India on Thursday recorded 1,26,789 new cases of coronavirus, in yet another record high count of infections reported in a single day since the pandemic began, data from the health ministry showed. The country’s overall count rose to 1,29,28,574, or over 1.29 crore. The toll went up to 1,66,862, with 685 deaths in the last 24 hours. The active caseload stood at 9,10,319.

The numbers on Thursday went past the count of cases on Wednesday when the country logged more than 1.15 lakh cases in a single day. This is the third time the number of cases in India has gone past the one lakh-mark.

(Image source: Union Ministry of Health and family Welfare)

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday took his second dose of Covid-19 vaccine at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi. He had taken his first jab on March 1 at the hospital.

“Got my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS today,” Modi tweeted after taking the shot. “Vaccination is among the few ways we have, to defeat the virus. If you are eligible for the vaccine, get your shot soon. Register on”

Ten states – Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala and Punjab – have shown an increase in the daily Covid-19 cases. They account for 84.21% of the country’s one-day case count. Maharashtra reported the highest number of cases with 59,907 infections, followed by Chhattisgarh with 10,310 and Karnataka with 6,976.

India’s weekly positivity rate has increased to 8.40% in the first week of April as compared to 6.21% during the same period in March.

Ten states account for 87.59% of the new deaths. These are Maharashtra, Punjab, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh.

Amid the surge in cases in the last few weeks, it has emerged that the second wave of coronavirus has affected younger people and children more than in the initial stages. As many as 79,688 children have been infected since March in the five states affected worst by the virus. The situation is even more grim as there are no vaccines available for children yet.

As far as vaccination process is concerned, the Centre and few states seem to have hit a confrontation on the matter of vaccine shortage. The Centre on Wednesday wrote to Maharashtra, Punjab and Delhi governments suggesting that their vaccination of eligible beneficiaries, including healthcare workers has been below-par. The letter came after at least six states flagged vaccine shortage. However later Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan rejected the claims and said that they were “deplorable attempts” by state governments to distract attention from their failures and spread panic among the people.

State updates

  1. Five student hostels at the Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee in Uttarakhand have been sealed and declared containment zones after 60 students tested positive for Covid-19 over a span of two days, reported The New Indian Express.
  2.   Authorities in four major Uttar Pradesh cities – Lucknow, Prayagraj, Kanpur and Varanasi – on Wednesday announced night curfews that will come to effect from Thursday night.  
  3. In Punjab’s Ludhiana district, health department data on Wednesday showed that only 18 of the 163 available ventilators were at government facilities, reported The Indian Express. In Amritsar, on the other hand, health officials said that people were not coming to hospitals despite the district being one of the worst affected ones. 
  4. Rajasthan government has written to the Centre about “faulty” ventilators received by the state under the PM-Cares fund, The Indian Express reported. The state government received complaints about the functioning of ventilators from various medical colleges and hospitals in multiple districts.

Global scenario

  1. Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 13.29 crore people and killed 28,86,573, according to the Johns Hopkins University. More than 7.55 crore people have recovered from the infection. 
  2. European Medicines Agency, the European Union’s medicines regulator has said that blood clots should be listed as a very rare side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine for coronavirus, reported BBC. Following a study of 86 cases, the EMA concluded that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risk.
  3. The Japanese government is considering prioritising Covid-19 vaccines for athletes taking part in the Olympics and Paralympics, which start at the end of July, The Guardian reported on Thursday, quoting the country’s news agency Kyodo.
  4. Brazil has recorded its first confirmed case of the highly contagious coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa, Reuters reported on Wednesday.