Coronavirus India Updates: Most New Cases In Nearly Four Months, Vaccination Coverage Tops 4 Crore
India added the most coronavirus cases in close to four months, causing active infections to climb back to the 3-lakh mark, at a time the nation rolled out the world’s biggest inoculation programme to contain its massive outbreak.
India added 40,953 fresh cases in the last 24 hours, the highest since Nov. 29, taking the total tally to 1.16 crore in the world’s second-worst infected country, according to the Health Ministry’s update as of 8 a.m. on March 20, 2021.
New infections have been exceeding single-day recoveries since March 11. That caused the active cases to rise to 2.9 lakh, accounting for 2.4% of the total caseload. India’s active cases had crossed 10 lakh in mid-September.
Total confirmed cases: 1,15,55,284
Total number of active cases: 2,88,394
Total patients cured/discharged/migrated: 1,11,07,322
Total deaths: 1,59,558
Number of fresh cases in last 24 hours: 40,953
One-day recoveries: 23,653
One-day deaths: 188
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, a total of 23.24 crore samples have been tested as of March 19, 2021. Of these, 10.6 lakh were screened on Friday itself.
Meanwhile, India’s Covid-19 vaccination coverage crossed the 4-crore mark since the immunisation drive began in January.
These, according to the Health Ministry, include:
77,06,839 healthcare workers (first dose).
48,04,285 healthcare workers (second dose).
79,57,606 frontline workers (first dose).
24,17,077 frontline workers (second dose).
32,23,612 beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific co-morbidities (first dose).
1,59,53,973 beneficiaries aged more than 60 years.
Over 27.23 lakh beneficiaries were given the jab in the last 24 hours.
The ministry said eight states account for 60% of the cumulative vaccine doses given so far. They are Kerala, Karnataka, Odisha, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Still, the total vaccination tally accounts for close to 8% of the country’s initial target of administering 50 crore doses by July end.
Globally, coronavirus cases have passed 122.2 million, with deaths exceeding 2.7 million.
Brazil reported a record number of new cases for the second time this week as officials scramble to halt another deadly wave of the virus.
A third lockdown affecting several French regions including the Paris area went into effect at midnight on Friday.
President Joe Biden said the U.S. may be able to administer 200 million doses of vaccine in the first 100 days of his presidency.
Available data don’t suggest any overall increase in clotting following the administration of Covid inoculations, a World Health Organization expert group said.
The Swedish Medical Products Agency is investigating the deaths of two people who recently received the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, Radio Sweden reported.
For global updates, read here...
Aaditya Thackeray Tests Positive For Covid-19
Maharashtra Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray has tested positive for the coronavirus.
"On having mild symptoms of COVID, I had myself tested and I am COVID positive. I request everyone who came in contact with me to get themselves tested," Thackeray said in a post on Twitter.
Mumbai Covid-19 Measures
Mumbai's civic body, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, issues a circular for random rapid antigen testing at crowded places such as malls, khau gallis (eateries), railway stations for inbound trains, MSRTC bus depots, market, tourist places, restaurants and government offices.
Testing will be done without consent of citizens who are present at these crowded places.
If a citizen refuses to test, it would amount to an offence.
At each mall randomly rapid antigen tests will be carried out on at least 400 visitors.
At each railway station (inbound trains) and MSRTC bus depot randomly rapid antigen tests will be carried out on at least 1,000 passengers respectively.
At crowded places in each ward randomly 1,000 rapid antigen tests will be carried out.
Cost incurred for carrying out rapid antigen tests at malls will be borne by the individuals. In case they refuse, it will amount to an offence under Epidemic Act 1897.
Covid-19 Curbs In States
With Tamil Nadu witnessing a sudden surge in coronavirus cases over the last few days, the state government on Saturday ordered closure of schools for classes 9, 10 and 11 from March 22 until further orders. However, they would continue to function for the 12th standard students for they have to take the board examination.
Separately, Maharashtra minister Nitin Raut on Saturday said curbs imposed in Nagpur district amid the rise in Covid-19 cases will continue March 31, but with some relaxations.
He further informed that a separate standard operating procedure will be issued for the festival of Holi, which will be observed on March 28-29.
Shops selling essential commodities will be permitted to operate till 4 p.m. as opposed to the earlier timing of 1 p.m., while restaurants and eateries, which had been ordered to remain shut, can function till 7 p.m., the minister said.
Food delivery services will be allowed till 11 p.m., he said.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Tests Positive For Covid-19
Pakistan Prime minister Imran Khan on Saturday tested positive for the Covid-19 and is self-isolating at home, his top aide on health Dr. Faisal Sultan said, two days after he got the first shot of vaccination.
Khan, 67, was vaccinated on Thursday as part of the nationwide anti-coronavirus vaccination campaign which is underway in its first phase.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr. Sultan took to Twitter to confirm that Khan has contracted the coronavirus.
PM Imran Khan has tested positive for Covid-19 and is self isolating at home, he said in a tweet.
Eight States Showing Rising Trajectory In Covid-19 Cases: Health Ministry
A rising trajectory of daily new cases is visible in eight states and union territories, including Delhi and Maharashtra, while Kerala is showing a declining trend, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.
The ministry said Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab cumulatively account for 76.22% of India's total active caseload, with Maharashtra contributing to 62% of such cases, while Kerala and Punjab account for 8.83% and 5.36% of active cases, respectively.
The top five districts in Maharashtra recording the highest number of cases are Pune (37,384), Nagpur (25,861), Mumbai (18,850), Thane (16,735) and Nashik (11,867).
The top five districts in Kerala recording the highest number of cases are Ernakulam (2,673), Pathanamthitta (2,482), Kannur (2,263), Palakkad (2,147) and Thrissur (2,065).
"A rising trajectory of daily new cases is visible in eight states. These are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka and Haryana. Kerala is showing a consistently declining trend," the ministry said in a statement.
Five states account for 81.38% of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties at 70, Punjab followed with 38 daily deaths and Kerala reported 17 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, 15 states and union territories have not reported any Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours. These are Assam, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Sikkim, Ladakh, Manipur, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Arunachal Pradesh.