one case every two minutes – taking the total Covid-19 positive cases to 35,398 in the state. Gujarat also recorded deaths of 21 positive patients – highest in 10 days – pushing the death toll to 1,927. On July 1 also, the state had recorded 21 deaths in a day.
Surat again pipped Ahmedabad to record the highest 253 cases as compared to 172 registered in Ahmedabad. In the past five days, Surat has recorded the highest cases thrice.
In Rajasthan, fresh infections breached the 400 mark for the first time as the state recorded 480 new cases. The previous highest was 395 cases reported on June 23. Saturday’s grim record came as 11 districts reported 20 or more than 20 new infections. Highest number of cases was from Alwar, where 54 persons were found infected.