NEW DELHI: In the biggest single-day increase in cases since the beginning of the pandemic, India reported nearly 2.5 lakh fresh infections on Wednesday, over 50,000 higher than the previous day’s count, even as the tally went past the 2-lakh mark for the first time since May 26.
With numbers from Tripura yet to come, Wednesday had already seen 2,46,443 new infections. The final count is likely to exceed 2.47 lakh. The previous highest increase in cases in a single day was a jump of 43,196 recorded on April 27, 2021, when the second wave was nearing its peak.
The day also saw 203 deaths (excluding Tripura) reported from across the country, the daily toll having crossed the 200 mark for the first time since October 27. Daily cases have been rising at an alarming rate. Except for Monday, when cases saw a decline, Wednesday was the 15th day since December 28 when daily cases have seen a double-digit growth. Compared to Tuesday, Wednesday saw a 26.1% rise in fresh cases.
Despite the steady growth in the daily count, deaths are at a much lower level than the figures reported during the second wave. During the second wave, cases crossed 2 lakh for the first time on April 14. That day had seen 896 deaths. However, deaths have been rising steadily over the past few days, with the cumulative toll in the last seven days 81% higher than that in the preceding week.
Comparable international data shows that once again India is among the world’s worst-hit countries in the ongoing surge in global cases. On January 11, the US was the only other country to report higher cases. At present four countries – US, India, UK, and Italy are reporting over a lakh fresh cases.