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. The country’s overall count rose to over 1.28 crore. The toll went up to 1,66,177, with 630 more fatalities reported, while the active caseload stood at 8,43,473.
Maharashtra, which is swamped by pandemic’s second wave, recorded 59,907 new coronavirus cases. This is the highest single-day rise in cases so far. The state now has total 31,73,261 cases. The toll rose by 322 to 56,652. With the recovery of 30,296 patients, the active caseload dropped to 5,01,559. Maharashtra’s capital Mumbai, meanwhile, reported 10,428 new infections. This is the second-highest daily count so far The city had recorded 11,163 Covid-19 infections on April 4. Mumbai now has 4,82,760 total cases.
Delhi recorded 5,506 new coronavirus cases – the highest one-day count since November 27. This took the city’s tally to 6,90,568. With 20 deaths, the toll jumped to 11,133.
At least six states – Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana – are staring at a coronavirus vaccine shortage as India grapples with the second wave of the pandemic. Most of these states have already apprised the Centre of the situation. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, however, denied that there was any shortage of vaccine in India.
Vardhan told NDTV that he agreed it was necessary to impose curbs on political functions and other activities but it was up to the Election Commission to monitor them. He also said the government was now better prepared to handle the surge in coronavirus cases. The minister told the news channel that people were not following Covid-appropriate behaviour.
The Centre said vaccines against the coronavirus can be administered at workplaces that have around 100 eligible and willing beneficiaries. The government asked states and Union Territories to initiate consultations with private and public sector employers and management to launch work place vaccination centres from Sunday.
The Punjab government imposed night curfew between 9 pm and 5 am till April 30 amid a rise in coronavirus cases. The decision came a day after the Delhi government issued similar curbs. Maharashtra also imposed similar restrictions and weekend lockdowns from April 5 to April 30.
The Bengaluru Police imposed Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code in the city limits and banned the use of swimming pools, gyms, party halls, and other such amenities in residential complexes. Meanwhile, authorities in Chhattisgarh imposed a complete 10-day lockdown in capital Raipur from April 9 to April 19 due to a surge in coronavirus cases.
The Delhi High Court ruled that wearing a mask inside a vehicle was compulsory even if the driver was alone. The court dismissed a batch of petitions challenging fines imposed by the Delhi government on people not wearing masks while travelling alone in personal vehicles.
World Health Organisation Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan cautioned against a full lockdown, suggesting that its consequences were “terrible”. In an interview to The Indian Express, Swaminathan said that the second wave will have to be managed before thinking of a third wave. She also flagged the possibility of more waves of the pandemic till enough people are vaccinated.