52,000 new Covid-19 cases in India in 24 hours, alarming increase in Andhra

India recorded the biggest surge in fresh Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, breaching the 52,000-mark for the first time as the disease reached alarming proportions in Andhra Pradesh, which became the only state after Maharashtra where more than 10,000 people tested positive in a single day.

Today is the 129th day since India implemented a nationwide lockdown, to help curb the novel coronavirus pandemic. So far, India has recorded 15,31,669 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 34,193 deaths. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Gujarat have reported the highest number of cases.

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday issued directions to extend the lockdown, with amendments, to operationalise ‘Mission Begin Again’ for easing of restrictions and phase-wise opening, till 31 August.

“In Municipal Corporations of Mumbai Metropolitan Area including Greater Mumbai, Pune, Solapur, Aurangabad, Malegaon, Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur: Malls and market complexes to be operational from 9 am to 7 pm from 5 Aug, but without theatres, food courts and restaurants,” the statement said.

The United States recorded 1,461 new deaths on Wednesday, the highest one-day increase since 1,484 on May 27, according to a Reuters tally. US coronavirus deaths are rising at their fastest rate in two months and have increased by 10,000 in the past 11 days. Nationally, Covid-19 deaths have risen for three weeks in a row while the number of new cases week-over-week recently fell for the first time since June.

The occupancy of beds reserved for Covid-19 patients in Delhi’s hospitals reduced to 18% on Wednesday with only 2,958 out of 16,038 beds being occupied. Even the ventilator beds, which were in high demand till last month, remained mostly vacant. According to data shared by the hospitals on Delhi Corona app on Wednesday, out of 1,207 Covid beds with ventilator support, only 396 (33%) were occupied and the remaining 811 (67%) were lying vacant.

With 52,898 new cases on Wednesday, India’s caseload stood at 15,83,483 and nearly 10 lakh of these were recorded in the 29 days of this month alone. July has turned out to be the worst month for the country, accounting for 63% of the cases since the pandemic broke.