India went past two grim Covid-19 milestones on Wednesday – crossing the 50,000 mark overall and breaching the 3,000-figure in its daily tally for the first time. With 3,602 new patients – the biggest in a day since the outbreak of the pandemic – the total number of positive cases in the country rose to 52,935.
Alarmingly, while it took five days to cover the distance from the 30,000-mark to the 40,000-mark, the next 10,000 cases in the country were added in just three days. It was on May 3 that India had topped 40,000 cases while the 30,000-mark was breached on April 28.
However, at 93, the death toll on Wednesday was less than half of the 199 casualties that were recorded across the country the previous day. Maharashtra recorded 1,233 fresh cases, taking the total to 16,758. The state reported 34 deaths, taking the toll to 651. Maharashtra alone accounts for 36.6% of the total 1777 casualties in India so far.
Delhi recorded maximum number of cases in a day – at 428 – taking the total number of Covid-19 patients to 5,532. With one more death, the toll in the national capital now is 65.
Gujarat reported 28 more deaths, 25 of these from Ahmedabad alone, taking the total state toll to 396. With 380 fresh cases, the state’s Covid count is 6,625. As the situation remained grim in Ahmedabad, the administration banned sale of grocery, vegetables and fruits – which was allowed in lockdown 1 and 2 – from Thursday till May 15. Only milk and medicines sale will be allowed.
Municipal commissioner Mukesh Kumar said in a notification: “Super spreaders like those working in shops like vegetables, fruits, grocery, provisions, supermarkets, ice-cream parlours and people engaged in home delivery of these items as well as app-based food delivery services become a potent source of infection for many.”
Bengal, which had accounted for 79 deaths on Tuesday, reported only four deaths on Wednesday, taking the state toll to 144. Madhya Pradesh reported nine deaths, Rajasthan and UP four each, Andhra Pradesh three, Tamil Nadu and Punjab two each and Haryana, Delhi and Odisha one each.
Tamil Nadu saw another big surge in infections, with 771 people testing positive, 324 of them in Chennai and 188 in Ariyalur, with the Koyambedu cluster spreading across nearly two dozen districts. Senior officials maintained that the large increase was due to focussed testing of “probable” cases from the cluster in Koyambedu which has a huge vegetable market.
Haryana’s Covid-19 count reached 595 with 46 new cases, including 36 from NCR districts. Gurugram topped the tally with 20 new cases followed by Jhajjar, Panipat, Sonipat and Faridabad with 6, 5, 3 and 2 cases, respectively.
Rajasthan recorded four deaths on Wednesday much lower than the record 12 deaths a day ago. However, the number of fresh cases rose on Wednesday by 159, compared to 97 the day before. The total number of cases in the state are 3317 while the toll is 93. Among the news cases are 30 BSF jawans from Jodhpur who were deployed in the Jama Masjid area of Delhi in the second-half of March when the Tablighi Jamaat controversy erupted.
In Tripura, 22 more BSF jawans tested positive, taking the state tally to 64. Of these, 62 are BSF personnel and their family members.
UP recorded 118 news cases, taking the state tally to 2,998. With four more deaths, the state’s toll is 60. For the second day in a row, UP reported higher number of people getting discharged than the new cases. As many as 143 patients were sent home after recovery in the past 24 hours.
In Andhra Pradesh, three more persons died and 60 others tested positive.
Odisha reported its second casualty, with a 77-yr-old man dying in Bhubaneswar even as nine more patients tested positive, taking the state total to 185.
In positive news from Kerala, no fresh cases were reported from the state, which braces itself to receive expatriates on Thursday. Only 30 active cases remain in Kerala of the total 502 reported till date.