First Time In 12 Weeks, Covid Deaths In India Begin To Dip
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India’s painfully high death count in the second wave of the Covid pandemic is finally coming down. In the week ended May 30, nationwide fatalities dipped by 17%, the first decline in 12 weeks, even as the daily death toll dropped below 3,000 after 34 days. Meanwhile, the second wave is now receding across all states/Union territories except a few in the northeast and in Ladakh.

While fresh cases of the virus fell for the third week running, this week's numbers showed the most comprehensive decline yet as infections had started to fall in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Assam states that had shown a rising trend till last week. With 12.95 lakh new infections recorded in May 24-30, the weekly case count registered a drop of 27% over the previous week, the steepest yet in the second wave.

Just as significant was fall in deaths. India recorded 24,372 fatalities in May 24-30, a drop of almost 5,000 from the previous week's toll of 29,331. These included previous deaths added to the toll in Maharashtra and Uttarakhand during this period. Prior to this week, the Covid death toll had risen for 11 weeks in a row as the deadly second wave left the country's health infrastructure completely overwhelmed.

Weekly fatalities had last seen a decline in the March1-7 week. In the month of May alone, the Covid toll in the country has crossed 1.15 lakh so far. In another sign of the tide having turned, fatalities reported on May 30 dropped below 3,000 for the first time since April 26. The country recorded 2,722 deaths, not counting the 412 earlier fatalities that Maharashtra added on Sunday, on top of the day's toll of 402. The state has added close to 6,000 old deaths in the last two weeks.

Meanwhile, 1,53,663 fresh cases were reported on May 30, the lowest daily count in 50 days since 1.52 lakh new infections were reported on April 10. Daily cases in the country have dipped for the fourth day running after touching this week's high of 2,12,083 on May 26.

In the weekly count, only five out of 36 states and UTs in the country registered a rise in cases as compared with the previous seven days. These states/UTs were Sikkim, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Ladakh. The drop in some other states, such as Assam and Tripura, was marginal, indicating that the pandemic continues to rage across the northeastern region.

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