India added nearly 79,000 fresh cases to its Covid-19 tally on Saturday, the highest single-day surge recorded in any country so far, taking the national caseload past the 3.5 million (35 lakh) mark amid an unprecedented spike in the pandemic numbers over the past seven days.
At 78,903 fresh cases, Saturday’s Covid-19 numbers in India went past the previous highest single-day count of 78,427 infections reported in the US on July 25, when that country was witnessing its biggest surge of the virus.
The rise in cases in India over the past week has been even sharper. The country has recorded 4,96,070 cases in seven days while going from a caseload of 30 lakh to 35 lakh, at an average of 70,867 cases per day. This is the highest number recorded during a seven-day period in the world, higher than the US’s worst spikes in the latter half of July.
The record addition of fresh cases on Saturday was in no small measure due to a massive rise in cases in Maharashtra, which reported as many as 16,867 fresh infections. This was a huge jump from the state’s previous highest of 14,888 recorded on August 26.
Other states which reported high numbers on Saturday were Andhra Pradesh (10,548, above 10,000 for the fourth day), Karnataka (8,324, above 8,000 for five days), Tamil Nadu (6,352) and Uttar Pradesh (5,684). Tamil Nadu daily count crossed 6,000 for the first time since July 29.
With daily cases soaring in recent days, the pool of active cases has seen a sharp rise. Active cases have increased by nearly 49,000 in the past four days to 7,66,226. Recoveries rose by 64,681 on Saturday to 27,06,861, as per data collated from state governments.
The day’s deaths from the virus were recorded at 945, the toll dropping below 1,000 for the first time in five days. On the 174th day of the Covid-19 outbreak, Maharashtra breached the 7.5 lakh case tally by registering its highest single-day caseload of 16,867. Mumbai – once the worst hotspot in the country that has been stable for three months – too counted higher-than-usual numbers at 1,432 cases.
The highest single-day addition in the state earlier was 14,888 on August 26. The state for the third day in a row added over 300 deaths to its toll (328), taking the total deaths to 24,103. Of the total deaths reported on Saturday, 255 were from the last 48 hours, 37 from last week and the remaining 36 from the week before that, officials said.
Tamil Nadu added the highest number of fresh Covid-19 cases and the lowest number of deaths, 87, in a month on Saturday. On July 29, the state had reported 6,426 fresh cases and the previous day it had reported 88 deaths. While daily caseload steadily declined, the number of deaths went up. On an average, the state reported 5,847 cases and 110 deaths a day in August.
Assam’s cumulative Covid-19 count crossed the one lakh-mark on Friday, five months after the first case was reported in Silchar. However, while 80% of the patients have recovered, the number of active patients slipping into a critical condition requiring oxygen support has increased over the period.
Statistics show even as the cumulative count of cases reached 1,01,367 on Friday, the doubling time of spread of the virus has considerably slowed to 23 days.
Gujarat recorded another daily high in Covid-19 positive cases at 1,282 in the 24 hours ending at 5pm on Saturday, taking the cumulative case tally to 93,883. It was the second consecutive day that the state recorded 1,200-plus daily cases.