India on Monday recorded 1,03,558 daily cases, the most infections reported in a day since the pandemic began, data from the health ministry showed. With this grim milestone, the country’s overall count rose to 1,25,89,067. The country registered 478 additional deaths, taking the toll to 1,65,101.

Monday’s tally broke the record number of daily cases reported on September 17, when 97,894 new coronavirus infections were registered in 24 hours. The active cases rose for the 26th straight day to 7,41,830. As many as 1,16,82,136 people have recovered from the infection in the country.

The health ministry said that Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab accounted for 81.90% of the new cases reported in the last day. Maharashtra reported the highest daily cases (57,074), followed by Chhattisgarh with 5,250 cases.

Ministry of Health

The government added that 85% of the deaths in the last day were reported from eight states. No deaths were recorded in 12 states and Union Territories.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The cumulative number of coronavirus vaccine doses administered has crossed 7.91 crore, the health ministry said. Of these, 16,38,464 were given on Sunday.

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.

India has been witnessing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in the past few weeks. The cases had been falling steadily since a peak in late September, but experts say increased public gatherings and laxity toward public health guidance led to the latest surge.

As the fresh wave sweeps through India again, there is speculation that some states will once again go back to lockdowns. Maharashtra, which is the worst affected in the country, on Sunday imposed weekend lockdowns and several restrictions for other days.

But the Centre is yet to signal toward a countrywide shutdown, similar to the one imposed last year.

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Director General Shekhar Mande said that lockdowns do help in containing the spread of coronavirus. But it also affects the economy adversely and hence, there is a need to strike a balance while imposing one, he said, the Hindustan Times reported.

“Lockdown will help in containing the spread as people stay indoors,” he added. “Even if the virus spreads, it will only affect the family members and it will not spread outside. If you see the last year’s lockdown in India, the spread of the disease was quite slow in the country as compared to other countries, including Italy which witnessed an explosion of Covid-19.”

India currently is the third-worst country in the world in terms of the number of infections and the fourth-worst in terms of the number of deaths.

State updates

  1. As cases surge, the Rajasthan government made RT-PCR tests mandatory for people entering or exiting the state, the Hindustan Times reported. 
  2. A day after Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma claimed that there is no coronavirus in the state and hence, no need to wear masks, the state government made testing mandatory for air and train passengers coming to the state from Mumbai and Bengaluru to check the spread of Covid-19, PTI reported. 
  3. A civic hospital near Pune, Maharashtra was forced to set up a triage facility outside to provide oxygen support to patients as the available number of oxygenated beds remained occupied, PTI reported. A senior official said the Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital in Pimpri Chinchwad city reached the “threshold of available oxygenated beds” on Sunday, forcing authorities to take the step. 
  4. The Madhya Pradesh police arrested nine people for allegedly attacking police personnel who were on patrol duty to enforce Covid-19 norms in the old city area of Bhopal, PTI reported.
  5. The Karnataka government revised its previous order to relax curbs on gyms, allowing 50% occupancy till April 20, PTI reported. The government had imposed restrictions on many public events in its order on April 2 believing that public gatherings could lead to the spread of coronavirus. But a number of gym operators and the gym-goers had given a representation to the chief minister, following which the order was revised.
  6. A woman, whose age according to her Aadhaar card is 118 years, received her first dose of Covid-19 vaccine in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh, making her the oldest person in India to have received the jab, PTI reported. 

Global scenario

  1. Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 13.12 crore people and killed 28,52,196, according to the Johns Hopkins University. More than 7.43 crore people have recovered from the infection.
  2. Britain will try a system of “Covid status certification” at events, including football matches, in the coming weeks as a possible way out of virus restrictions, AFP reported. The Downing Street said that Britain plans to issue identification showing whether people are vaccinated, have antibodies or have tested negative. The government is to announce on Monday that the system will be tested at events from mid-April including the FA Cup Semi-Final and Final at Wembley Stadium, a statement said.
  3. Everyone in Britain will be given access to two rapid coronavirus tests a week from April 9, under an extension of the government’s testing programme, BBC reported. Authorities will give lateral flow kits, which can provide results in around 30 minutes, for free at testing sites, pharmacies and through the post.