Covid update: Fatalities record significant decline but new cases go over 2.76 lakh

  • Active cases have declined by nearly a lakh
  • As many as 20,55,010 samples were tested on Wednesday

Staff Writer
First Published20 May 2021
A health worker collects a swab sample of a passenger for Covid-19 test at CSMT
A health worker collects a swab sample of a passenger for Covid-19 test at CSMT (PTI)

The number of new Covid-19 cases recorded in the country has risen by a few thousand again on Thursday with 2,76,070 more people testing positive, according to data released by the Union health ministry.

The number stood at 2,67,334 on Wednesday morning. With the addition of fresh infections, the cumulative tally in the country has reached 2,57,72,400.

Although India has been seen a trend of a lower number of daily infections in the last week, the fatality count has been scaling records.

The death toll saw a significant decline on Thursday after going over 4,500 on Wednesday. As many as 3,874 more people succumbed to the disease to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total toll to 2,87,122.

In view of this, some epidemiologists have said that the official death toll and infection figure significantly undercount the true number as the virus spreads to India’s villages, where health infrastructure and testing facilities range from weak to non-existent.

The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at Washington University estimates the actual daily toll in India to be three times the official number.

However, the silver lining comes in the form of daily recoveries with 3,69,077 people being discharged across the country between Wednesday and Thursday. The total number of discharges has now reached 2,23,55,440.

As a result, there are 31,29,878 active cases in the country currently, marking a decline by nearly a lakh in the tally as compared to Wednesday when the number stood at 32,26,719.

According to experts, the large pool of active cases may lead to a relatively slower decline in deaths, as well as cases when compared to the pace at which they rose in March and April.

Tests conducted so far

India has tested 32,23,56,187 samples for Covid-19 until now, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Out of these, 20,55,010 samples were tested on Wednesday.

This comes in the backdrop of Union health minister Harsh Vardhan stating that the government aims to scale up testing to 25 lakh per day.

Vaccinations in India

The country has so far administered 18,70,09,792 anti-Covid jabs.

As states reel under a shortage of vaccines, the government has decided to defer their inoculation by three months after recovery from the illness.

The guidance came after the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) shared fresh recommendations regarding vaccination with the Union health ministry.

Deferring the covid-19 vaccination will also be done for covid-19 patients who have been given anti-SARS-CoV2 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma.

“Individuals who have received at least the 1st dose and got Covid-19 infection before completion of the dosing schedule, the second dose should be deferred by three months after clinical recovery from Covid-19 illness. Persons with any other serious general illness requiring hospitalization or ICU care should also wait for 4-8 weeks before getting the Covid-19 vaccine," the government said in a statement.

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