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New Delhi, May 18, 2020
India today reported 157 more deaths due to coronavirus (COVID-19), raising the toll to 3,029, and 5,242 new cases of infection in the past 24 hours-- the highest in a single day -- to take the total to 96,169 so far.
The sharp spikes in both the numbers of deaths and new cases came even as the Government extended the nationwide lockdown imposed on March 25 to contain the spread of the pandemic by another weeks from today until May 31 with some more relaxations, except in containment zones.
The lockdown was first imposed for 21 days from March 25 and then extended by 19 days till May 3 and then again for two weeks until yesterday.
Figures released by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare this morning showed that Maharashtra, the worst-hit state, accounted for 63 of the 157 new deaths, including 38 in Mumbai city, by far the most affected city in the country.
The death toll in Maharashtra now stands at 1,198, while the total number of cases in the state went up by 2,347 -- the highest in a single day -- to 33,053.
Of the remaining, 34 deaths were reported in Gujarat, the second most-affected state, 31 in national capital Delhi, six in West Bengal, five each in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, four in Tamil Nadu, three in Punjab, and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka and Odisha.
The surge in the number of deaths in some states could at least partly be explained by the fact that some deaths that occurred in recent days have now been confirmed as cases of COVID-19 and added to the tally.
Of the total 3,029 deaths so far, Maharashtra accounted for the highest number at 1,198, followed by 659 in Gujarat, 248 in Madhya Pradesh, 238 in West Bengal, 160 in Delhi, 131 in Rajasthan, 104 in Uttar Pradesh, 78 in Tamil Nadu, 50 in Andhra Pradesh, 37 in Karnataka, 35 in Punjab, 34 in Telangana, 14 in Haryana, 13 in Jammu & Kashmir, eight in Bihar, four each in Kerala and Odisha, three each in Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand, two in Assam, and one each in Meghalaya, Puducherry and Uttarakhand.
The total of 96,169 cases includes those who have died as well as 36,824 patients who have recovered, which means that the number of active cases in the country stood at 56,316 as of this morning, up 2,370 in the past 24 hours.
The number of patients who have recovered has gone up by 2,715 in the past 24 hours and the recovery rate is now 38.29%.
Of the total of 96,169 cases so far, Maharashtra accounted for the highest at 33,053, followed by 11,379 in Gujarat, 11,224 in Tamil Nadu, 10,054 in Delhi, 5,202 in Rajasthan, 4,977 in Madhya Pradesh, 4,259 in Uttar Pradesh, 2,677 in West Bengal, 2,407 in Andhra Pradesh, 1,964 in Punjab, 1,551 in Telangana, 1,262 in Bihar, 1,183 in Jammu and Kashmir, 1,147 in Karnataka, 910 in Haryana, 828 in Odisha, 601 in Kerala, 223 in Jharkhand, 191 in Chandigarh, 167 in Tripura, 101 in Assam, 92 in Uttarakhand, 86 in Chhattisgarh, 80 in Himachal Pradesh, 43 in Ladakh, 33 in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, 29 in Goa, 13 each in Meghalaya and Puducherry, seven in Manipur, and one each in Arunachal Pradesh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Mizoram.
The Ministry said 410 cases were being reassigned to various states. More than 70 per cent of the deaths so far were due to co-morbidities, it said.
As the country ended Phase 3 of the lockdown yesterday and prepared to enter Phase 4 from today, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that the government's "policy perseverance, coupled with aggressive and early measures through a strong leadership" had shown encouraging results in containing the spread of the pandemic.
While the doubling time of cases in the past 14 days was 11.5 days, it has improved to 13.6 in the last three days, he said.
He added that the fatality rate has fallen to 3.1%. As of Saturday, there were 3.1% COVID-19 patients in ICUs of hospitals, 0.45% on ventilators and 2.7% on oxygen support.