India on Saturday registered 89,129 new coronavirus cases, pushing the overall count in the country to 1,23,92,260, data from the Union health ministry showed. This was the biggest single-day jump since September 20 when 92,605 cases were reported, NDTV reported.
The toll climbed to 1,64,110, after 714 new deaths were recorded in a day. As many as 1,15,69,241 patients have recovered from the infection. India’s number of active cases rose to 6,58,909.
So far, more than 7.30 crore Covid-19 vaccines doses have been administered, of which 30.93 lakh were given on Friday. The Centre said it had not banned the export of vaccines to other countries. The country on Thursday began its third phase of the coronavirus vaccination drive, under which all people above 45 years will be covered.
The Union health ministry said that eight states have shown a steep rise in daily coronavirus cases and account for 81.42% of the new infections reported. These are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.
The ministry said that India’s active caseload was now 5.32% of the country’s total positive infections. Maharashtra alone accounts for 59.36% of the total active cases.
On deaths, the ministry said that five states – Maharashtra, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh – recorded 85.85% of India’s single-day fatality count. Maharashtra leads the list with 481 deaths, followed by Punjab with 57 fatalities.
Thirteen states and Union Territories have not reported any new deaths. These are Odisha, Assam, Ladakh, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Sikkim, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Arunachal Pradesh.
Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Friday told senior administrative and police officials that the coronavirus situation in 11 states and Union Territories was of “grave concern”, reported PTI. These states and Union Territories accounted for 90% of the new cases and 90.5% of Covid deaths reported in the past fortnight.
The Cabinet secretary asked the officials to ensure people follow protocols, including wearing face masks and maintaining physical distancing while in public. Gauba also stressed on increasing the tests, ensuring effective and prompt isolation of infected persons and tracking and testing at least 30 contacts of each Covid-positive individual.
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 Union health ministry about the situation going “from bad to worse”.
- Thirteen students and two officials of Delhi’s St Stephen’s College tested positive for the coronavirus, The Indian Express reported.
- Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Kanimozhi tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday, reported NDTV. She is currently in home isolation. The DMK MP has cancelled all her events for the upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly elections and will undergo treatment at Chennai’s Apollo hospital.
- The Karnataka government on Friday issued a set of new coronavirus-related restrictions amid a surge in cases. These include limiting the seating capacity at theatres and bars at 50% and suspending in-person classes for students of Classes 6 to 9.
- Odisha government directed health officials to speed up the inoculation of people with comorbidities as coronavirus cases in the state doubled in a week’s time, the Hindustan Times reported.
- The Maharashtra government said that its inoculation drive continue would continue as earlier, despite new curbs, The Indian Express reported. Special arrangements are being made to ensure that vaccination is not impacted.
- The increase in coronavirus cases in Chhattisgarh’s Durg has led to the piling up of bodies in the town, reported NDTV. The local mortuary has eight freezers but there are 27 bodies. As many as 38 people have died in the last seven days in the town.
- Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 13 crore people and killed 28,36,961, according to the Johns Hopkins University. More than 7 crore people have recovered from the infection.
- Health authorities in the United States said fully-vaccinated people can begin traveling again if they follow safety rules like wearing masks and observing physical distancing, AFP reported.
- Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden urged the people not to lower their guard against the coronavirus. “We need to finish this job,” he said, according to AFP. “I plead with you. Don’t give back the progress we’ve all fought so hard to achieve.”
- The Italian government imposed three-day lockdown to prevent a rise in coronavirus cases over Easter, BBC reported.
- China reported 26 new coronavirus cases on Friday, up from nine cases recorded the previous day, Reuters reported.