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India’s Covid-19 death count crosses 200,000

 By Jamie Mullick, New Delhi

PUBLISHED ON APR 28, 2021 08:01 AM IST

On Tuesday, India reported 3,286 new fatalities, taking the total number of deaths in the country since the start of the pandemic to 201,187.

 

The total number of people who have lost their lives to Covid-19 in India crossed 200,000 on Tuesday, with the number of daily deaths in the country crossing the 3,000 mark for the first time as the country struggled to fight off a devastating second wave of infections that has sent the rate of daily deaths rising at one of the worst-ever recorded rates in the world.

 

On Tuesday, India reported 3,286 new fatalities, taking the total number of deaths in the country since the start of the pandemic to 201,187. The country also set a new record for daily infections, with 362,850 new cases, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 17,988,476.

 

Meanwhile, active cases in the country continued to inch towards the 3 million mark – as on Tuesday night, there are 2,979,642 such cases in the country, the highest-ever recorded since the start of the outbreak in March last year, according to HT’s Covid-19 dashboard.

 

India has thus far been one of the better-performing nations in terms of case fatality rate (CFR) – the proportion of confirmed cases that result in deaths. Of all confirmed cases in the country, 1.1% have resulted in deaths – the second-highest (after Turkey’s CFR of 0.8%) among the world’s 10 worst-hit nations. On average, nearly twice as many (2.1%) of all confirmed Covid-19 cases have died in the world. Brazil and the US – the only two countries with caseloads comparable to India – have CFRs of 2.7% and 1.8%, respectively.

 

However, India’s brutal second wave of infections is threatening to undo much of India’s progress in this aspect. The second wave has sent the rate of daily deaths rising at one of the worst-ever recorded rates in the world, data shows.

 

For the week ending Tuesday, 2,657 people lost their lives in the country every day on average. A week ago, this number was 1,490 – meaning average deaths in the country have increased at 78% in just the last week. Even during the brutal third wave in the US and Brazil, daily deaths never grew at a rate that exceeded 50%. India’s daily deaths have now been increasing above the 50% threshold for four straight weeks.

 

The seven-day average of deaths (2,657) on Tuesday is now more than 2.3 times the worst fatalities trajectory witnessed during India’s first Covid wave, when this number topped out at 1,169 for the week ending September 15, 2020.

 

India’s first Covid-19 death was reported on March 12, 2020, when a 76-year-old man who died in Karnataka’s Kalaburgi tested positive for the virus posthumously.

 

Meanwhile, the number of active cases in India on Tuesday neared the 3 million mark as the mammoth surge of new infections continued to push the overburdened health care system to its limits.

 

Active cases is a crucial metric representing the country’s battle against the viral disease because it directly reflects the pressure on the health care system in a region and shows the number of people who are currently carrying the disease. As such, the higher the active cases, the more duress the health care system faces, which may lead to higher daily deaths if the former is not brought under control.

 

The metric is even more crucial in current circumstances because the country’s health care system is being weighed down by regions with high caseloads such as Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, many of which have been reporting not only shortage of supplies such as oxygen tanks, but are also running out of ICU beds, and even space in morgues and funeral homes.

 

(Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news)