COVID-19 deaths increase but stay lower than in second wave
Deaths related to the coronavirus have started rising in India amid a massive surge in COVID-19 cases over the past couple of weeks. However, the rate of increase in deaths remains much lower than what was seen during the second wave of infections last year. Experts say India is witnessing a third wave of coronavirus infections which could peak by January-end.
Why does this story matter?
The data adds to evidence that the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, said to be driving the third wave, causes a milder illness than the Delta strain. Lower hospitalizations and deaths could also be attributed to a wider vaccination coverage this time as compared to the second wave. However, the situation could change in the coming days as infections continue to rise.
Deaths up by 66% in a week
In the past week, an average of 116 deaths were reported daily. This marks a 66% increase from the average of 70 in the previous seven days. Just a month ago, some 20 states were reporting zero daily deaths and the figure has since risen to double digits. Nearly all states have seen a surge in the number of COVID-19-linked deaths in recent days.
How did India fare during the second wave?
In comparison, during the second wave of the pandemic in early 2021, India was reporting a daily average of over 100 deaths even when the case count was between 15,000 and 20,000. Daily new deaths had crossed the 4,000-mark at the peak of that wave.
COVID-19 situation in India
On Tuesday morning, India added over 1,68,000 new coronavirus cases to its tally. The daily positivity rate stood at 10.64% and the weekly positivity rate at 8.85%. The country has also reported more than 4,400 cases of the Omicron variant. Meanwhile, more than 152 crore coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered in India, according to the Union Health Ministry.