India on Friday recorded 39,726 new infections, taking the tally to 1,15,14,331, data from the health ministry showed. This is India’s highest daily increase in coronavirus cases in over three months, reported Deccan Herald.

Friday is also the ninth straight day when the country has recorded over 20,000 new infections. As many as 41,810 new infections were recorded on November 29. India’s recovery rate was recorded at 96.26%, and mortality rate at 1.38%.

With 154 deaths, the toll rose to 1,59,370. There are 2,71,282 active cases and 1,10,83,679 people have recovered from the infection. So far, India has administered 3,93,39,817 doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

“Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh together account for 80.63% of the daily new cases,” the Union health ministry said. “Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 25,833, 65% of the daily cases. It is followed by Punjab with 2,369 while Kerala reported 1,899 new cases.”

The health ministry also noted that eight states were showing an “upward trajectory” in daily cases. “States/UTs have been advised to improve testing in districts reporting reduction in testing and increase the overall share of RT-PCR tests (more than 70%), especially in districts dependent on high levels of antigen testing in line with the ‘Test Track & Treat’ strategy of the government,” it added. “States/UTs are also advised to carry out an average close contact tracing of minimum of 20 persons per positive case (in the first 72 hours) along with isolation and early treatment of the serious cases as per clinical protocol.”

On Thursday, Maharashtra registered 25,833 new coronavirus cases – its highest one-day rise in infections since the beginning of the pandemic. The state’s previous high was 24,886 cases on September 11. The Covid-19 tally in the state stood at 23,96,340 and the toll was 53,138.

Amid the surge in Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra, the Madhya Pradesh state transport authority said it was temporarily suspending bus services with the neighbouring state. The suspension will come into effect from March 20 and will be in force till March 31.

(Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare)

The Gujarat government has decided to suspend all offline classes and examinations in schools and colleges in eight municipal corporations from Friday till April 10. The decision came after there was a four-fold increase in coronavirus cases in a month in the state that recorded 1,276 infections on Thursday.

The Manipal Institute of Technology in Karnataka’s Udupi district was declared as containment zone by the administration after 59 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the past few days. The administration of the institution has decided to conduct all theory classes in online mode and defer the laboratory, practical and contact classes to a later date.

Sikkim has issued a fresh set of rules, including restrictions on vehicular movement at night, reported ANI. The government said that all commercial establishments including restaurants, bars, night clubs, pubs, gyms etc shall close by 10 pm every day.

Global updates

  1. Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 12.17 crore people and killed over 26.90 lakh, according to the John Hopkins University. Over 6.89 crore people have recovered from the infection in the world.
  2. Doctors in the United States have reported the first known case of a woman giving birth to a baby with antibodies against the coronavirus, reported PTI. A study, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, said the woman was given a single dose of the Moderna mRNA Covid-19 vaccine at 36 weeks and three days of her gestation period.
  3. Paris, the capital of France, will go into a month-long lockdown amid a possibility of a “third wave” of the coronavirus, reported BBC. France has recorded more than 35,000 new infections within the past 24 hours as of Friday.