India reported 13,993 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours on Saturday, as the total number of cases went up to 1,09,77,387, according to health ministry data. The toll rose to 1,56,212, with 101 new deaths, while the number of active cases in the country stood at 1,43,127.

A total of 1,07,15,204 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered so far to health workers and frontline workers, according to the government data.

On Friday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that India has given more than 1 crore shots of the coronavirus vaccine in 34 days, which is the second fastest among all countries in the world, ANI reported. He reiterated that the vaccines were safe and made an appeal to healthcare and frontline workers to get inoculated as per the schedule, PTI reported.

Lockdown in parts of Maharashtra

The rise in daily cases in Maharashtra continued as the state recorded 6,112 new infections, the highest in 83 days, the Hindustan Times reported. While Mumbai reported the highest number of cases (823), neighbouring cities Thane, Navi Mumbai and Kalyan-Dombivli saw single-day spike of 800, 663 and 748 new cases, respectively. State minister Bacchu Kadu and Nationalist Congress Party leader Eknath Khadse reported positive for the virus, according to PTI.

In view of the rise in cases, Mumbai’s civic body the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has imposed some restrictions and guidelines, even though it has not planned on a lockdown yet. However, in other parts of the state, like Amravati and Akola, the authorities have announced weekend lockdowns, the Hindustan Times reported. A 10-day lockdown has been imposed in Yavatmal since Thursday.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s party, the Shiv Sena, meanwhile blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party for the rise in cases, accusing in its mouthpiece Saamana, that the Opposition party pressurised the government to open institutions like temples which led to spreading of the virus, Times Now reported.

Global updates

  • Globally, the total number of cases stood at 11,07,09,173, while as many as 24,51,695 people have died because of the infection, according to Johns Hopkins University and Medicine.  
  • Pharmaceutical company Pfizer on Friday asked the United States’ health regulator to relax storage requirements for their coronavirus vaccine after new tests revealed that they can be kept at warmer temperatures, potentially allowing it to be kept in pharmacy refrigerators.