New Delhi: As second deadly wave of coronavirus pandemic seems to have been preceding in India, it has already incurred irreversible damage to the lives in the country. As fresh data shows, the lethal wave, that lasted over a month, claimed more than 2.5 lakh lives, nearly 1 lakh more than all previous fatalities since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Till Tuesday night, deaths during the second wave had crossed 2.54 lakh, if March 1 is taken as the start of the wave. Prior to March 1, in what can be loosely termed the first Covid wave in India, a little more than 1.57 lakh deaths had been recorded. India has so far reported 4,11,435 deaths from the virus.
Meanwhile, several states are now adding to their tallies “backlog” deaths – Covid fatalities that had occurred earlier in the second wave but went unacknowledged. As a result, the toll has continued to be relatively high even though daily deaths have been falling. On Monday, for instance, Madhya Pradesh reported 1,481 old Covid deaths.
In the last 10 days, India’s Covid toll has risen by nearly 10,000 (9,733), of which more than a third (3,580) have been backlog deaths. The toll in the previous 10 days was nearly the same – 10,478, with 2,133 backlog fatalities.
Meanwhile, India reported more than 39,000 fresh cases on Tuesday, a day after reporting 30,557 new infections, the lowest daily tally in 118 days. Tuesday’s case count stood at 39,086, with Delhi’s data yet to come in till midnight. There were 624 deaths reported on the day, up from 446 on the previous day (not counting backlog fatalities).
Kerala continued to lead the case count, with 14,539 fresh infections reported in the last 24 hours. The state accounted for more than a third of the national tally.
Maharashtra reported 7,243 new cases, the lowest number since June 28, raising hope that the persistently high infection levels in the state could be finally receding. The state reported 196 deaths, by far the highest toll in the country.
However, Maharashtra and Kerala together continued to account for a lion’s share of new cases in the country, over 55% on Tuesday.
There were 124 deaths in Kerala while Odisha reported as many as 68 fatalities, which include previous deaths being reconciled with the toll.
Kerala too has been reconciling old deaths in the tally. However, unlike Maharashtra, which has been issuing a separate count of old fatalities, Odisha and Kerala have not been providing such a break-up.