NEW DELHI: Fresh Covid-19 cases in India registered a week-on-week rise for the first time in 12 weeks since the peak of the second wave in early May, in what could be an early sign of another spike in the pandemic in the country. Currently, however, the surge is mainly restricted to Kerala and, to a much lesser degree, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
India recorded just over 2.86 lakh new cases in the current week ended Sunday (July 26-August 1), a 7.5% rise from the previous week’s tally of 2.66 lakh. Weekly cases in the country have registered a rise for the first time since May 3-9, when the second wave peaked. The fall in cases had continued till last week, even though the decline had slowed to 1.4%.
Kerala, the current epicentre of the pandemic in India, logged close to 1.4 lakh cases in the present week, a 26.5% increase from the previous week’s tally of 1.1 lakh. The state accounted for nearly half (49%) of all new cases in the country in the last seven days, with a daily average of 20,000 new cases. Kerala posted 20,728 cases on Sunday, the sixth straight day that the daily count had stayed over 20,000.
Worryingly, there were signs that Kerala’s Covid surge was spilling out to its neighbouring states. Karnataka recorded a 17.3% increase in new cases as compared to the previous week, although the rise hasn’t been much in absolute numbers. Karnataka reported 12,442 cases in the current week as opposed to 10,610 in the previous seven days.
In Tamil Nadu, the weekly case count remained the same as in the previous week — 13,090 cases as compared with 13,095 in the previous week. This breaks the trend of declining case numbers in the state that had held for close to nine weeks. The daily case count has risen marginally in TN for four consecutive days now, going up from 1,756 on Wednesday to 1,990 on Sunday.
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On the positive side, Maharashtra’s weekly numbers declined by 6.2%, following a 10% dip in the previous week. The state recorded 45,272 new cases this week as compared with 48,253 in the previous one. Numbers in the northeast, another region that has seen a spike in cases, appeared to have declined this week.
In keeping with the rise in infections, active cases in the country have risen by over 14,000 in the past six days. The number of active had dipped below 4 lakh around a week ago, but had again climbed close to 4.15 lakh by Sunday.
For the sixth day running, India recorded over 40,000 fresh cases on Sunday. The day’s tally stood at 40,800. There were 418 deaths reported on the day.
In the past week, India recorded 3,805 new deaths, a sharp drop of 44% over the previous week’s toll of 6,848. However, the previous week, over 3,500 old fatalities were added to the toll by Maharashtra which had inflated the weekly number.