New Delhi: India’s top four metropolitan clusters — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai — account for nearly half of the nationwide COVID-19 tally, which saw a record surge of almost 10,000 on Saturday. These four have a similar share in the death toll, which is fast approaching the 7,000-mark.
After including three other major urban clusters hit by the COVID-19 pandemic — Ahmedabad, Indore and Pune — the seven of them together account for 60 percent of overall confirmed cases and more than 80 percent of the deaths across India, as per the latest data disclosed by various states and union territories.
In its last update, the Union Health Ministry said the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India rose to 2,36,657 with a record single-day spike of 9,887 cases in 24 hours since Friday 8 AM, while the death toll also rose by a record 294 to 6,642.
However, a PTI tally of figures announced by different states and UTs, as of 9.15 PM, put the nationwide count of confirmed COVID-19 cases higher at 2,37,867 and the death toll at 6,858.
However, a real-time worldwide COVID-19 tracker of Johns Hopkins University showed India’s tally had risen to 2,45,670 as of 11.15 PM, making it the fifth worst-hit nation after the US, Brazil, Russia and the UK. It also showed a higher death toll for India at 6,913 — the 12th highest globally.
However, India has also seen close to 1.15 COVID-19 patients having recovered, which is also among the 10 highest in the world.
An analysis of the numbers announced by various states and UTs showed that the total number of confirmed cases across the four main metropolitan regions of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai has risen to close to 1.14 lakh — accounting for nearly 48 per cent of the nationwide tally. Their collective count of fatalities has also neared 3,150, which is more than 46 per cent of the nationwide death count.
The numbers would get much higher if the areas from adjoining districts get added to the tallies of these top metro cities. In case of Delhi, some of the areas of the so-called national capital region fall in neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
While Mumbai is the worst-hit city in the country, Delhi and Chennai have also been hit hard. Other major urban clusters affected by the deadly virus outbreak include Ahmebdabad in Gujarat, Pune in Maharashtra and Indore in Madhya Pradesh. Kolkata has relatively lower numbers, but cases have been rising there in the recent past.
Together, these seven major urban clusters have reported close to 1.4 lakh confirmed cases and at least 5,665 deaths — accounting for 59 percent of the nationwide tally of positive cases and the death toll, respectively.
Maharashtra, the worst-hit state, reported 120 deaths, including 58 in Mumbai, on Saturday, taking the state’s overall number of fatalities to 2,969. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases spiked by 2,739 in the state to 82,968, according to the state’s health bulletin.
Of the 120 deaths recorded on Saturday, 90 were from the MMR (Mumbai Metropolitan Region) area including 58 in Mumbai, it said.
Of the total, as many as 62,615 cases have been reported from Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) which includes 47,354 cases in Mumbai city alone. The region has reported 1,993 fatalities, including 1,577 from Mumbai city alone.
In the state, Pune city has reported 8,049 cases and 372 fatalities so far, while the figures for the entire Pune district are even higher.
Gujarat reported 498 new coronavirus positive cases and 29 deaths, including 26 in Ahmedabad district, taking the total case count to 19,617 and fatalities to 1,219, the state health department said.
Ahmedabad reported 289 new cases, followed by 92 in Surat, another badly hit urban cluster.
While the total cases in Ahmedabad rose to 13,968, the number of cases in Surat went up to 2,033 and 1,258 in Vadodara.
Ahmedabad city has so far reported deaths of 994 coronavirus patients, followed by 25 in Surat and 23 in Vadodara.
In Tamil Nadu, 19 more people died while 1,498 new cases were detected. The state’s overall tally rose to 30,152, while its death toll has mounted to 251.
Chennai, the worst-hit district in the state, saw its tally rising by 1,146 to 20,993, while its death toll also rose to 197.
West Bengal reported 17 more COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 311 while the state also registered its highest single-day spike in cases with 435 new patients, pushing the virus count to 7,738, a health department bulletin said on Saturday.
Kolkata now as 2,684 cases, while it has reported 195 COVID-19 deaths so far and 52 more people have lost their lives due to comorbidities, a term generally used for other serious medical complications along with the novel coronavirus infection.
In the national capital, 1,320 new cases were detected to take its tally to 27,654, while the death toll rose to 761.
According to a Delhi government order, all asymptomatic COVID-19 patients and those having mild symptoms need to be discharged from hospitals within 24 hours of admission. All hospitals have been asked to strictly comply with the directions, officials said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also warned of strong action against the private hospitals refusing admission to COVID-19 patients and those involving in “black-marketing” of beds.
Besides, a five-member panel constituted by the Delhi government has suggested that the health infrastructure of the city should be used only for treating residents of the national capital, in view of the raging COVID-19 crisis, sources said.
In Madhya Pradesh, the number of COVID-19 cases in Indore district grew to 3,722 after 35 more people tested coronavirus positive in last 24 hours. The virus also claimed four more lives in the last four days, taking the death toll in the district to 153.
Among other states and UTs, Jammu and Kashmir, Puducherry, Assam, Uttarakhand, Nagaland, Kerala, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Rajasthan, Odisha, Mizoram and Uttar Pradesh also reported new cases.