Tuesday’s case count had galloped to 57,974 by late night and was likely to cross 58,000 after data from two remaining states came in. This was over 20,000 higher than the tally of 37,123 recorded on Monday and India’s highest daily tally since June 19, 2021, when 58,570 cases were reported.
Only once has the single-day rise in infections been higher than 56% — 63% on January 28, 2021 — and that was because the previous day’s count had fallen sharply due to disruptions in testing on Republic Day. That rise was anomalous since it came at the time when cases were falling.
Tuesday was also the eighth consecutive day of rising cases during which the country has seen an unprecedented surge in infections, with daily numbers up nearly nine-fold since 6,242 cases were recorded on Monday, December 27.
The sharp surge on Tuesday came on the back of higher testing on the previous day following a drop on Sunday. Over 11.5 lakh samples were collected for testing on Monday, up from 8.9 lakh on the day before. Still, India’s test positivity rate touched 5% on Tuesday, which is seen as a mark of a serious surge in infections.
Daily deaths from the virus also registered a slight rise at 112, the highest in nearly three weeks and the first time since December 23 that the toll had crossed the 100 mark.
Maharashtra continued to lead the case numbers with 18,466 fresh infections, up 50% from 12,160 on the previous day. Daily detections in Mumbai crossed 10,000, with 10,606 fresh cases emerging on Tuesday, the highest for any city in India.
Bengal posted 9,073 new cases, again a 50% rise from Monday’s tally of 6,078. Kolkata accounted for 4,759 fresh Covid-19 infections, the highest ever for the city. The state’s TPR stood at an alarming 19% on Tuesday.
Delhi reported 5,481 new cases, the second highest for a city after Mumbai even as the TPR stayed well above 5% for the second day.
Several states reported a doubling of cases in a day. Punjab reported 1,027 fresh infections, up from 419 on Monday while Bihar posted 893, up from 344, and Telangana 1,052 from 482. Cases nearly doubled in Jharkhand from 1,481 to 2,681 and Gujarat (2,265 from 1,259).
What’s now clearly the third wave of the pandemic in India and enveloped nearly all states and UTs of the country. Kerala, where cases were falling till the end of last week, recorded a spike on Tuesday at 3,640 fresh infections, the highest since December 15. Numbers are also rising in the northeast, with Assam posting 475 cases.