India on Tuesday registered 24,492 new coronavirus cases, taking the overall count to 1,14,09,83, data from the Union health ministry showed. This was the sixth day of the country recording over 20,000 cases. India’s toll rose to 1,58,856, with 131 deaths reported in 24 hours. Active cases went up by 4,170 to 2,23,432. The number of recoveries reached 1,10,27,543.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reportedly called a meeting of all chief ministers on Wednesday to discuss a surge in coronavirus cases in several parts of the country. He is also expected to review India’s vaccination drive. This will be the first meeting between the prime minister and chief ministers since India launched its inoculation drive.

Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

The government said that Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu accounted for 79.73% of the new cases reported in the last day. Along with Kerala, Maharashtra and Punjab also made up for for 76.57% of the country’s total active cases.

Of the new infections, Maharashtra, the epicentre of the new surge of coronavirus cases, alone on Monday recorded 15,051 cases, pushing the state’s overall tally to 23,29,464. While this was slightly lower than the 16,620 cases registered a day before, it was still the highest anywhere in the country. The toll rose by 48 to 52,909. More than 21.44 lakh people have recovered from the disease so far, even as active cases climbed to 1,30,547, the data from the state department showed.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Monday released a list of new guidelines curbing social, political and religious gatherings, and capping the limit of people allowed to attend weddings and funerals.

Seven states accounted for 82.44% of the deaths reported in the last day. Sixteen states and union territories did not report any death in the last 24 hours.

Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Government data showed that 30,39,394 vaccine doses were administered on Monday – the highest so far. “The coverage of beneficiaries aged over 60 years has crossed 1 crore in just 15 days,” the government added.

The Centre on Monday opposed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking priority in coronavirus vaccination for judges, court staff, lawyers and their employees. In an affidavit submitted to the court, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Manohar Agnani, said that it will be discriminatory towards people of other professions to give such a preference to those related to the legal fraternity.

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court has sought the Centre’s response on a plea seeking to include mental illnesses in the list of specified comorbidities that will help them get the Covid-19 vaccine on priority basis.

Global updates

  1. Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 12.01 crore people and killed over 26.60 lakh, according to the John Hopkins University. Over 6.81 crore people have recovered from the infection in the world.
  2. As more and more European nations halted the AstraZenaca vaccine over fears of blood clots, the World Health Organization on Monday said that countries should continue using it. “We do not want people to panic and we would, for the time being, recommend that countries continue vaccinating with AstraZeneca,” WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said at a press briefing. This came a day after AstraZeneca said that a safety review of people inoculated with its coronavirus vaccine has shown no evidence of increased risk of blood clots.
  3. The White House on Monday said former President Donald Trump should not be waiting for an “engraved invitation” to join the campaign to encourage Americans to take vaccines. “Every other living president... has participated in public campaigns,” said President Joe Biden’s Press Secretary Jen Psaki, according to AFP. “They did not need an engraved invitation to do so. So he may decide he should do that. If so, great. If former president Trump woke tomorrow and wanted to be more vocal about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, certainly we support that.”