India on Friday recorded 81,466 new coronavirus cases, pushing the overall count in the country to 1,23,03,131, data from the Union health ministry showed. This was the biggest single-day jump in six months, according to PTI.

The toll climbed to 1,63,396, after 469 new deaths were recorded in a day, the highest since December 6. As many as 1,15,25,039 patients have recovered from the infection. The active cases tally continued to show an upward trend for the 23rd consecutive day, rising up to 6,14,696.

So far, 6,87,89,138 Covid-19 vaccines doses have been administered, of which 36,71,242 were given on Thursday. The country on Thursday began its third phase of the coronavirus vaccination drive, under which all people above 45 years will be covered. At least at least 20 lakh signed up for the vaccination on the first day, reported News18.

Ministry of Health

The Union Cabinet Secretary will hold a meeting on Friday with representatives of 11 states that are showing a surge in coronavirus cases, ANI reported.

India’s infections have exceeded 60,000 daily over the past week from a low of about 10,000 in February, prompting warnings from the health ministry about the situation going “from bad to worse”.

State updates

  1. Maharashtra is once again the worst-affected region in the country, reporting 43,183 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, as the state’s tally went up to 28,56,163. The number of deaths went up by 249 to 54,898.
  2. The state capital Mumbai recorded a record high increase of 8,646 cases, while 18 people died according to civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. The Dharavi slum area, which became a hotspot of infections in the first wave of the pandemic, reported 71 new cases.
  3. Delhi on Thursday registered 2,790 new coronavirus cases – its highest one-day rise in infections this year. The new cases were 53.3% higher than the previous day. Delhi’s overall count rose to 6,65,220. Its toll went up to 11,036 as nine more deaths were registered in 24 hours.
  4. An 88-hour lockdown was imposed in Chhindwara district in Madhya Pradesh, which shares borders with Maharashtra, on Thursday, reported News18.  An order issued by District Collector Saurabh Kumar Suman said the shut down came into force in urban areas and other localities  from 10 pm on April 1 to 6 am, April 5. 
  5. The Delhi government plans to immunise everyone over the age of 45 within the next 40 days, the Hindustan Times reported, quoting a health department official. “To ensure that this happens, we will start creating more and more vaccination centres, training more vaccinators to man these centres, keeping centres open for 12 hours, and motivating people to come and get immunised,” the official told the newspaper. 

Global scenario

  1. Globally, the coronavirus has infected 12,95,10,295 people and killed 28,26,8,52, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. As many as 7,33,80,066 have recovered from the disease.  
  2. Pfizer said its vaccine continues to be effective against Covid-19 up to six months later, AP reported. The companies said the vaccine was 91% effective against symptomatic disease and was even more protective in preventing severe disease.
  3. The United States may not need AstraZeneca’s vaccine, even if it wins the country’s regulatory approval, America’s top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci told Reuters on Thursday.
  4. The World Health Organization said the European nations’ immunisation campaigns against Covid-19 are unacceptably slow and risk prolonging the pandemic, AP reported. Hans Kluge, WHO’s regional director for Europe, said vaccines present our best way out of this pandemic but noted that to date, only 10% of Europe’s population had received one dose and that only 4 percent had been fully protected with two doses.