India saw a record single-day rise of 3,60,960 coronavirus cases, which pushed the total tally to 1,79,97,267, according to Union health ministry data updated on Wednesday.
A further 3,293 deaths, the deadliest day so far, took the death toll to 201,187. Experts believe the official tally vastly under-estimates the actual toll in the country of 1.3 billion.
Maharashtra, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh are among the 10 states that account for 78.53 percent of the new COVID-19 deaths reported in a day, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.
The country saw 3,293 people losing their lives in a span of 24 hours, the highest in a single day so far, pushing the death toll to 2,01,187.
Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh are the other states in the list of 10.
Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (895). Delhi follows with 381 daily deaths. The fatalities further include 264 from Uttar Pradesh, 246 from Chhattisgarh, 180 from Karnataka, 170 from Gujarat, 131 from Jharkhand, 121 from Rajasthan, and 100 from Punjab.
''The National Mortality rate has been falling and currently stands at 1.12 percent,'' the ministry said.
Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Rajasthan accounted for 73.59 percent of the new cases reported in a day.
A record single-day rise of 3,60,960 new cases has been registered in the last 24 hours.
Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 66,358. It is followed by Uttar Pradesh with 32,921 while Kerala reported 32,819 new cases. India's total active caseload has reached 29,78,709 and now comprises 16.55 percent of the country's total cases. A net increase of 96,505 cases recorded in the total active caseload in a span of 24 hours.
Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal cumulatively account for 71.91 percent of India's total active cases, the ministry said.
In the capital, New Delhi, ambulances lined up for hours to take COVID-19 victims to makeshift crematorium facilities in parks and parking lots, where bodies burned on rows of funeral pyres. Coronavirus sufferers – many struggling for breath – flocked to a Sikh temple on the outskirts of the city, hoping to secure some of the limited supplies of oxygen available there.
Police said a fire early on Wednesday at a hospital on the outskirts of Mumbai killed four people and injured several more. Accidents at hospitals have been of grave concern for the country which is running short of beds and oxygen supplies. Last week a fire broke out at a hospital treating COVID-19 patients and a leaking oxygen tank at another hospital led to the deaths of 22 people.
Supplies of life-saving oxygen and equipment have begun arriving in New Delhi, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators from Britain, with more dispatched from Ireland, Germany and Australia. Several countries have suspended flights from India, taking steps to keep out more virulent variants of the virus. U.S. President Joe Biden said he had spoken at length with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, including as to when the United States would be able to ship vaccines to the country, and said it was his clear intention to do so.
"I think we'll be in a position to be able to share, share vaccines as well as know-how with other countries who are in real need. That's the hope and expectation," he told reporters at the White House on Tuesday.
The U.S. State Department's coordinator for global COVID-19 response, Gayle Smith, warned India's challenge will require a sustained effort: "We all need to understand that we are still at the front end of this. This hasn't peaked yet."
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease is 1,48,17,371, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.12 per cent, the data updated at 8 am showed.
Registering a steady increase, the active cases have risen to 29,78,709, comprising 16.55 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has further dropped to 82.33 per cent, it said. The death toll stands at 2,01,187, the data stated. India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7 last year, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16.
It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20, one-crore mark on December 19 and 1.5 crore on April 19. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, 28,27,03,789 samples have been tested up to April 27 with 17,23,912 samples being tested on Tuesday.