Daily COVID-19 deaths cross 2,000 for first time, fresh cases of infection touch new high at 295,041
New Delhi, April 21, 2021
India today reported more than 2,000 deaths due to COVID-19 for the first time , at 2,023, and a new high of 295,041 fresh cases of infection in the last 24 hours as hospitals in several States struggled to cope with spiralling numbers of patients and shortages of beds, medical oxygen and anti-viral drugs.
As the crisis continued to grow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a televised address to the nation in which he said State Governments must impose lockdowns as a measure of the last resort in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. He stressed that his Government's effort was to save economic activities and ensure minimum adverse impact on the livelihood of the people.
"In today’s circumstances, we have to save the country from lockdown," he said amidst a sudden spurt in recent days in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in several states.
This has led to some states imposing lockdowns, night curfews, weekend curfews and various other forms of restrictions to try and break the chain of transmission of the pandemic. School examinations have been cancelled or postponed in several states.
"We have to concentrate on micro-containment zones and have to try our best to avoid lockdown," Modi said.
At 2,023, the number of COVID deaths in the last 24 hours is the highest in a single day since the pandemic broke out in India in late January last year. The country had reported 1,761 deaths yesterday.
At 295,041, the number of fresh cases of infection in a single day reported today is also the highest since the beginning of the pandemic. The country had recorded 259,170 cases yesterday.
This is the eighth consecutive day that the country has registered more than 1,000 deaths. This is also the seventh consecutive day that the country has recorded more than 200,000 new cases in a single day.
With Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and some other States reporting a sudden surge in the number of cases in recent days, the country has logged more than a lakh new cases of infection in 24 hours for 15 consecutive days now and more than 150,000 cases for ten days in a row.
Of the 295,041 new cases of infection recorded in the country in the last 24 hours, Maharashtra -- by far the worst-hit state -- alone accounted for 62,097 cases. The state also accounted for 519 of the 2,023 deaths recorded in the country in the last 24 hours.
The numbers in Mumbai, the state capital and the country's financial hub, however, came down a bit to 7,192 new cases of infection and 34 deaths.
Among the other districts in the state, Solapur recorded the highest number of deaths at 58, followed by 51 in Palghar, 50 in Nashik and 31 in Pune.
National capital Delhi logged 28,395 new cases of infection and 277deaths, both numbers being the highest in the city since the pandemic began.
With the latest numbers put out this morning by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, the death toll in the country so far has risen to 182,553 while the total number of cases of infection, since the first case was registered in late January last year, has surged to 15,616,130.
The number of those who have recovered from COVID-19 rose to 13,276,039 as of this morning, up 167,457 from yesterday. The recovery rate has dropped to 85.01% from 85.55% yesterday.
The number of active cases has gone up by 125,561 in the last 24 hours to 2,157,538 -- the highest since the pandemic began in India.
The active caseload has been rising after February 12 this year, when it had touched its lowest mark of 135,926 in recent months.
The world has reported a total of 142.947 million cases of COVID-19 so far while the global death toll has climbed to 3.043 million as of this morning, according to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University in the United States, which is tracking the pandemic.
India ranks second in the world in terms of the total number of infections so far, behind the United States (31.792 million) and ahead of Brazil (14.043 million).
In terms of the number of deaths, the country now ranks fourth after the US (568,461), Brazil (378,003) and Mexico (213,048).