Coronavirus rages in south India, experts say states 'nearing peak'. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, June 15 : While the number of new Covid-19 infections in India has seen a decline in recent days, the high mortality rate remains a cause of concern.

Most of the deaths, which are happening now, are cases that were admitted to intensive care units in the last week of May, experts said on Tuesday.

India's daily Covid caseload continues to fall with the country recording 60,461 new cases in the last 24 hours, the lowest since March 29.

Yet the number of deaths remains high. The last 24 hours saw 2,726 persons succumbing to the virus, as per the data released by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday.

"Our Covid-19 peak was in the second week of May 2021. During the peak, admissions to MICU (medical intensive care unit) were the highest. Most of the deaths which are happening now are cases that were admitted to MICU two to three weeks earlier (third week of May)," Aravinda G.M., Consultant Physician (internal medicine) at the Manipal Hospital, Jayanagar, Bengaluru, told IANS.

"This time the severity of the disease was also very high, i.e., lung involvement was very severe. These severe cases were in ICU for a longer period of time. Now even the number of cases is low, but the mortality rate among these cases are very high," said Vikas Maurya, Director and HOD, Pulmonology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh.

In terms of infection, India has witnessed a decline in daily Covid cases by up to 85 per cent since the highest daily tally was registered on May 7 at 4,14,188.

The country's overall tally of Covid-19 cases now stands at 2,95,70,871, with 3,77,031 deaths so far.

Presently, Karnataka has the highest number of active cases in the country at 1,80,856, followed by Maharashtra at 1,58,617 and Tamil Nadu at 1,49,927. These three states account for nearly 50 per cent of active cases in the country.

Maharashtra has the highest death rate of 1.90 per cent with a toll of 1,12,696 till date. The state is followed by Karnataka which has reported 33,033 Covid fatalities so far.

"This time the wave came rapidly with a steep rise in the number of cases. Also, the volume of cases with severe disease was very high," Maurya told IANS.

"Probably in the next two weeks, a gradual decline in Covid deaths is expected to be seen in India. Also, more cases were noticed in the Tier-II cities, where hospitals that provide tertiary healthcare are few," Aravinda noted.

Meanwhile, the overall global Covid-19 caseload has topped 176 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 3.80 million, according to Johns Hopkins University's latest update on Tuesday.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 33,473,180 and 599,928, respectively. In terms of infections, India follows in second place with 29,510,410 cases.

In terms of mortality, Brazil comes second with 488,228 fatalities, followed by India with 374,305 deaths.

 Latest updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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