At nearly 89,000, India’s daily cases on Friday were the highest in the world, ahead of the US (70,024) and Brazil (69,662). This was the first day since October last year when India’s cases were the highest in the world, as per the worldometers.info website.
Even in terms of the seven-day rolling average of daily cases, a more reliable indicator of trends, India’s tally of nearly 69,000 was behind only Brazil’s count of 72,238 on Friday. With the tally rising to 73,201 on Saturday, India is expected to go past Brazil, especially since the south American country’s graph has been declining over the past few days.
The last time India’s seven-day average of daily cases was the highest in the world was on October 19 last year, before a massive surge in cases made the US the world’s leading coronavirus hotspot.
On Saturday, India recorded 93,077 fresh cases, as per TOI’s data collated from state governments. This was the highest single-day tally of cases since September 19, even as the second wave moved ever closer to the highest daily count ever recorded in the country — 98,795 on September 17 last year.
Daily deaths too crossed 500 for the first time since December 4, with 514 fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours. The explosive rise of the pandemic continued in Maharashtra, which reported 49,447 fresh cases, its third new all-time peak in as many days. The state also recorded 277 fatalities, the highest since October 16 when the toll was 308.
Mumbai, too, continued to break records with its highest-ever single-day surge of 9,108 cases. There were 27 deaths from the virus in the city, the highest since November 4.
While Maharashtra was leading the national surge by a long distance, cases in the rest of the country were rising rapidly as well. The rest of India reported 43,630 new cases on Saturday, up from 41,161 on the previous day, when the tally had crossed 40,000 for the first time since November.
Apart from Maharashtra, three states reported their highest-ever daily case count on Saturday — Chhattisgarh, where a massive spike took the daily tally to 5,818, Madhya Pradesh (2,839) and Gujarat (2,815). Eleven other states/Union territories reported their highest count this year, including Tamil Nadu, which reported 3,446 new cases, the highest since October 19, and Uttar Pradesh, where the tally (3,290) was the highest since October 11.
Besides, Haryana posted 1,959 cases (highest since November 28), Bengal 1,736 (highest since December 20), Rajasthan 1,675 (December 7), Andhra Pradesh 1,398 (November 17), Telangana 1,078 (November 11), Jharkhand 873 (September 1), Bihar 836 (November 9), Himachal Pradesh 418 (December 18) and Chandigarh 310 (September 16).