India has witnessed one of its worst health tragedies in recent months. If April brought the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, the country went through a more lethal wave of the deadly virus in May.
Although the daily-number of infections is witnessing a steep decline since the last few days, from 3,92,576 daily cases at the start of the month to 1,26,835 on May 31 - the lowest daily cases tally in last 55 days, May saw a brutal second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
During April this year, India had reported 69 lakh Covid infections. However, the country added 20 lakh more cases in the following month. In May, India recorded more than 90 lakh Covid cases, the highest tally for any month in the country since the beginning of the pandemic last year.
Between May 1 and May 31, India reported a record number of COVID-19 cases, even more than during the previous peak of infections last year, when the country reported a total number of 64 lakh cases in three months - August, September and October.
Highest Fatality ever
Apart from the daily cases count of COVID-19 which a saw a peak in May, the country also witnessed the most number of deaths in a month since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to the official figures, India reported 1,19,000 fatalities during May, accounting for 33 per cent of total deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. The fatality toll in May was 2.5 times more than in April (48,768) and 1.25 times less than the death toll during the entire year of 2020. In 2020, India reported 1,49,018 Covid-19 deaths, an almost equal number have been reported in just April and May.
According to COVID19India.org, May 18 was the deadliest day when India reported 4,529 deaths in a day, the worst single-day death toll in any country across the globe since the outbreak of the infection.
Among the worst affected states, Maharashtra reported 26, 531 deaths in May, the highest deaths in a state during May, followed by Karnataka (13, 632), Tamil Nadu (10,186) and Delhi (8,090).
At least nine states and Union territories reported more Covid-related deaths in May than their cumulative death toll in all previous months reported The Times of India. Assam recorded 61 per cent of Covid-related deaths in May, followed by Uttarakhand, which reported 59 per cent of Covid-related deaths in May and the venue of this year’s Mahakumbh. The report also mentions about Delhi death rate among the states. The National Capital reported a 2.9 per cent Covid death rate in May, the highest among the big states in the country.
According to worldometers.info, globally, no country other than India has recorded such a heavy death toll in a month. The US reported 99, 680 deaths in January this year and 83,849 deaths in December last year followed by Brazil, which reported 82, 401 deaths in April this year.
However, getting a clear picture of the total number of deaths due to COVID-19 in India is hard because of massive underreporting and a lack of widespread testing. An analysis by New York Times says the actual figures are likely to be much higher — 700.7 million (70.07 crores) cases and 4.2 million (42 lakh) deaths in a worst-case scenario.
Although, it seems like India’s Covid nightmare is finally receding after a brutal second wave. India’s Test Positive Rate has fallen from 21.7 per cent at the start of month to 6.6 per cent on May 31. Active cases have seen a sharp fall. The total number of active has dropped below 20 Lakh after 45 days.
On vaccination front, 21 crore people have been vaccinated against Covid till now. According to the Financial Times COVID-19 vaccine tracker, the percentage of vaccinations per 100 people also stands at just 15.4 per cent.