NEW DELHI: Maharashtra and the southern states have been recording many more Covid-19 cases than the rest of India since the first wave last year. But the difference in cases between the north and the south is perhaps starker today than at any other period.
In the week ending Sunday, Maharashtra and the five southern states, along with the UT of Puducherry, together recorded nearly 2.2 lakh fresh cases. Kerala alone accounted for more than 1.7 lakh new infections, followed by Tamil Nadu (11,161) and Andhra Pradesh (8,660). In sharp contrast, the cumulative case count in 14 states and UTs of north and central India (other than Maharashtra and Goa) during this period was just 3,687 — barely 1.6% of the number reported in Maharashtra and the south.
These states/UTs include J&K, Himachal Pradesh
, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. The region includes the five states that reported the lowest count of fresh cases in the country last week. Rajasthan leads that list with just 61 new infections detected last week.
The nine states in east and northeast India (including Bengal and Odisha) together accounted for nearly 21,000 new cases. Meanwhile, during last week, while Kerala reported a 16.4% decline in Covid
cases, infections rose in four states and UTs among those reporting at least 500 weekly cases. These were Bengal, which posted a 6.9% spike in infections, Tamil Nadu (3%), Mizoram (12.7%) and J&K (21.7%). Tiny Mizoram recorded over 7,000 fresh cases, the 5th highest count after Kerala (1.7 lakh), Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. This was the third straight week of rising cases in Mizoram.
On Monday, India recorded 24,369 fresh cases of the coronavirus, with the count in Kerala falling to 15,058. There were 218 new deaths from the virus. Case detections fall sharply every Monday due to lower testing and staff shortages over the weekend. India had reported 31,454 cases on Sunday.