India’s Daily COVID Tally Below 1 Lakh: Mapping India’s 2nd Wave
Here are some records that India crossed in terms of number of cases and deaths due to the second wave of COVID-19 .
For the first time after 63 days, India recorded a daily tally of less than 1 lakh COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, 8 June. As many as 86,498 new coronavirus cases were reported on Tuesday, taking the tally in the country to 2,89,96,473, as per the Union Health Ministry data. The death toll increased by 2,123 to 3,51,309.
However, these 60 days of the deadly second wave have seen extreme misery, numerous deaths, massive hunt for life-saving oxygen, relentless midnight SOS calls, helplessness, and complete chaos.
While common citizens stepped in to help each other, policy gaps and delays by the government were severely criticised.
Here are some milestones that India crossed in terms of numbers of cases and deaths in the second wave. And while these numbers tell us the magnitude of the crisis, behind each of them is a heartbreaking story of loss, pain, and suffering.
Deaths and Daily Cases: Records That India Broke
- India’s daily COVID case count crossed 1 lakh for the first time on 4 April, setting off the most deadly phase of the pandemic.
- Subsequently, India crossed 2 lakh cases on 9 April, 3 lakh cases on 21 April, and peaked at 4.14 daily COVID cases on 6 May, after which there has been a steady decline.
- On 22 April, India reported a daily jump of 3,14,835 new coronavirus cases, surpassing the previous highest one-day rise in the world of 297,430 cases posted by the United States in January.
- On 19 May, India set a global record for the number of coronavirus deaths reported in a single day (4,529), breaking a record previously held by the US.
- On 30 May, India's death count crossed 3 lakh officially. With more than 1.4 lakh deaths recorded in the seven weeks after March, India now accounts for 16 percent of the global confirmed cases, and 9 percent of global deaths. It has the world’s third-largest death count just after the United States and Brazil.
Beyond Statistics: SOS for Oxygen, Melting Crematoriums, And Floating Bodies
A data analysis by The New York Times claimed that India’s COVID death toll is at least 14 times more than what the government data suggests. During the months of April and May when India recorded the biggest spikes in both daily cases and deaths, images and videos of overburdened crematoriums, constant SOS for oxygen support for critical patients, and dead bodies floating up in the Ganges was a grim reminder of the scale of devastation that the country witnessed.
In the second week of May, hundreds of dead bodies were seen floating in the Ganges. Ground reports from nearby villages showed increase in deaths with ‘COVID-like symptoms’ in the rural areas. But due to lack of testing in villages, the total number of deaths in the neighbouring villages of the Ganga, due to COVID-19 during this phase could not be ascertained.
Over the last few days, India's fresh COVID cases have seen a downward trend, maintaining over 1 lakh infections every 24 hours, while the deaths have also remained below the 3,000 mark. After battling a brutal second wave for weeks, fresh COVID cases went below the 3 lakh-mark for the first time on 17 May, after touching a record high of 4,14,188 on 7 May. In the last three weeks, India has recorded over 90,000 deaths.
Now, as the curves flatten and the states are starting to unlock, the Centre has also warned of a possible third wave of COVID-19 in the country. NITI Aayog's Member (Health) VK Paul on Monday, 7 June, expressed hope that the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic can be prevented by following appropriate behaviour instructed by the government.
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