NEW DELHI: Covid-19 deaths in India rose sharply on Tuesday, hitting triple digits in a single day for the first time with 199 casualties reported from across the country in the past 24 hours, taking the toll to 1,688. New cases remained high at 2,801 in the last 24 hours, the second-highest so far after Monday’s spike, as the total coronavirus count came within touching distance of the half-lakh mark at 49,333.
With a surge in deaths in the past few days, the mortality rate of the virus has risen slightly from 3.2% on April 30 to 3.4 on Tuesday. Of the 199 deaths, Bengal alone accounted for 79 — 72 of these were earlier termed as deaths due to co-morbidities — followed by 49 in Gujarat and 34 in Maharashtra. Gujarat toll was the highest recorded by any state so far in 24-hours.
However, Bengal government maintained that the 72 victims had co-morbidities and died “with the virus but not of the virus”. With 85 fresh cases on Tuesday, Bengal also recorded its highest spike in Covid cases, with the total count rising to 1,344. However, of the total cases, 235 were not reported earlier.
As per the Union health ministry, as many as 3,900 new cases and 195 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. However, most of these cases were reported by TOI over the past two days, relying on data released by state governments.
The Centre said that delayed reporting of positive cases as well as deaths was the main cause behind sudden surge on these two counts in the figures released on Tuesday. “We are dealing with infectious disease. Therefore, timely reporting of cases and their clinical management is important. In some states, this gap (in reporting) has been noted and (these issues) are now being addressed,” health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal said.
Responding to a question on Bengal, Agarwal said, “We followed up with certain states as we were not receiving reports of cases and deaths on time from them. We pursued them and (the issues) are now being addressed.”
Significantly, Delhi crossed the 5,000-mark with 206 more persons testing positive for the disease. Tuesday’s figures come as a relief as this is for the first time after the last three days that Delhi has recorded below-300 numbers. Like Monday, no deaths were reported in Delhi on Tuesday.
Gujarat recorded maximum deaths in a day with 49 casualties, taking the state toll to 368. Also, for the first time the state breached the 400-mark in a single day by recording 441 fresh patients, taking the total number of cases to 6,245. The situation is getting worse by the day in Ahmedabad, which reported 349 or 79% of the total cases and 39 or 79% of the total deaths on Tuesday.
Maharashtra breached the 15,000-mark by reporting 984 fresh cases, taking the total number to 15,525.
Of the total cases, nearly 900 patients were confirmed earlier but were added to the tally only on Monday, not reflecting in the figures reported by TOI. Maharashtra breached the 15,000-mark in just five days after reaching the 10,000-mark. With 34 casualties on Tuesday, Maharashtra recorded its third-highest death toll in a single day, taking the cumulative death toll beyond the 600-mark to reach 617 deaths.
For the second day in a row, the state attributed the big jump in figures to bookkeeping and said that only 841 of the 984 cases were for a 24-hour period, the second-highest single-day addition, while the remaining – 143 – were cases tested over the past one week but confirmed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) only on Monday. The state claimed that its data cleaning process was now complete for all the districts except Mumbai.
Mumbai on Tuesday contributed to nearly 75% of the state’s daily tally by adding 635 new cases, second highest single-day jump for the city. Mumbai with 9945 total cases is just handful of cases away from touching the 10,000-mark.
The other states reporting deaths in double digits on Tuesday were Rajasthan (12) and Madhya Pradesh. Rajasthan reported the highest number of Covid-19 deaths in a single day, taking the toll to 89. Of these, Jaipur alone accounts for 50 deaths.
UP recorded 118 new cases, taking the total to 2880. The state recorded seven more deaths, taking the toll to 56. As many as 185 patients were discharged, the highest number in a day.
Tamil Nadu crossed the 4,000-mark with 508 more patients testing positive, taking the total number to 4,058. Chennai accounts for nearly 50% of these cases. The state capital added 279 new patients to its tally. Two people – a 56-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman — died in the last 24 hours, taking the state toll to 33.
Andhra Pradesh reported 67 new Covid-19 positive cases, taking the tally to 1,717, with hotbed Kurnool becoming the first district in the state to cross the 500-mark.
In Tripura, 12 more BSF jawans and a mess worker of the 138th battalion of the paramilitary force located at Ambassa in Dhalai district tested positive on Tuesday. Earlier, 25 jawans of the same battalion and two of their children had got infected.