The number of new COVID-19 cases in India crossed the 6,000 mark for the first time, as four states — Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Karnataka –reported their highest number of new cases in a single day.
The breaching of the 6,000/day mark comes two days after India crossed the 5,000 mark for the first time.
However, unlike two days ago — when the spurt was caused by a sudden increase in cases from Maharashtra — this time, the contribution of the western Indian state remained stable at 2,078, or a third of the total.
Maharashtra had contributed 47% of the total cases on Sunday when India crossed the 5,000/day mark.
This time, the jump in total cases has been due to strong increases from several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Karnataka — all of which reported recorded additions.
The government also started reporting a ‘central pool’ — currently consisting of 814 patients whose state is yet to be identified. This central pool likely consists of people who have been detected with COVID-19 while on inter-state duty, such as defence personnel and railway police.
The spurt seen in several states will likely cause some concern to authorities.
Uttar Pradesh, for example, saw its daily cases zoom to 321, which is 56% higher than its previous record of 206 reported for Sunday, when India had crossed the 5,000/day mark.
Delhi too reported a new record with 500 additional cases. Its previous record was 472, reported six days earlier.
Rajasthan has been reporting steady day-on-day increases in its tally for almost eight days, and had 338 new cases on Tuesday, compared to its previous record of 305 cases reported on Monday.
Karnataka, which had never seen its new cases cross the 100/day mark, reported 149 new cases.
The rapid increase in the number of new cases — combined with a massive internal migration and a relaxation of social distancing rules — could mean that cases could double or treble in the next 10-12 days, in turn forcing a roll-back of the relaxations.
However, on a positive note, the number of new deaths due to COVID-19 has remained largely under control in India compared to foreign countries.
Only about 7.2% of the resolved COVID-19 cases in India has resulted in deaths, compared to 14% globally.
At 7.2%, the percentage of deaths in India (mortality rate) is still double that of Russia (3.6%) and thrice as high as that of Chile (2.3%).
It is less than that of Peru (7.4%) and Brazil (14.4%).