India on Wednesday registered a record 3,60,960 new coronavirus cases in a day, taking the total number of infections since the pandemic broke out in January 2020 to 1,79,97,267. This is the highest ever single-day rise in cases reported by any country so far, and the seventh consecutive day when the country has recorded more than 3 lakh cases.
India registered a slight dip on Tuesday, but the number of infections have now hit an all-time high.
For the first time, 3,292 deaths were registered. The toll is now 2,01,187, while there are 29,78,709 active cases and 1,48,17,371 people have recovered. India’s mortality rate stood at 1.12% and recovery at 82.54%.
So far, 14,78,27,367 shots of the vaccine have been administered. Of this, 25,56,182 shots were administered on Tuesday alone.
In a statement, the health ministry said that that 10 states – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra – account for 67.26% of the cumulative coronavirus vaccine doses given so far in the country.
The ministry also said that 10 states have reported 73.59% of India’s new cases registered in the last 24 hours. These are Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Similarly, 78.53% of the new deaths reported were from 10 states – Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh. Five states and Union Territories did not report any Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, the ministry said. These are Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Registrations for the third phase of vaccination, which will begin on May 1, is scheduled to open at 4 pm today. Everyone above 18 years of age can get vaccinated from May 1, but they must register themselves on the government’s Co-WIN portal, the Aarogya Setu app or the Umang app. The government has advised against walking into vaccination centres without an appointment.
Several states have announced free vaccinations for those above 18, though many have also flagged concerns regarding pricing and shortage of the shots. The vaccines currently in use in India are the Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. The first batch of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, which has received approval from India’s drug regulator for restricted emergency use, is expected to reach the country by the end of May.
The country’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 an acute shortage of oxygen, beds and timely medical care across several states.
Social media is awash with desperate calls for ambulances, ICU beds and medicines. Even hospitals are taking to Twitter or going to court to plead with the government to replenish their oxygen supplies and warning that they will need to stop admissions of new patients.