The new cases on Wednesday were over 62,000 fewer than 3.47 lakh reported last week — the highest daily count so far in the ongoing Omicron-linked third wave.
Though the third wave is showing early signs of a slowdown, some major states — mainly from the south — are still logging a dizzying rise in daily infections.
Of the 2.85 lakh new cases reported in the last 24 hours, over 44% came from just the three southern states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
This week, both Karnataka and Kerala reported their all-time high daily figures even as cases in other states like Maharashtra, Delhi and West Bengal were declining at a steady rate.
The map above shows the 7-day moving average of new cases across Indian states.
Recent numbers show that infections are dipping or stabilising in most worst-impacted states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, UP and West Bengal. However, an upward trend is being witnessed in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Karnataka and Kerala have been reporting a 7-day average of 45,000+ and 42,000+ cases respectively.
Maharashtra is the only other state which recorded a 7-day average of over 40,000+. However, this is expected to come down with cases falling steadily in Mumbai.
This late surge in south India indicates a southern tilt in Covid spread in India.
According to experts, India is expected to hit the peak of its third wave within the first two weeks of February.
Numbers suggest that Delhi and West Bengal seemed to have crossed their peaks while cases are stabilising in Maharashtra.
Both Delhi and West Bengal have witnessed a sharp drop in daily cases over the last week. Maharashtra’s dip is not as profound due to Covid spread in other parts of the state even as Mumbai has seen a significant improvement in the Covid situation.
Meanwhile, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are now driving the national numbers as they are yet to cross their peak figures.
The two graphs above show that while cases surged in Delhi, Maharashtra and West Bengal in the first half of the month, the southern states witnessed a surge around the third week of January.
Deaths low, but …
While the third wave has not led to a worrying rise in fatalities in most parts of India, Kerala has emerged as an outlier.
The state has reported the third highest number of infections in the last one month and the most fatalities at over 5,900.
Comparatively, Maharashtra, which has reported over 9 lakh cases in the last one month, registered 833 deaths.
A large number of deaths of Kerala was due to backlog fatalities. But despite that, the overall fatality rate in the southern state has remained high.
The state has reported at least 100 Covid-related every day in the last month, except on 5 occasions.
In comparison, other states have witnessed a marginal rise in fatalities with none of them crossing three figures.