NEW DELHI: India has become the second country in the world after the US to record 5 million Covid-19 cases, with the last 1 million coming in a world-record time of 11 days. The grim milestone was reached on Tuesday, when over 90,000 fresh infections were reported while deaths rose by 1,275, the highest single-day toll recorded so far.
While it took 167 days for cases in India to reach the first 1 million — the slowest among the worst-hit countries, with a strict lockdown in place — infections in the country have been racing ever since. The next 4 million cases have come in 61 days, the fastest rise in the world. Only the US, with 6.7 million infections, has more recorded cases.
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Active cases in the country also crossed the 1-million mark on Tuesday. As with the total infection count, India’s active cases are also the second highest in the world after the US, where the tally is 2.5 million.
With 90,789 new infections on Tuesday, India’s caseload has risen to 50,14,395, as per TOI’s data collated from state governments. More than 1.3 million cases, 27% of the total, have been recorded so far in September alone.
Meanwhile, India recorded its highest single-day death toll, mainly on account of a big surge in fatalities in Maharashtra, which alone reported a record 515 deaths. Deaths also surged in Uttar Pradesh, which reported 113 fatalities, Karnataka (97), Punjab (90), Andhra Pradesh (69), Tamil Nadu (68) and Bengal (59).
The daily count of cases was over 90,000 again after dropping to 80,663 on Monday, as per TOI’s data. Cases rose in most of the worst-hit states (except Karnataka, where lower testing led to cases decreasing by around 1,500). Bengal, with 3,227 fresh cases, and Rajasthan with 1,760, recorded their highest single-day jump in infections.
With the addition of 515 deaths on Tuesday, the highest reported for any day, Maharashtra’s total death count crossed the 30,000 mark and stood at 30,409, accounting for 37% of Covid-19 deaths in India. Covid mortalities in the state have doubled from a daily average of 202 in the first week of July to 409.
Earlier, the highest deaths reported in a day were 495, on September 10. Tuesday was the first time in over six months since Covid-19 struck Maharashtra that the state reported 500 deaths. The state’s fatality rate stands at 2.7%.
A record 113 Covid-related deaths were reported in Uttar Pradesh in the past 24 hours. This is the maximum number of deaths reported in a single day so far. With this, the total number of Covid-19 casualties in the state reached 4,604 on Tuesday.
As per an official Covid-19 bulletin, Lucknow accounted for maximum 15 deaths, taking the total number of deaths in the capital city to 539.
Meanwhile, the Odisha government asked the district administrations to avoid referring patients to Cuttack and Bhubaneswar where the intensive care units (ICUs) are almost full.