Fresh Covid-19 cases in India in the week ending Sunday surged to the highest in nearly four months with close to 80,000 new infections, up 62% from the previous week’s tally.
Although deaths from the virus remained very low compared to previous outbreaks, at least 93 fatalities were reported in the country during the week, more than the combined toll in the previous two weeks (45 and 41).
India logged more than 79,250 new cases in the week (June 13-19), up from 48,769 in the previous seven days, as per TOI’s Covid database. This was the highest weekly total since February 21-27, when over 86,000 cases were detected. Covid cases have been increasing over the past four weeks but the last two weeks have seen an accelerated surge.
INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium) officials were quoted by agencies as saying that Omicron sub-lineages, mainly BA.2 and BA.2.38, and BA.4 and BA.5 in some parts of the country, were behind the current spike.
During this week, fresh cases rose in nearly all states and UTs. The highest numbers were reported from Maharashtra, where the weekly tally crossed the 25,000 mark (25,172), up 45% from 17,380 in the preceding week. Kerala reported a similar spike of 42%, with over 20,500 new cases.
The surge intensified in NCR cities, with weekly numbers more than doubling. Delhi reported 9,291 cases, a rise of 128% from last week’s tally of 4,068 while Uttar Pradesh witnessed a 109% surge, reporting 2,711 infections. Haryana’s tally rose 94%, from 2,029 to 3,936.
Among states that reported more than 1,000 new infections during the week, the highest percentage rise was seen in Tamil Nadu — up 169%, from 1,299 last week to 3,492 — and Bengal, where cases rose by 145% from 663 to 1,621. In states where numbers were still relatively low, Assam saw a 4.8-fold increase in cases, Jharkhand 2.5-fold and Chhattisgarh 2.2-fold.
The 93 fresh Covid deaths in the country during the week were the highest since March 21-27, when 98 fatalities were recorded. As per information from the state’s Covid dashboard, Kerala accounted for more than 40 deaths, up from 19 in the previous week. Maharashtra reported 16 deaths, a sharp rise from four in the preceding seven days while Delhi’s weekly toll increased from nine to 11. These figures do not include reconciled deaths from earlier months.
Meanwhile, active cases in the country surged past 75,000 on Sunday, up from close to 48,000 last Sunday. The last time active cases were higher than 75,000 was more than three months ago, on March 2, when the third wave of the pandemic was fast receding.