The number of novel coronavirus infections saw the biggest spike in India with 6,654 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total tally to 1,25,101 on Saturday, the union health ministry said on Saturday. The death toll due to the pandemic rose to 3,720 after 137 more fatalities.
This was the fifth day in the last one week that the infections have increased by a record number, as nearly 35,000 cases have emerged in this time span. Both the spread of the virus and the spurt in cases in recent days will be a cause for concern for the authorities. Follow all live updates of coronavirus outbreak here.
India has registered highest single day spikes on May 17 (4,987 cases), May 18 (5,242 cases), May 20 (5,611 cases), May 22 (6,088 cases) and May 23 (6,654 cases) in the last seven days. Only on May 19 (4,970) and May 21 (5,609) were new daily records not set.
The record rise of 6,654 cases on Saturday was once again led by Maharashtra, which reported 2,940 new cases in the last 24 hours, of which 1,751 were from Mumbai alone.
The jump in cases, officials have pointed out, also corresponds to a rise in testing as 1 lakh samples have been tested daily for five days in a row now. Over the last two months, India has increased its testing capacity from 1,000 tests per day in March to one lakh tests daily tests.
The active cases of the coronavirus disease have risen to 69,597, while 51,784 people have recovered, according to the ministry bulletin.
But what continues to surprise is the relatively low number of Covid-19 deaths in India, even as the cases report a surge. Even as record number of cases were recorded in the last few days, the number of deaths did not exceed 150 even once.
Of the 137 new deaths confirmed on Saturday, 63 were in Maharashtra, 29 in Gujarat, 14 each from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, six from West Bengal, four from Tamil Nadu, two each from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, and one from Haryana.
The central government has, meanwhile, said lockdowns 1 and 2 managed to avert between 1.4 and 2.9 million coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases and 54,000 deaths, according to government data released by Niti Aayog member Vinod Paul on Friday. At least five different agencies were involved in data analysis, providing a range between 1.4 and 2.9 million cases averted, and between 37,000 and 78,000 deaths averted.
The analysis also showed that much of the outbreak is confined to a limited area. As of May 21, around 80% of the Covid-19 cases were limited to five states, and 90% of the cases were spread largely across 10 states. The states are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Karnataka.