India’s total coronavirus cases have surged past the 25 million mark, boosted by 263,533 new infections over the last 24 hours, while deaths from Covid-19 rose by a record 4,329, reports Al Jazeera online.
India becomes the world’s second nation after the United States to pass the grim milestone. The country’s total case load is now at 25.23 million, while the death toll is at 278,719, according to health ministry data on Tuesday.
The official count of daily cases began to decline last week, with new infections on Monday put at 281,386 – the first time cases dropped below 300,000 since April 21.
Even with a downturn in infections over the past few days, experts said there was no certainty that infections had peaked, with alarm growing at home and abroad over the new more contagious B.1.617 variant taking hold.
‘There are still many parts of the country which have not yet experienced the peak, they are still going up,’ World Health Organisation’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan was quoted as saying in The Hindu newspaper.
Swaminathan pointed to the worryingly high national positivity rate, at about 20 per cent of tests conducted, as a sign that there could be worse to come.
‘Testing is still inadequate in a large number of states. And when you see high test positivity rates, clearly we are not testing enough. And so the absolute numbers actually don’t mean anything when they are taken just by themselves; they have to be taken in the context of how much testing is done, and test positivity rate, she said.
Hospitals have had to turn patients away while mortuaries and crematoriums have been unable to cope with bodies piling up.
The novel coronavirus has killed at least 3,391,849 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 10:00 GMT on Tuesday, reports AFP.
At least 16,35,07,240 cases of coronavirus have been registered. The vast majority have recovered, though some have continued to experience symptoms weeks or even months later.
These figures are based on daily tolls provided by health authorities in each country and exclude later re-evaluations by statistical organisations, as has happened in Russia, Spain and Britain.
On Monday, 10,076 new deaths and 5,81,379 new cases were recorded worldwide.
Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were India with 4,329, followed by Brazil with 786 and Colombia with 509.
The United States is the worst-affected country with 5,86,359 deaths from 3,29,94,443 cases.
After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 4,36,537 deaths from 1,56,57,391 cases, India with 2,78,719 deaths from 2,52,28,996 cases, Mexico with 2,20,493 deaths from 23,82,745 cases, and the United Kingdom with 1,27,684 deaths from 44,52,756 cases.
The country with the highest number of deaths compared to its population is Hungary with 302 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by the Czech Republic with 280, Bosnia-Herzegovina with 276, the Republic of North Macedonia 251 and Montenegro 249.
Europe overall has 11,11,682 deaths from 5,23,09,980 cases, Latin America and the Caribbean 9,84,378 deaths from 3,09,61,704 infections, and the United States and Canada 61,13,21 deaths from 3,43,26,283 cases.
Asia has reported 4,18,562 deaths from 3,28,86,797 cases, the Middle East 1,38,267 deaths from 82,75,925 cases, Africa 1,26,563 deaths from (47,00,370 cases, and Oceania 1,076 deaths from 46,187 cases.
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