1. 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.
  2. A special train carrying liquid medical oxygen made its first journey on Thursday from Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam to Maharashtra. On Friday evening, it reached Nagpur with seven tankers of medical oxygen.
  3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked state governments to check hoarding and black marketing of oxygen and medicines. In a meeting with chief ministers of 11 states and Union Territories that are witnessing a heavy burden of coronavirus cases, Modi assured them of full support from the Centre in dealing with the pandemic.
  4. The United States defended its restrictions on the export of raw materials needed to manufacture coronavirus vaccines. The restriction is significant as it threatens to slow India’s vaccination drive.
  5. All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, Director Dr Randeep Guleria said that the new Covid-19 variants detected in India were more infectious. He added that both doses of the Covid-19 vaccines must be taken as there was a significant chance of contracting the infection if just one dose is taken. Meanwhile, the National Centre for Disease Control said the current wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Delhi could have been fuelled by the United Kingdom strain of the virus.
  6. Twenty-five “sickest” coronavirus patients died at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi in 24 hours amid a last-minute scramble for oxygen. In a statement released around 8 am on Friday, the director of the hospital warned that they had oxygen for only two more hours and that 60 more patients were at risk. Meanwhile, at least 14 coronavirus patients admitted to a hospital in Virar in Maharashtra’s Palghar district died after a fire broke out in the medical facility.
  7. The Delhi High Court instructed all hospitals and nursing facilities in the Capital to approach the nodal officer with their requests for oxygen supplies. 
  8. Indian pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila announced that it has received approval from the Drug Controller General of India for emergency use of its anti-viral drug Virafin for treating moderate Covid-19 cases.
  9. Jharkhand, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Goa joined the list of states that will provide free vaccinations against the coronavirus to people aged 18 years and above.
  10. Opposition leaders demanded a uniform vaccination rate as India is battling a terrible second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi blamed the Narendra Modi government for the alarming shortage of oxygen in the country amid a rapidly worsening coronavirus outbreak.