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3rd Covid wave now 7 times faster than 2nd, daily cases jump to 1 lakh from 10,000 in 9 days

On Thursday, India reported 1,16,898 cases, up from 13,159 on 29 Dec. Second wave took 63 days for this progression, while 1st wave didn't touch 1 lakh daily cases at all.

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New Delhi: The progression of daily Covid-19 cases from 10,000 to 1 lakh during the ongoing third wave is the fastest India has recorded in the pandemic so far.

ThePrint’s analysis of Covid statistics available on, a crowdsourced platform compiling health bulletins of all the states and union territories, shows that the cases grew ten-fold in less than 10 days. Moreover, the progression was seven times faster than the second wave and 11 times faster than the first wave.

Graphic: Manisha Yadav/ThePrint
Graphic: Manisha Yadav/ThePrint

On Thursday, India reported 1,16,898 cases, according to data from the website. The country had recorded 13,159 cases just nine days before that, on 29 December.

During the first wave in 2020, India crossed 10,000 cases on 6 June. But that wave didn’t see the country touch the daily mark of one lakh at all. The peak was observed at 97,655 cases on 11 September. This near-one lakh mark was touched in 98 days, or a little over three months.

The second wave began in February 2021 and this growth was quicker. On 2 February, India reported 11,001 cases, which jumped to 1,15,312 on 6 April, 63 days later. 

In the second wave, daily Covid cases peaked at 4 lakh on 30 April.

Also read: Raipur worst, Delhi bad, Mumbai best in mask-wearing amid Covid surge, finds think-tank study

Impact on active cases

Since cases have risen in a very short period during the third wave so far, active cases, excluding the number of deaths and recoveries, have also exploded in the past one week.

On 31 December, India had about 1.1 lakh active cases. They have more than trebled now to 3.7 lakh cases. 

Active cases is a metric that can demonstrate the burden on the health infrastructure. If cases are on the rise faster than recoveries, that means more cases are reaching hospitals than those leaving.

Graphic: Manisha Yadav/ThePrint
Graphic: Manisha Yadav/ThePrint

Maharashtra is currently the worst-hit state, adding over 90,000 active cases in the last one week, followed by West Bengal (30,391), Delhi (27,088) and Tamil Nadu (15,358). 

Karnataka (13,461), Jharkhand (12,131) and Gujarat (11,384) are also seeing the impact of the surging wave.

In percentage terms, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the states that were reporting low figures until last week, have seen the biggest jump.

Active cases in Bihar have climbed over 1,000% to 5,726 from 487 in this period. Similarly, the tally has advanced more than 800% to 8,434 from 862 in UP.

Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh have also seen a nearly five-fold surge in active cases in this period. All these states have added a minimum of 2,000 active cases.

Note: All data as on 7 January, 10 am

(Edited by Amit Upadhyaya)

Also read: There’s a boom in DIY Covid tests — what are they and how do they work


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