India on Thursday reported a record-breaking 3,14,835 new cases, taking the total number of infections to 1,59,30,965 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. This is also the highest ever single-day rise in cases reported by any country so far. On January 2, 2021, the United States reported 3,00,310 new infections, its biggest single-day increase, according to The Hindu.

For the first time, 2,104 deaths were recorded. The toll rose to 1,84,657.

This is the eighth consecutive day the country has recorded over 2 lakh coronavirus cases. As many as 1,34,54,880 patients have recovered from the disease so far.

Hospitals in Delhi and other states have warned that their supplies of medical oxygen given to treat critical patients are running very low, precipitated by a massive second wave of the pandemic.

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday severely criticised the Centre for not addressing oxygen shortage problem. “We want you to undertake maximum procurement from all sources,” a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said at a special hearing after 9.20 pm. “Beg, borrow, steal, whatever, you have to provide [oxygen]. You have plenary sovereign power. No industry will say no to you. You must take over.”

The court emphasised that no person should die because of lack of oxygen. The bench added that the central government should consider ways and means of transporting oxygen from plants by either creating a dedicated corridor – so that the supply lines are not affected – or airlifting the same.

The Maharashtra government imposed additional restrictions on the movement of people within the state until May 1 to tackle the worsening situation. In its second-highest single-day jump thus far, the state reported 67,468 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking its tally beyond the 40 lakh mark. Maharashtra also recorded an all-time high of 568 deaths. The toll rose to 61,911.

The state has already implemented one round of restrictions from April 14 for 15 days. Only essential services are allowed to operate during this period and a ban has been imposed on gatherings of more than four. Restaurants can only offer takeaways and home delivery.

Under the new guidelines, all offices, except those providing essential services, must operate with 15% staff. All private transport, excluding buses, can ply only for emergency or essential services or for other “valid reasons” at 50% of the seating capacity, including the driver. Meanwhile, weddings and marriage ceremonies can have only 25 people and cannot extend beyond 2 hours. Families that flout these restrictions will be fined Rs 50,000 and any venue that is misused or if its authorities do not adhere to the restrictions will be closed.

Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 14.18 crore people and killed over 30.27 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 8.11 crore people have recovered from the infection.