Andhra Pradesh, which has seen a surge in cases over the past two weeks, has now surpassed Delhi as the third-most affected region in India. As of Saturday evening, Andhra had 1,50,209 infections, while Delhi had 1,36,716 cases, according to state bulletins.

This came a day after the Andhra Pradesh government announced the lifting of restrictions on inter-state transport, besides resuming tourism in the state to step up its revenue collection, the Hindustan Times reported. The state government also hinted at reopening of educational institutions from September 5.

In the last 13 days, the state has registered a staggering 96,485 cases, according to PTI. Of these, 39,912 infections were reported in just the past four days.

Of the 13 districts in the state, seven crossed the 10,000 mark each as of August 1, with East Godavari recording the highest number of cases with 21,271 infections. East Godavari was the first to cross the 10,000-mark on July 23 and has since added 11,233 cases.

The Andhra Pradesh government claims that the surge in cases is because of an increase in the number of tests conducted in the state. Between March 12 and July 20, the state had conducted a total of 13,49,112 tests with a positivity rate of 3.98%. However, the rate shot up to 7.46% by August 1 – with just 6,63,461 tests conducted in the period.

The state has also witnessed a sharp rise in the toll from the outbreak, which rose from 696 on July 20 to 1,407 on August 1. The Covid-19 recovery rate, however, improved from 45.1% to 51% during this period, while the mortality rate dipped from 1.30%to 0.94%.

Authorities have also attributed the mounting caseload to the influx of people from other states and countries since the government eased restrictions. However, an analysis of the figures given by the government revealed that the last time the state recorded external cases – 10 infections – was on July 17. In all, 2,461 people from other states and 434 foreign returnees have tested positive for coronavirus in the state.

Maharashtra is the worst-affected by the pandemic with 4,31,719 cases, including 15,316 deaths as of Saturday, followed by Tamil Nadu, which has reported 2,51,738 infections and 4,034 deaths.

India’s coronavirus count crossed the 17-lakh mark on Sunday morning after 54,735 new cases were reported in 24 hours. There are now 17,50,723 cases, while the toll rose by 853 to 37,364.

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