File image: A healthworker waits for relatives to unload the body of a man, who died from COVID-19, for the burial during a dust storm at a graveyard in New Delhi, India on April 16, 2021. (Image: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)
For the first time since the novel coronavirus pandemic started in early 2020, India has reported more than 2,000 deaths due to COVID-19 in a 24-hour period. As many as 2,023 deaths were recorded across the country in the previous 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry’s update on April 21 showed.
This took the country’s overall death toll to 1,82,553 (1.82 lakh). India remains the second-worst affected country due to the pandemic after the United States in terms of the overall cases reported so far.
While the country had reported over 2,000 deaths in a day on June 16-17, 2020, it was largely due to data reconciliation. Not all deaths reported on June 16-17 had happened in that 24-hour period. A majority of these fatalities had taken place earlier and were only being added to the tally.
India reported a record 2.95 lakh new COVID-19 cases in a span of 24-hours ending April 21, the health ministry’s update suggested. While 1.32 crore patients had recovered, 21.57 lakh cases remained active. India's overall COVID-19 case tally stood at 1.56 crore.
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While India had managed to flatten the curve of infections between October 2020 and January 2021, the country is now witnessing a second wave of COVID-19 cases. This has put the country's healthcare system under severe stress.
Daily COVID-19 fatalities being reported in the last five-six days have been higher than what were being recorded during the peak of the first wave in September 2020.
About 27.10 crore COVID-19 tests have been carried out in the country so far, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Of these, 16.39 lakh were conducted yesterday.
Several states in the country are facing a major shortage of hospital beds, and supply of oxygen and essential medicines. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on April 20 that the national capital was left with only a few hours of oxygen supply for COVID-19 patients. He requested the Centre for immediate assistance.
Read | COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker: Over 29 lakh people administered shots in India on April 20
Despite the large number of fatalities, the mortality rate in India is at 1.18 percent – significantly lower than the United States' 1.79 percent and Brazil's 2.28 percent. As of April 21, India had the lowest mortality rate among the top-10 worst-affected countries, except Turkey (0.84 percent).Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic