Covid-19 Tally Tops 2 Lakh As India Adds 50,000 Cases In Six Days 
A man wearing a face mask walks past a mural in New Delhi, on June 2, 2020. (Photographer: Shahbaz Khan/PTI)

Covid-19 Tally Tops 2 Lakh As India Adds 50,000 Cases In Six Days 

The coronavirus tally in India breached the 2-lakh mark after the nation added around 50,000 cases in six days, just when the government planned a phased lifting of the lockdown that lasted for two months.

India added 8,909 fresh cases over the last 24 hours, taking the total case count to 2,07,615, according to the Health Ministry’s update at 8 a.m. on June 3. This includes 1,00,303 recoveries and 5,815 people who have succumbed to the deadly virus.

The world’s second-most populous country is now adding more than 7,000 cases everyday, only behind the U.S., Russia and Brazil. India, on average, has added 7,384 cases daily over the past week. That compares with Brazil’s 21,649, the U.S.’ 21,282 and Russia’s 8,700.

India’s pace of transmission of infection continues to increase when the rate has started to decelerate in some of the developed nations. It’s now adding more cases daily than the U.K., France, Spain and Italy, among others, that have earlier seen a massive outbreak.

While India took about 111 days to reach the first 1 lakh cases, it only took about 14 days to touch another 1 lakh. That compares with the U.S. that took six days, Brazil 11, Russia 10, the U.K. 20, and Italy 29 days to add the next 1 lakh.

This comes as the country eased its lockdown restrictions. In the first week of the lockdown, India reported three cases per 100 tests, while now it’s five cases per 100 tests. Also, concerns have been raised over India’s testing capacity. But Indian Council of Medical Research said about 1.2 billion tests on average are conducted daily. India has so far tested about 41 lakh samples as of June 3.

The total confirmed cases are likely to rise further in the coming days as the nation of 1.3 billion people recently witnessed a mass exodus of migrant workers.

Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Gujarat together account for 65.8% of India’s case count. Mumbai, the nation’s financial hub, has emerged as the epicenter of the outbreak, with more than a fifth of India’s total cases.

VK Paul, chairman of the Empowered Group-1, set up to tackle the Covid-19 threat, last month said nearly 60% of the cases are in just five cities—Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Thane.

To be sure, testing varies from state to state. While Maharashtra is the worst-hit, Tamil Nadu has conducted most tests so far. That’s followed by Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

India’s mortality rate, however, is among the lowest in the world, according to Lav Agarwal, joint secretary of the Ministry of Family Welfare and Health. “Our fatality rate has reduced from 3.30% in April 15 to 2.8% as of June 2.”

The seven day rolling average, however, suggested that fatalities in India are increasing, albeit slowly. The data suggested while the country was adding on average 15 deaths in the first week of April, it has now increased to 225 deaths.

Last week, India’s death toll surpassed China’s, becoming the latest nation with more people succumbing to the virus than the country where the pandemic began.

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