The second wave of COVID-19 cases in India and appears to be quicker than the first wave. A new double mutant variant of the coronavirus has been detected from samples collected in India. Scientists are checking if the variant, where two mutations come together in the same virus, may be more infectious or less affected by vaccines. However, the sharper spike can be attributed to the higher testing levels in the second wave compared to the first.

On Monday, India reported 68,020 new infections and 47,262 cases on Wednesday, the sharpest daily rise this year. The total cases in the country have now crossed the 12-million. Even though the ongoing surge is restricted to limited areas, about ten states have started showing a dramatic increase in the new cases of infection. 

During the first wave, it took 32 days for the cases to rise from 18,000 to 50,000. However, the cases have risen at nearly double the pace in the second wave. It took only 17 days for the cases to rise from 18,000+ to 50,000+.

The five worst hit states in India (as of 22 March 2021) are:

  • Maharashtra, with 53,300 deaths
  • Tamil Nadu with 12,590 deaths
  • Karnataka with 12,432 deaths
  • Punjab with 6,280 deaths
  • Kerala with 4,482 deaths

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