India’s COVID-19 cases increased by more than seventeen lakh on Wednesday, the highest in 53 days.
The spurt in COVID-19 cases came alongside 89 daily new fatalities. India’s active COVID-19 caseload represents 1.55 percent of total infections according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Upticks in new cases are being seen in multiple high-burden states, including Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Karnataka. On Wednesday, the Union Health Ministry identified these states as accounting for 85.95 percent of cases identified in the preceding 24 hours. As reported by the Press Trust of India, “the Centre is continuously engaging with the states and union territories reporting higher caseload of active cases and those reporting a spike in the daily new COVID-19 cases.
“States and UTs [union territories] have been advised to maintain a continued rigorous vigil for containing the spread of Covid-19 so that the gains of collective efforts are not squandered away…need for effective testing, comprehensive tracking, prompt isolation of positive cases and quick quarantine of close contacts are strongly emphasised.
“The central government has also rushed high-level teams to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Jammu and Kashmir to support them in their fight against the recent spike in COVID-19 cases. The three-member teams are headed by joint secretary-level officers in the Health Ministry.”
With the new COVID-19 cases reported, India’s total caseload is 11,156,923 with 157,471 fatalities according to Worldometer. Recoveries tally at 10,826,075.
According to Worldometer, India remains the country with the second-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases behind the United States. In terms of active cases, it ranks thirteenth – behind France, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Russia, Mexico, Poland, Ireland, and Iran. In terms of deaths, India ranks fourth-highest, behind the United States, Brazil, and Mexico.
India has identified a large number of mutations in COVID-19 variants present in the country. Researchers identified more than 24,000 mutations in well in excess of 7,000 variants of COVID-19 circulating in India. As Health Issues India reported at the time, “the detection of new variants, many of which are considered to be more transmissible and potentially more lethal, has also given rise to concerns over vaccine efficacy as countries seek to inoculate their populations.”
To date, India has administered more than 1.63 crore vaccines as part of a programme dubbed the largest in the world by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi himself recently received a shot of Covaxin, homegrown by Bharat Biotech. Modi’s predecessor, Manmohan Singh, alongside his wife, received their first doses today at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, also with Covaxin.