Coronavirus: India reports 47K cases, biggest spike in 2 months
India on Thursday reported over 47,000 new COVID-19 cases, marking the biggest single-day spike in roughly two months. The latest surge is largely due to the infections of Kerala, which alone contributed to 70% of the fresh infections. Active cases have risen to 1.19%, while the recovery rate continued to slip further to 97.48%. The daily positivity rate stood at 2.80%.
India's tally nears 3.28 crore; 4.39 lakh dead
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Thursday morning, India reported a total of 3,28,57,937 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 4,39,529. So far, 3,20,28,825 patients have recovered, while 3,89,583 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 47,092 new infections, 35,181 more discharges, and 509 fresh fatalities. 66,30,37,334 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
India's second wave peaked on May 7
To recall, India's second wave peaked on May 7, when 4.14 lakh single-day cases were reported, over four times the number of cases reported during the first wave in mid-September. Although infections have declined since the second wave peaked, India crossed the three crore-mark on June 23. India had crossed the one crore-mark on December 19, 2020, and the two crore-mark on May 4.
Nearly 70% new cases concentrated in Kerala
Maharashtra reported 4,456 new COVID-19 cases along with 4,430 more recoveries. Kerala, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 32,803 new cases and 1,112 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Karnataka added 1,159 new cases and 1,112 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 1,509 new cases and 1,719 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 1,186 new cases and 1,396 recoveries.
Report highlights low vaccine coverage among elderly in some states
On a related note, although the pace of vaccination has increased nationwide, vaccine coverage has been low among those aged over 60 years in Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand, Bihar, and West Bengal. According to ORF's COVID-19 vaccine tracker, an average of 947.13 doses have been administered per 1,000 people aged over 60. However, the figure is 523.05 in TN, 651.12 in UP, and 853.48 in WB.
New C.1.2 variant heightens worry
Separately, the emergence of a new variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (which causes COVID-19) has heightened worries about whether prior immunity, through infections or vaccinations, will be helpful in tackling the virus. The C.1.2 variant—first detected in South Africa's Mpumalanga and Gauteng provinces this May—is reportedly undergoing 41.8 mutations per year, which is nearly double the current global rate of coronavirus mutations.