India on Thursday registered 22,854 coronavirus cases the highest in about two-and-a-half months, taking the country’s total tally to 1,12,85,561, data from the health ministry showed. The country last recorded such an increase in daily cases 76 days ago, on December 25, with 23,067 infections, according to PTI.

The toll on Thursday increased to 1,58,189 with 126 more deaths reported in 24 hours. The active cases went up to 1,89,226, constituting 1.68% of the total infections. The recoveries reached 1,09,38,146.

The health ministry said that Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu continued to report a high number of daily infections. The six states accounted for 85.91% of the new cases reported in the last day.

Maharashtra on Wednesday registered 13,659 new coronavirus cases, the highest one-day rise this year, taking the state’s tally to 22,52,057. The state had reported 13,395 Covid-19 infections on October 8 following which the number of daily cases had declined. The toll in the state rose by 54 to 52,610.

The government said that Maharashtra accounted for almost 60% of the daily new cases. “It is followed by Kerala with 2,475 while Punjab reported 1,393 new cases.”

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said at a press conference that Maharashtra has more than 1 lakh active cases, reported ANI. The conditions in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana were also at the “tipping point”, the ministry said, adding that these states have been told put in effort to improve the situation.

Maharashtra’s daily toll was also the highest at 54. It was followed by Punjab (17) and Kerala (14). Along with Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, these three states accounted for 83% of the deaths reported in the country in the last day.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Meanwhile, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Goa, Jharkhand, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Sikkim, Ladakh, Manipur, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Arunachal Pradesh did not report any death in the last day.

A total of 2,56,85,011 vaccine doses have been administered so far. Of these, 13,17,357 were given on Wednesday. The health ministry said the adverse event following immunisation, or AEFI, cases were 0.02% of the total inoculation done.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mother Hiraba was administered the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Thursday.

“Happy to share that my mother has taken the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine today,” Modi tweeted. “I urge everyone to help and motivate people around you who are eligible to take the vaccine.”

An expert panel cleared Bharat Biotech’s homegrown coronavirus vaccine, Covaxin, recommending that the drug regulator should remove the “clinical trial mode” label attached to it, according to reports. The recommendation made by the Subject Expert Committee will now have to be approved by Drugs Controller General of India VG Somani.

In Karnataka, authorities detected the first case of the South Africa variant 501.V2 of the coronavirus, The Deccan Herald reported. State’s Additional Chief Secretary of Health Jawaid Akhtar said the 58-year-old man is from Shivamogga district. “Five of his contacts are in-home quarantine,” he added. “Three other contacts are in institutional quarantine.”

A study has found that coronavirus patients should delay getting any surgery for at least seven weeks after contracting Covid-19, as they are two-and-a-half times more likely to die after their operations, if the procedure takes place in six weeks, reported the Hindustan Times. The research was conducted by 31 doctors of All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi.

Global updates

  1. Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 11.80 crore people and killed over 26.19 lakh, according to John Hopkins University. Over 6.68 crore people have recovered from the infection in the world.
  2. The United States continues to be the worst-affected country in the world with 2,91,52,716 infections and 5,29,203 deaths recorded so far. 
  3. The US House of Representatives gave final approval on Wednesday to one of the largest economic stimulus measures in American history, a sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, Reuters reported. The measure provides $400 billion for $1,400 direct payments to most Americans, $350 billion in aid to state and local governments, an expansion of the child tax credit and increased funding for vaccine distribution.
  4. The Australian government also unveiled a $928 million tourism support package, aimed at boosting local travel while international routes remain closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  5. South Korea announced that it will extend vaccination for people aged 65 years and older with AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine to ramp up its immunisation drive, Reuters reported.