India recorded 62,258 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, out of which 36,902,or 60%,came from Maharashtra.
The highest single-day rise since October last year, taking the country’s infection tally to 11,908,910.
Nearly 300 more lives were lost to the viral disease in this period, with 291 related fatalities taking the death toll to 161,240, the ministry’s dashboard showed. Recoveries rose to 11,295,023, with 30,386 more patients being discharged, though the recovery rate ‘dropped’ slightly to 94.85%. Active caseload, meanwhile, witnessed a rise of 31,581 fresh cases, reaching 452,647.
Figures released by the government-run Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) show that it has tested nearly 240 million, or 239,769,553 samples for coronavirus thus far. This includes 1,164,915 samples tested by it on March 26.
Maharashtra will enforce a night curfew from Sunday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s office said, as the state struggles with its biggest surge in coronavirus infections since the beginning of the pandemic. Shopping malls will be closed from 8 pm to 7 am, the order said. Maharashtra recorded 36,902 fresh infections or 59.27% of total cases recorded nationally in the last 24 hours. The state also witnessed 112 deaths, taking its death toll to 53,907. Its capital city of Mumbai is also seeing record cases every day.
After Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh reported the highest number of fresh cases with 2,665 infections in the last 24 hours. Kerala reported 1,825 new cases, neighbouring Karnataka saw 2,566 fresh infections.
Over 5.81 crore beneficiaries have been vaccinated in India so far, since the mammoth inoculation drive began in January. 26.05 people were vaccinated in the last 24 hours.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Friday said India will widen its coronavirus vaccination campaign in the “near future” to include more people, instead of restricting it to those above age 45. He said both Covaxin and Covishield are completely safe and immunogenic and as of now, there are no concerns about the safety of these vaccines being used in the country.
India told the UN General Assembly that it has supplied more COVID-19 vaccines globally than it has vaccinated its own people. India also cautioned that vaccine inequity will defeat the collective global resolve to contain the coronavirus as the disparity in the accessibility of vaccines will affect the poorest nations the most.
The renewed jump in cases has prompted India to put the brakes on exports of vaccines.
Global coronavirus infections have soared past 12.54 crore, with the US remaining the country hit hardest by far by the health crisis gripping the world, with over 5.46 lakh deaths.