India sees sharp rise in Covid-19 cases with 40 deaths in a day, highest since last August

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was among those who tested positive for Covid-19. The minister is currently under home quarantine with mild symptoms.

Published: 20th April 2023 07:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th April 2023 07:40 PM   |  A+A-

Covid mock drill

A person undergoing a Covid test in Coimbatore. (Photo | S Senbagapandiyan, EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: India is witnessing a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases with the country reporting 12,591 infections -- the highest in 242 days -- and 40 deaths in a single day.

India also recorded 29 new deaths, the highest number since August 30, 2022, in the last 24 hours.

With Kerala reporting 11 reconciled deaths, the total death tally on a single day touched 40, the highest since August last year. On August 30, 2022, 45 deaths were reported in the country, according to Krishna Prasad N C, a Covid data analyst.

The maximum number of deaths was reported from Delhi where six people died due to Covid-19, followed by four each in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. The other deaths were reported from Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu where two deaths each were reported. West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Puducherry, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh reported one death each.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was among those who tested positive for Covid-19. The minister is currently under home quarantine with mild symptoms.

According to Krishna Prasad, the fresh Covid-19 cases recorded in the last 24 hours, which stood at 12,591, was the highest single day figure since August 19, 2022 – after a gap of 242 days.

Although the health ministry has said that the majority of cases are being reported from eight states -- Kerala, Delhi, Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Rajasthan, experts said other states are now also seeing a spike in Covid-19 cases.

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In the last 24 hours, Punjab saw a jump of 107 percent in cases from the previous day. This is followed by West Bengal (33 percent), Chhattisgarh (17 percent), Jharkhand (13 percent), and Andhra Pradesh (12 percent).

While Kerala continues to report the highest number of cases and deaths, Maharashtra, where the new Covid sub-variant XBB.1.16, which is triggering the current surge in cases, was detected, and Delhi have been registering over 1000 cases.

According to the data shared by the health ministry, the daily positivity rate has climbed to 5.46%, while the weekly positivity rate stood at 5.32%. The number of active cases rose to 65,286.

Officials said 4,42,61,476 people have recovered from the infection with the current recovery rate touching 98.67%.

In view of the spike in Covid-19 cases across India, a high-level meeting was held by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Wednesday to review the status of preparedness of health infrastructure and logistics, drugs availability and the vaccination campaign in the country.

The meeting was held by Dr. P.K. Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, who advised officials to maintain a strict vigil on the Covid-19 situation and take necessary actions to contain the spread of the virus.


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