In the seven days between April 18 and April 25, India reported 22.49 lakh cases, which is the highest number of cases reported by any country in any seven-day period since the beginning of the pandemic. The excess burden on the health care system is also being reflected in the alarming growth rate of deaths in this period. Compared with 8,588 deaths reported in the week ending April 18, the last seven days saw 16,257 deaths. The 89% increase in cumulative deaths is nearly double the rate of increase of cumulative cases in this period which saw a 47% surge.
Before India clocked over 22 lakh cases in a week, the only country which had come anywhere close was the US, which recorded 17.9 lakh cases in the seven-day period ending January 10 this year.
The highest Brazil ever reported in a week was 5.4 lakh cases. For the UK, this was 4.3 lakh; for Turkey, 4.2 lakh. No other country has ever reported more than 4 lakh cumulative cases over seven days.
The highest cumulative total for deaths for any seven-day period was reported by the US which recorded 23,411 fatalities for the week ending January 15. The corresponding figures were 21,865 for Brazil and 16,257 for India. No other country has ever seen over 10,000 deaths in any continuous seven-day stretch.
India’s cases started surging from mid-February. On February 12, the cumulative total of cases for the preceding seven days touched a little over 77,000 — the lowest for any seven-day period in this year. Since then there has been a steady increase in cases. The weekly total of cases touched one lakh on February 25, two lakh on March 18 and four lakh on March 29. Cases started rising exponentially in April.
On April 4 – the first Sunday this month — the cumulative total of cases for the previous seven days was 5.49 lakh which increased to 9.37 lakh on April 11 and 15.32 lakh on April 18.
Deaths are rising even faster. On April 4, the cumulative total of deaths for the previous seven days was 3,257 which increased to 5,079 for the seven-day period ending April 11. This increased to 8,588 for the seven days preceding April 18 and hit 16,257 last week. Among states, Maharashtra reported 66,191 cases, which once again was the highest. Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka have both reported between 30,000 and 40,000 cases, while the case count was between 20,000 and 30,000 for Kerala and Delhi. Similarly, West Bengal, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu reported over 15,000 cases while fresh cases reported from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh ranged between 10,000 and 15,000.
Maharashtra once again reported the highest deaths among states at 832. It was followed by the national capital that reported 350 deaths and Uttar Pradesh at 208. Other states that reported over a hundred deaths were Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Jharkhand.