India on Sunday recorded 93,249 new coronavirus cases, taking its tally to 1,24,85,509, data from the health ministry showed. This is the highest rise in cases since mid-September. Daily deaths rose by 513 and the virus has so far killed 1,64,623 people.

On September 19, the country reported 93,337 cases in a span of 24 hours.

The active cases rose for the 25th straight day to 6,91,597. The active caseload was the lowest at 1,35,926 on February 12 and comprised 1.25% of the total infections.

As many as 1,16,29,289 people have recovered from the infection in the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review the coronavirus situation in the country, PTI reported. Senior officials, including cabinet secretary, principal secretary to the prime minister, health secretary and NITI Aayog member Vinod Paul, were present in the meeting.

The health ministry in a statement said that 80.96% of the new cases are from eight states – Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. It added that Maharashtra alone accounts for 58.19% of the total active cases in India.

The cumulative number of coronavirus vaccine doses administered has crossed 7.44 crore on Saturday, the health ministry said. India kicked off its inoculation programme in January for the healthcare workers and then the elderly. On April 1, third phase of the vaccination drive began under which anyone 45 or older is allowed to get a shot.

Credit: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

State updates

  1. After registering a steady decline over months, cases in India are headed in the wrong direction again. Maharashtra is the worst-affected region, with the state recording over half of the daily coronavirus cases of the country. 
  2. On Saturday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the state government was considering diverting all industrial use oxygen supply for medical use, PTI reported. The daily demand for oxygen in Maharashtra has touched 700 metric tonnes against the state’s production capacity of over 1,200 metric tonnes, an official said. The state Public Health Department had last week directed manufacturers to supply 80% oxygen for medical use and the balance 20% for industrial purposes until June 30.
  3. The Uttarakhand government has said it will recognise journalists working round-the-clock as frontline workers and offer them vaccinations, irrespective of their age, NDTV reported. The announcement came weeks after the Punjab government said judges, lawyers, teachers and journalists can get the coronavirus shot in Ludhiana district.
  4. At least 13 students and four staff members of Delhi University’s St Stephen’s College tested positive, leading to the enforcement of stringent coronavirus protocols on campus NDTV reported. Those who contracted the infection were part of a chapel trip of 25 students to Dalhousie. The students were tested after some of them developed symptoms of Covid-19 upon their return. A dean and a mess steward are reportedly among the staff who tested positive.
  5. All schools, colleges and other educational institutions in Bihar will be shut down till April 11, amid a severe increase in coronavirus infections, the Hindustan Times reported. All institutions were directed to reschedule tests and examinations accordingly, as per a release by the state’s home department. 

Global scenario

  1. Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 13.06 crore people and killed 28,45,012, according to the Johns Hopkins University. More than 7.4 crore people have recovered from the infection.
  2. United States President Joe Biden’s administration on Saturday stopped a Baltimore manufacturing plant that ruined 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine from making another vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, The New York Times reported. The administration has put Johnson & Johnson in charge of the manufacturing plant.