India on Monday registered 18,599 new coronavirus cases, pushing the country’s tally to 1,12,29,398, data from the health ministry showed. This was marginally lower from the 18,711 infections recorded on Sunday. The toll jumped by 97 to 1,57,853.

The active cases went up to 1,88,747, constituting 1.68% of the total infections. The recoveries reached 1,08,82,798. A total of 2,09,89,101 vaccine doses have been administered so far. Of these, 66,666 were given on Sunday.

The health ministry said that Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu were reporting a surge in daily infections. These six states accounted for 86.25% of the new cases reported in the last day.

The government added that Maharashtra reported 11,141 cases – the highest on Sunday. Kerala registered 2,100 cases, while Punjab recorded 1,043.

The government deputed high-level teams comprising public health experts to two states of particular concern – Maharashtra and Punjab – to assist local governments in surveillance, control and containment measures.

The health ministry has also sent expert teams to Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Jammu and Kashmir.

“The Centre is regularly holding high-level review meetings with the states and UTs showing a surge in new daily cases,” the health ministry said in its bulletin. “The health secretary is also holding weekly review meetings as part of the Centre’s efforts to continuously engage with the states and UTs reporting higher caseload of active cases and those showing rise in daily new Covid-19 cases.”

Government data showed that seven states accounted for 87.63% of the deaths reported in the last day. Maharashtra reported 38 deaths, followed by Punjab (17) and Kerala (13).

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

After recording a steady drop in cases, India is once again experiencing a surge of infections. Saturday was the first time in 36 days that the daily cases went over 18,000.

Government experts said that a drop in testing, with a “particularly low share of gold-standard RT-PCR tests”, inadequate contact-tracing of positive cases and uncontrolled gatherings during the wedding season were some of the reasons behind the rise in cases, Hindustan Times reported.

However, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan dismissed concerns about the situation, claiming that India was “in the end game of the pandemic”, reported PTI. He said people should trust the science behind vaccines and ensure that their near and dear ones get vaccinated on time.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot asked the Union government to spend more on research related to the Covid-19 pandemic. He also urged people to keep following all Covid-19 protocols and stressed that those with comorbidities should be extra cautious, according to PTI.

Global updates

  1. Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 11.68 crore people and killed over 25.93 lakh, according to John Hopkins University. Over 6.61 crore people have recovered from the infection in the world.
  2. Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Peter Hotez, said the rollout of vaccines by India in collaboration with leading global institutions has “rescued the world” from the pandemic, PTI reported. The American scientist said the vaccines were “India’s gift’’ to the world in combating the virus.
  3. The outbreak of a new strain of the coronavirus, Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1), which is found in horses, has been reported in Europe, The Indian Express reported. Seven countries have confirmed EHV-1 cases, so far: Spain, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Qatar. A case has been reported in the United States, too, but officials said it was not linked to the current outbreak in Europe.