The number of reported coronavirus cases in India rose 7.6 percent over the last two days to 332,424, latest data from the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) showed. This is slightly slower than the pace in the preceding 48-hour period, when the number of cases went up by 7.8 percent. The death toll has reached 9,520, after growing 7.2 percent over the last two days. This is also slower than the preceding 48 hours, when it had risen 9.7 percent. The death count in India has nearly doubled in the last sixteen days. The number of infections is now twice what it was seventeen days ago, and given the rate of growth in this period, could hit the 400,000-mark in five days and the 500,000-mark in ten days.
The continuing rise in cases poses a severe challenge for India’s strained medical capacity and overburdened health system. Despite a much slower case doubling rate than earlier in the outbreak, new infections and deaths are now rising faster in India than in most other badly-hit countries. Among countries with death counts greater than 4,000, India has recorded the fastest increase in confirmed cases and in deaths over the past week. India now has more coronavirus cases than the United Kingdom and more deaths than Iran. At 3,950 deaths, Maharashtra has the highest toll in the country so far due to COVID-19, followed by Gujarat (1,477), Delhi (1,327), West Bengal (475), and Madhya Pradesh (459). These five states have recorded 81 percent of all COVID-related deaths in India so far. Deaths have surged the most in Haryana, Delhi, and Tamil Nadu in the last seven days.