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India’s Covid cases set to cross 3m, last million in just 16 days

NEW DELHI: The Covid-19 pandemic is set to reach another grim milestone, with India on the verge of becoming the third country in the world to record 3 million cases. The country’s caseload is projected to cross that mark on Saturday, after more than 68,000 fresh infections on Friday took the tally to just 30,000…

India’s Covid cases set to cross 3m, last million in just 16 days

NEW DELHI: The Covid-19 pandemic is set to reach another grim milestone, with India on the verge of becoming the third country in the world to record 3 million cases. The country’s caseload is projected to cross that mark on Saturday, after more than 68,000 fresh infections on Friday took the tally to just 30,000 short of 3 million.

India’s daily cases, at 68,682 on Friday, was the third highest till date, taking the total to 29,71,112, as per data collated from state governments. For the fourth day running, deaths from the virus remained over 950, with 958 fatalities taking the total toll to 55,858.

When it hits the 3 million mark on Saturday, Covid-19 cases in India will have risen from the 2 million mark in just 16 days — the fastest rise among the three countries, the US and Brazil being the other two, which have recorded that many cases.

The rise from 2 million to 3 million cases took 23 days in Brazil and 28 days in the US. Of the three countries, India took the most number of days to reach the 1 million mark (138 days). But since then, cases in India have risen the fastest. The country took 21 days to go from 1 million to 2 million cases, as compared with 43 days in the US and 27 days in Brazil.

However, India’s death toll remains far lower than the other two countries. At the 3 million mark, the death toll in the US was over 1.3 lakh while fatalities recorded in Brazil at the same stage were just over 1 lakh.

Meanwhile, active cases in India crossed 7 lakh on Friday, 15 days after going past the 6-lakh mark. By contrast, active cases had risen from 5 lakh to 6 lakh in just nine days. The slowdown in the rise of cases points to a much higher rate of increase in recoveries in recent days.

On Friday, at least four states registered their highest single-day spikes in infections —Bengal (3,245 new cases), Gujarat (1,204), Haryana (1,203) and Madhya Pradesh (1,147). In MP, state cabinet minister Gopal Bhargava, former leader of the Opposition in the assembly, tested positive for Covid. He is the sixth minister, apart from the CM, to be infected by the virus.

For the second day in a row, Maharashtra added over 14,000 cases — 14,161, the second highest for a 24-hour period — taking the state’s Covid-19 cases past the 6.5 lakh mark.

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