India recorded more than 2,000 deaths from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) after Delhi and Maharashtra updated their figures taking the country’s toll to nearly 12,000 as the infection tally rose to 354,065, the Union health ministry’s report showed on Wednesday.
According to the ministry’s Covid-19 dashboard, 10,974 fresh cases were reported from across the country in the last 24 hours and 2,003 patients succumbed to the respiratory disease. India’s death toll stands at 11,903 so far.
The death toll surged after Delhi and Maharashtra took into account hundreds of fatalities that were pending review, officials have said.
There are 155,227 active cases and 186,934 people have been discharged after being cured of the coronavirus disease, data showed.
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The recovery rate was at 52.79% slightly up from 52.46% on Tuesday.
The surge in numbers comes on a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet chief ministers of Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to discuss the pandemic situation.
PM Modi has already held consultations with chief ministers from Punjab, Assam, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Tripura and Himachal Pradesh among other states on Tuesday.
The PM in his sixth such meeting on the pandemic between the Centre, and states and Union territories said once again that the national priority must be to protect both lives and livelihoods.
“We must focus on both life and livelihood, boost health infrastructure, testing and tracing as well as increase economic activity,” he said during the virtual meeting.
How the death toll rose
As of Tuesday, 83% of Covid-19 deaths in the country have been reported from the five worst-hit states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. The 10 worst-affected states account for more than 96% of all deaths reported in India.
The country had recorded its first fatality in March when the Covid-19 infection tally was a little over 70.
The first 5,000 fatalities took 80 days, the latest 5,000 deaths came in just 17 days, with more than 2,500 being reported in the last week.
A 76-year-old man, who returned to Karnataka’s Kalburgi from Saudi Arabia, tested positive for Covid-19 and succumbed to the disease. It was reported on March 12.
India’s case fatality rate (CFR) or the proportion of death to the total number of cases has gone up to 3.4% from 2.9% with the jump in the death toll.
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India is the fourth worst-hit country in the world in terms of total Covid-19 cases but it has fared much better in terms of deaths where it comes on the eighth spot.
Its total death trajectory is also a lot more gradual when compared to many other nations ravaged by the disease. India’s CFR is at 14% and is much lower than the global average of 56%.
Worldwide, there are 8.6 million infections and 441,668 people have died till date, according to the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker.