India reports a new high of 4,329 COVID-19 deaths, 263,533 fresh cases of infection
New Delhi, May 18, 2021
India today reported a new high of 4,329 deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours but there was a further decline in the number of fresh cases of infection to 263,533 as the spread of the coronavirus pandemic appeared to have decelerated in several parts of the country.
The country had yesterday recorded 4,106 deaths and 281,386 new cases -- the first time after April 21 that the number of fresh cases of infection had dropped below 300,000.
The number of daily deaths has been going up for the last three days now, reversing a four-day downtrend. The number of new cases has gone down for the fifth consecutive day today.
This is the ninth consecutive day that the number of new cases has remained below the 400,000-mark and the second successive day that it has remained below 300,000. The highest number of new cases in a 24-hour period, 414,188, was reported on May 7.
But, while the daily numbers are falling in several states, they are still at high levels, which means that the lockdowns and other restrictions put in place in various states would continue for some more time. In fact, more and more states are extending the restrictions in place.
There is also serious concern about the spread of the pandemic to peri-urban, rural and tribal areas in several states.
There has been improvement in the supply of medical oxygen in many places and the Central and State governments as well as other agencies continued to take measures to address various issues like shortages of hospital beds, medicines and so on.
Aid from abroad as well as from the corporate sector and NGOs, in the form of liquid medical oxygen, oxygen concentrators, ventilators, medicines and equipment, has also started to flow in and is making a difference.
Adding to the difficulties of the people is the shortage of vaccines in many places, leading to long queues at several vaccination centres.
Of the 263,533 fresh cases of infection recorded in India in the last 24 hours, Maharashtra, by far the worst-hit state, accounted for 26,616, much lower than the 34,389 posted yesterday.
The number of deaths in the last 24 hours in the state also dipped sharply to 516 from 974 yesterday.
This is the first time since March 23 that the number of cases in a single day in the state has dropped below 30,000.
Mumbai, the state capital and the financial hub of the country, registered 1,232 new cases of infection, lower than the 1,535 recorded yesterday. The city also logged 48 deaths, lower than the 60 posted yesterday.
Among the other districts in Maharashtra, there were 101 deaths in Kohlapur, 56 in Solapur, 43 in Chandrapur and 36 in Beed.
In national capital Delhi, the number of new infections came down to 4,524 in the last 24 hours from 6,456 yesterday. The number of deaths, however, went up to 340 from 262 yesterday.
Karnataka, among the most-affected states, registered 38,603 new cases of infection in the last 24 hours, markedly higher than the 31,531 posted yesterday. The state logged 476 deaths in this period, also much higher than the 403 recorded yesterday.
State capital Bengaluru reported 13,338 new cases of infection and 239 deaths in the last 24 hours as compared to 8,344 cases and 143 deaths reported yesterday.
Kerala, where there has been an uptrend in recent days, reported much lower numbers for the last 24 hours with 87 deaths and 21,403 new cases of infection as compared to 89 deaths and 29,704 cases registered yesterday.
With the latest numbers put out this morning by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, the death toll in India so far has increased to 278,719 while the total number of cases so far, since the first coronavirus cases were reported in India in late January 2020, has crossed the 25-million mark to reach 25,228,996.
The number of those who have recovered from COVID-19 has risen to 21,596,512, up 422,436 from yesterday. The recovery rate has improved to 85.60% from 84.81% yesterday.
The number of active cases fell by 163,232 to 3,353,765 today. The number of active cases had touched 3,745,237 on May 10, the highest since the pandemic began in India. The active caseload had been steadily rising after February 12 this year, when it had touched its lowest mark of 135,26 in recent months. Since May 11, there has been a downtrend.
The world has reported a total of 163.640 million cases of COVID-19 so far while the global death toll has climbed past 3.390 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 (32.994 million) and ahead of Brazil (15.57 million).
In terms of the number of deaths, the country now ranks third after the US (586,359) and Brazil (436,537).