(TibetanReview.net, May21’20) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has on May 20 registered a new daily record number of Covid-19 cases across the world at more than 106,000 with the cumulative total crossing the grim 5 million mark. “We still have a long way to go in this pandemic,” WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was quoted as saying.
India figured prominently in that grim pronouncement by Dr Tedros. He has said almost two-thirds of the new cases on Mar 20 were reported in just four countries. WHO infectious disease epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove confirmed that these four countries were the United States, Russia, Brazil and India, reported edition.cnn.com May 21.
US President Donald Trump on May 20 further ratcheted up his attacks on China, saying its “incompetence” caused the Covid-19 pandemic, which he described as “mass worldwide killing,” noted the hindustantimes.com May 20.
He has also called it a “badge of honor” that the United States had the highest number of infections in the world at 1.5 million, arguing it was a testimony to increased testing.
India also argued that the steep increase in recent days in the record numbers of cases was partly due to more tests being carried out at 100,000 or more each day most recently.
Immediate increases in cases in in India are also considered inevitable due to massive movement of millions of daily wage workers from hotspot cities to their villages following their loss of earning as a result of shut down of businesses and factories under the nationwide lockdown restrictions.
Relaxing the lockdown restrictions due to the realization of the futility of efforts to eradicate, rather than manage, the pandemic and thereby learning to live with it, as well as the imperative to revive the economy by reopening it is also seen to play a role in the increase in the number of cases.
After reporting the highest ever number of daily cases at 5,821 on May 19, India had 5,609 new cases on May 20, taking the cumulative total to 112,359. Besides, a total of 132 died from the pandemic infection on the same day, taking the cumulative total to 3,435, according to the tally of India’s Ministry of Health as of May 21 at 8AM.
The five states with the maximum caseload — Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Delhi, and Rajasthan — accounted for over 70 per cent of all positive cases in India. In states like Himachal Pradesh and Assam, the new cases signal a resurgence, reported indianexpress.com My 21. The report added that states with much smaller caseloads were showing a faster growth rate for the last few days.
India is currently still the country with the 11th highest number of cases and 16th highest number of deaths from the globally raging pandemic.
Maharashtra, the worst-hit state by a huge margin, had a cumulative total of 39,297 cases after 2,161 fresh cases were reported in the past 24 hours, followed by Tamil Nadu with 13,191 (+743) cases, Gujarat with 12,537 (+397) cases, Delhi with 11,088 (+534) cases, Rajasthan with 6,015 (+170) cases, Madhya Pradesh with 5,735 (+270) cases, Uttar Pradesh with 5,175 (+249) cases, West Bengal with 3,103 (+142) cases, Andhra Pradesh with 2,602 (+70) cases, Punjab with 2,005 (+3) cases, Bihar 1,674 (+176), Telangana with 1,661 (+27) cases, Karnataka 1,462 (+65), Jammu & Kashmir 1,390 (+73), and Odisha 1,052 (+74).
Apart from the above states which each had more than 1,000 cases, those with more than 100 cases included Haryana 993 (+29), Kerala 666 (+24), Jharkhand 231 (+0), Chandigarh 202 (+2), Tripura 173 (+0), and Assam 170 (+28).
Other states/Union Territories with more than 10 cases included Uttarakhand 122 (+11), Chattisgarh 115 (+14), Himachal Pradesh 110 (+18), Goa 50 (+4), Ladakh, 44 (+1), Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 33 (+0), Manipur 25 (+16), Puducherry 18 (+0), and Meghalaya 14 (+1).
Besides, Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Arunachal Pradesh (1), and Dadar Nagar Haveli (1) had reported cases.
Maharashtra also had the most number of deaths at 1,390 (+65), followed by Gujarat 749 (+30), Madhya Pradesh 267 (+9), West Bengal 253 (+3), Delhi 176 (+8), Rajasthan 147 (+4), Uttar Pradesh 127 (+4), Tamil Nadu 87 (+3), Andhra Pradesh 53 (+1), Karnataka 41 (+1), Punjab 38 (+0), Telangana 40 (+2), Jammu & Kashmir 18 (+1), Haryana 14 (+0), Bihar 10 (+1), Odisha 6 (+1), Kerala 4 (+0), Jharkhand 3 (+0), Chandigarh 3 (+0), Himachal Pradesh 3 (+0), and Assam 4 (+0). Besides two states/ union territories, namely Meghalaya and Uttarakhand had 1 death each. (Source: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/)
Himachal Pradesh reported its biggest single-day spike on May 21 at 18, with Kangra, the worst-hit and most-populated district, accounting for 34. The state’s tally now stands at 125, reported tribuneindia.com May 21.
The district continues to be in lockdown and the local authorities have decided to continue the daily curfew relaxation from 7 am to 2 pm for two more months.
“No person shall move on foot or by any vehicle outside his house/ place of residence except for justifiable reason in connection with permitted activities,” the order from the District Magistrate, Kangra, was quoted as saying May 20.
Across the world the total number of Covid-19 cases had crossed the 4.8 million mark to reach 5,014,943 while a total of 328,462 had died as of May 21 at 3:02:44 PM (GMT-4), according to the Dashboard maintained by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
There were 103,041 new cases and 4,883 new deaths during the preceding 24 hours across 188 countries and regions.
The countries with the most number of reported cases thus far were US (1,551,853), Russia (317,554), Brazil (291,579), UK (249,619), Spain (232,555), Italy (227,364), France (181,700), Germany (178,545), Turkey (152,587), Iran (126,949), India (112,442), Peru (104,020), and China (84,063).
The countries with the most number of deaths were US (93,439), UK (35,786), Italy (32,330), France (28,135), Spain (27,888), Brazil (18,859), Belgium (9,186), Germany (8,172), Iran (7,183), Canada (6,150), Mexico (6,090), Netherlands (5,767), China (4,638), Turkey (4,222), Sweden (3,831) and India (3,438).