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India reports over 2.6 lakh new COVID-19 cases, 1,501 deaths; both highest so far

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date
India reports over 2.6 lakh new COVID-19 cases, 1,501 deaths; both highest so far

India reported 2,61,500 fresh COVID cases in the last 24 hours – the highest single-day spike ever – pushing the country’s overall COVID tally to 1,47,88,109, according to the Health Ministry data released on Sunday.

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A total of 1,501 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said on Sunday. This is India’s highest single-day death toll since the pandemic began. Meanwhile, India’s total active caseload has reached 18,01,316.

This is the fourth straight day when over 2 lakh cases have been recorded. Over 12 lakh cases have been added to the caseload in the last one week.

Maharashtra (67,123), Uttar Pradesh (27,734), Delhi (24,375), Karnataka (17,489), and Chhattisgarh (16,083) are the five states that recorded the highest number of cases since yesterday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday held a high-level review meet to review the Covid situation. “PM Modi spoke about the need to utilize the full potential of India’s pharmaceutical industry to meet the rising demand of various medicines,” said a government statement.

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“Like we did last year, we will successfully fight COVID with even greater speed and coordination,” PM Modi said in a tweet after the meeting.

Amid the fresh surge, shortage of medical oxygen and vaccines are some of the concerns red-flagged by the states. Night curfews, weekend curfews are back in the states witnessing a surge.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has called the situation “very serious and worrisome”. On Saturday, he gave a dire warning saying that the city was fast running out of beds, oxygen and the life-saving drug Remdesivir. “”Any health infrastructure has limitations,” he said in a video briefing.

Kerala also recorded 13,800 fresh infections in the biggest-ever spike in cases. The state – which held a two-day mass testing drive – has vaccinated around 13.78% of its population, however, there are reports of shortage of vaccines at several centres and restrictions on the dosages.

After frightening visuals of tens of thousands of pilgrims participating in Kumbh Mela triggered concerns, PM Modi yesterday morning appealed that the festival “should now only be symbolic”. Swami Avdheshanand Giri – one of the top seers in the country – announced an early exit from the month-long mega festival after PM Modi’s appeal.

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The government is under attack from the opposition parties over the handling of Covid. “Despite a year to prepare, we have, regrettably, been caught off guard again,” Congress chief Sonia Gandhi said yesterday at the meeting of the Congress Working Commitee on the second wave.

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