India on Wednesday registered 13,742 new coronavirus cases, taking the overall count to 1,10,30,176. The new cases are nearly 30% higher than Tuesday’s count. The country’s toll rose to 1,56,567 as 104 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. The number of active cases stood at 1,46,907, while the number of recoveries reached 1,07,26,702.
The health ministry said that daily recoveries were higher than the daily new cases in the last 24 hours. “13,742 new daily cases have been recorded in the last 24 hours whereas 14,037 recoveries registered in the last 24 hours,” the government said. “It has led to a net decline of 399 cases in the total active caseload.”
The Centre has deputed high-level multi-disciplinary teams to 10 states for supporting them in public health measures for Covid-19 response and management. The states are Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Jammu and Kashmir.
The health ministry said that six states accounted for 86.15% of the new cases in the last day. Maharashtra reported the highest daily cases (6,218), followed by Kerala (4,034), Tamil Nadu (442), Punjab (414), Karnataka (383) and Gujarat (348).
Maharashtra’s Amravati district, reported 786 new cases in a day, taking the overall count to 32,045. The population of Amravati is 6,47,057. Since February 15, more than 2,400 Covid-19 cases have been reported in the district, following which the state government imposed a strict week-long lockdown there.
On February 18, researchers said that during genome sequencing of Covid-19-infected blood samples, they found the “E484 K” mutation of the virus in four of them from Amravati. Since this mutation has been found in the new, fast-spreading strains in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, district officials have been concerned that the variant could transmit quickly across Maharashtra and the country.
Meanwhile, Parbhani district imposed restrictions on travel from 11 places in the Vidarbha region. The district reported 40 new cases on Wednesday, taking its total count of infections to 8,289.
In Maharashtra’s Jalna district, schools, colleges, coaching centres and weekly markets will be shut till the end of March, ANI reported. Jalna Superintendent of Police V Deshmukh said that periodic rapid antigen tests will be done on newspaper and vegetable vendors.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government made it mandatory for people from Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab to show negative coronavirus certificates in order to enter the Capital. People travelling by road are exempted from the rule.
Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Karnataka also accounted for 82% of the deaths reported on Wednesday. Maharashtra registered the highest number of deaths (51), followed Kerala (14), Punjab (10), Tamil Nadu (6) and Karnataka (4).
As many as 1,21,65,598 health care and frontline workers have been vaccinated against the coronavirus so far. Of these, 4.20 lakh were inoculated on Tuesday.
People over 60 to be allowed to self-register for vaccination
From March 1, people over the age of 60 and those with comorbidities will be allowed to self-register for the vaccination and choose where to get inoculated, the Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Union health ministry directed Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, and Chhattisgarh to expedite the vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers amid a surge in coronavirus cases.
- The Chhattisgarh government directed the authorities to screen people coming from other places through different modes of transportation, PTI reported. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel appealed to people to continue taking appropriate precautions.
- A night curfew was imposed in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district till March 8 amid the increase in coronavirus cases, ANI reported. Essential services and industries will be exempted.
- Odisha warned healthcare workers who are choosing not to get vaccinated that they will cease to get benefits such as free treatment and financial help, the Hindustan Times reported.
- In Punjab, 13 school teachers tested positive for the coronavirus, ANI reported. The authorities tested 4,000 teachers for the infection.
- The coronavirus has infected 11.2 crore people across the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 24 lakh people have died of the infection. The number of recoveries has gone up to 6.3 crore.
- The United States House of Representatives will on Friday vote on a trillion-dollar coronavirus relief bill, Reuters reported.
- China reported 12 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, up from 10 cases registered a day earlier, according to Reuters.
- Regional Japanese governments pushed for the lifting of emergency pandemic measures before their scheduled end on March 7, amid a downward trend in cases, according to Reuters.
- Colombia granted emergency-use authorisation to the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. The country has signed agreements with several pharmaceutical companies and the World Health Organization-backed COVAX facility.