Amid a worrying surge in coronavirus cases, India recorded yet another spike of nearly 40,000 fresh infections in the last 24 hours – highest daily-rise since November 29 – as government warns against protocol violations and authorities prepare for a second Covid wave.
39,726 new cases took India’s Covid tally to 1,15,14,331; 154 deaths in the last 24 hours took the total number fatalities to 1,59,370.
This is also the ninth day in a row that India has seen more than 20,000 new daily cases. A day ago, the country’s coronavirus tally had risen by 35,871 in what was then the highest single-day rise in 2021.
Recoveries from the viral disease also continue to rise, as per the data, as 20,654 patients were discharged in the last 24 hours, taking total recovered cases to 11,083,679 or 96,41% of the total caseload. Active caseload, meanwhile, reached 271,282, a rise of 18,918 cases, contributing 2.20% of the infection tally. There were 154 more Covid-19 related deaths, down from those recorded in previous rise, taking the death toll to 159,370 or 1.39% of total cases.
On Thursday, Maharashtra saw the highest single-day spike with 25,833 fresh infections. With nearly 24 lakh infections logged since the beginning of the pandemic, the state is yet again scrambling to enforce strict measures. Earlier this week, the centre flagged to the Uddhav Thackeray-government that Maharashtra is “in the beginning of a second wave of Covid”.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said his government can vaccinate “whole of Delhi in three months” as he urged the centre to allow vaccination for all above 18. “Allow walk-in vaccinations at all centres for everybody. If all this is allowed and we get sufficient supply, then according to our plan, we will be able to vaccinate whole of Delhi in three months,” the Chief Minister said after a meeting to discuss the surge in virus cases.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a series of restrictions in the state on Thursday to curb the spread of coronavirus. He ordered bus services to and from Maharashtra to be stopped from March 20.
The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths crossed 150 on Thursday for the first time since January 23. Not just Maharashtra, the case count in Mumbai too smashed its previous single-day tally.
Mumbai posted 2,877 new infections, more than its previous high of 2,848 cases recorded on October 10, 2020. The silver lining was that Thursday’s Covid-19 deaths in the state were eight times lower than on September 11.
Infections were surging in most states outside the northeast, and places such as Odisha and Bihar. Punjab reported 2,387 fresh cases, the highest tally in the state since September 19. The UT of Chandigarh also reported its highest tally of cases (211) since September 25.
Karnataka recorded 1,488, highest since November 28, with Bengaluru Urban alone accounting for 925 infections. Chhattisgarh logged over 1,000 new infections, its highest tally since January 4, becoming the fifth state to register over 1,000 cases in a day since January.
Cases were up in Gujarat (1,276 new infections), Tamil Nadu (989), Madhya Pradesh (917), Haryana (633), Delhi (607), Uttar Pradesh (321), Rajasthan (327), Bengal (323), Himachal Pradesh (171), Jharkhand (97), J&K (140) and Puducherry (81). All these states/UTs registered their highest single-day case count since January or earlier.
The spike in coronavirus cases comes ahead of assembly elections in four states – Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Kerala – and one union territory – Puducherry – that begin next week.