India on Friday reported a record-breaking 3,32,730 new cases, taking the total number of infections to 1,62,63,695 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. India first hit the grim milestone of more than 3 lakh cases on Thursday, when it logged 3.14 lakh infections in a day.

For the first time, 2,263 deaths were recorded. The toll rose to 1,86,920.

This is the ninth consecutive day the country has recorded over 2 lakh coronavirus cases. As many as 1,36,48,159 patients have recovered from the disease so far, while there are 24,28,616 active cases.

India’s healthcare infrastructure is reeling under the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic as thousands of new coronavirus cases emerge every day. This has led to a chronic shortage of oxygen supplies, beds and timely medical care across several states.

The Centre on Thursday ordered that no restrictions should be imposed on the movement of medical oxygen between states as hospitals across the country are scrambling to shore up supplies during the second wave of the pandemic. So far, two hospitals in Delhi have moved the High Court asking for help in getting oxygen supplies.

Following this, the Delhi High Court directed the central government to ensure that oxygen supplies and its transportation remained undisrupted. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also asked state governments to “come down heavily” on those who are hoarding oxygen used to treat coronavirus patients as several states faced shortages. He is expected to conduct review meetings today.

On Friday morning, a top hospital in the national Capital said that 25 “sickest” patients had died in the past 24 hours and that the hospital’s oxygen stock will last for only two more hours. The lives of 60 more patients was at risk, the hospital added.

Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 14.43 crore people and killed over 30.68 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 8.28 crore people have recovered from the infection.

Top updates from Thursday

  • The Bombay High Court asked the Union government to reconsider its stand that door-to-door vaccination was not feasible, saying it should think about the plight of the elderly and disabled. A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni said the government cannot just “leave old people to die”.
  • The Supreme Court sought a “national plan” from the Centre after taking cognisance of matters related to supply of oxygen, essential drugs, method and manner of vaccination and the power of state governments to impose lockdown.
  • The SC also told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the cases related to the management of pandemic before the High Courts should be withdrawn as it will create confusion. But the Supreme Court Bar Association moved the SC against this order to transfer High Court cases on Covid crisis.
  • The Election Commission banned roadshows and restricted public meetings to 500 in West Bengal amid rising Covid cases. The poll panel’s announcement came hours after the Calcutta High Court expressed disappointment at the way elections had been conducted so far. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has cancelled all her pre-scheduled rallies and Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrapped his visit to the state on Friday.
  • The Centre said all Indian adults can register to get their coronavirus vaccine on the government’s Co-WIN portal or the Aarogya Setu app from April 28.