India has surpassed Brazil as the country with the second-highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases after reporting a fresh daily high of 90,802 new infections on Monday.
India’s total number of cases now stands at 4,204,613, according to the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. In comparison, Brazil has confirmed 4,137,521 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.
India is the world’s second most populous nation, home to more than 1.3 billion people — more than six times the population of Brazil.
The United States remains the country with the highest number of recorded cases. As of Sunday night, the US had reported 6,275,643 cases, according to JHU.
Low death rate: As of Monday, India had recorded 71,642 virus-related deaths, far below the US at nearly 189,000 deaths and Brazil’s more than 126,000 fatalities.
India’s death rate of five virus-related fatalities per 100,000 people is lower than more than 80 countries and territories, according to JHU data.
For comparison, the US death rate is 58 per 100,000 people, while Brazil’s is 60 per 100,000 people, according to JHU.
Reopening: The rapid rise in infections in India comes after the government announced a new phase of reopening last week. Subway trains will be allowed to run for the first time in months from September 7 while gatherings of up to 100 people will be permitted at sports, entertainment, cultural and religious events outside of hotspot areas from September 21.
Schools and colleges will remain closed until the end of September.
India is now adding more daily cases than the US and Brazil combined; on cumulative cases, India is second only to the US. This has coincided with the faster spread of infections in rural India.
The case count in the worst-hit states have continued to rise, save for Bihar, where the number has fallen to less than 2,000 from the peak of over 4,000 last month.
In Tamil Nadu, the tally has curiously hovered around 5,500, neither rising nor declining by any considerable margin. In fact, Tamil Nadu’s standard deviation of cases, at around 4%, has been the lowest among all major states. Delhi appears to be experiencing a second wave.
The rise in active cases is also outpacing recoveries. Some states such as Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, though, have been recording more recoveries in recent weeks.
The rural surge is a particular concern. According to a recent report by the State Bank of India (SBI), 26 of the 50 worst affected districts for new cases in August were rural. The worst-hit rural areas are in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and Rajasthan.
Also: The number of districts with less than 1,000 cases has fallen, while those reporting between 5,000 to 10,000 cases have risen from July.
The Centre has now opted to coordinate directly with chief medical officers and administrative officials of the worst-hit districts to identify the loopholes in the strategy, as against addressing the health secretaries of the states, reports The Indian Express.