NEW DELHI: At least 10 states are fighting the fresh Covid-19 wave, according to government data. The second wave, which started in February in a handful of states led by Maharasthra, has now spread to more states. Till last month, it was Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat that were riding the second wave of the pandemic.
But now, four more states Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana are showing alarming growth rates in active cases. Worryingly, the seven-day moving average of the test positivity rate, which is 6.3% nationally, is seen rising in some states including West Bengal, Odisha, Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand.
Over the past 24 hours, the country has recorded 81,466 new cases taking the cumulative active cases to 6,14, 696 the highest since October. In the past 21 days, cases have zoomed from 18,377 (March 10) to 81,466 (April 1). In the first wave, which peaked in September last year, daily cases had jumped from 18,000 to 80,000 plus in 65 days. Trends suggest India may soon surpass the peak of 93,277 cases recorded on September 17. Not just infections, Covid deaths are also rising.
For more than a week now, the daily death count has been above 200. On April 1, this number touched a whopping 469. Experts say the second wave could be more intense than the first one. The oft-cited reason for the infection explosion is the relaxed, careless behaviour by public and lax health administration. However, the role of mutant virus in driving the transmission is also under investigation.
According to Union health ministry data, eight states -- Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh -- have shown a steep rise in cases. As much as 81.25% of the new cases are from these eight states.