India on Wednesday recorded 1,15,736 cases of coronavirus cases, the most infections reported in the world in a single day since the pandemic began, data from the health ministry showed. The country’s overall count rose to 1,28,01,785, or over 1.28 crore. The toll went up to 1,66,177, with 630 more fatalities reported. The active caseload stood at 8,43,473.

Wednesday’s single-day rise numbers topped that of Monday, when the country reported 1,03,558 cases in the first instance of the figure going past one lakh. On Tuesday, the tally went up by 96,982.

(Image source: Health ministry)

The highest single-day rise in number of cases came a day after the Centre warned that the next four weeks were going to be “critical” as far as the pandemic situation is concerned. Addressing a press conference, VK Paul, the chief of India’s Covid-19 task force said that people’s participation was vital in controlling the second wave of the virus, PTI reported.

“The intensity of the pandemic has increased and it is spreading faster than last time,” Paul said. In some states, it [the situation] is worse than others but the upswing [in cases] can be observed across the country. The next four weeks are going to very critical.”

The Centre also ruled out relaxing the age limit for coronavirus vaccination now and said that the priority was to give the shots to those “who need it and not those who want it”.

“What we know is that these vaccines reduce mortality and severe disease, they protect lives,” Paul said, according to The Indian Express. “...We have to ask ourselves if we have covered everyone in the age group of 45 years and above. We should first adopt the current strategy.”

The task force chief added that there was yet no answer to the question as to when a population will reach herd immunity, as there were many factors which determine that, and not just vaccination.

On Tuesday, the Indian Medical Association had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow all citizens above the age of 18 to get vaccinated. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray had also made the request.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan criticised people for not following Covid-appropriate behaviour in a meeting to review the surge in cases and vaccination status in 11 states and Union Territories. The minister added that taking precautions was a “social vaccine” against the virus.

“It seems that people have given ‘Tilanjali’ [abandoned] to measures and steps that can protect them from Covid...such as mask wearing, avoiding gatherings and maintaining physical distancing,” Vardhan said, according to a health ministry release.

State updates

  1. The Jharkhand government on Tuesday announced that all schools, parks and gymnasiums will remain shut from April 8 to April 30, the Hindustan Times reported. Exhibitions and fairs will not be allowed during the period and shops, restaurants and clubs will have to be closed by 8 pm. Public gatherings at religious places and restaurants have been restricted to 50% of the capacity and not more than five people will be allowed to congregate at any public place.
  2. The Chandigarh administration imposed a night curfew on Tuesday from 10 pm to 5 am, The Indian Express reported. The restriction will come into effect from Wednesday. 
  3. Himachal Pradesh government restricted marriage ceremony gatherings to 50 persons indoors and 200 persons outdoors, The Indian Express reported. Not more than 50 people will be allowed in funerals.

Global scenario

  1. Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 13.23 crore people and killed 28,71,781, according to the Johns Hopkins University. More than 7.51 crore people have recovered from the infection.  
  2. The Oxford University has put on hold its vaccine trial on children and teenagers, pending further information about blood clotting cases in adults who have received the shot, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.