In the intensifying second COVID-19 wave, India recorded 81,466 fresh infections since Thursday – the biggest single day tally since October 11 last year, Home Ministry data showed. Delhi reported 2,790 new cases on Thursday, recording a 53 per cent spike in the number of cases from Wednesday (1,819 cases).
The number of active cases in the country rose to 614,696 after 30,641 were added to the tally in the last 24 hours, the data showed.
AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria told media the COVID surge in the country could be due to a new strain. The situation is like the one in the UK, where the virus mutated around Christmas, he said.
Also read: Delhi govt orders optimal utilisation of all COVID vaccination centres in wake of surge in cases
A steep rise in daily cases continued in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Punjab, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. These states account for 84.61 per cent of the new cases reported in the past 24 hours, the data showed.
Mumbai reported 8,646 cases of infection, making it the highest one-day spike since COVID reached the city early last year. As many as 18 deaths were recorded from the city in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra on Wednesday reported as many as 39,544 new cases, its second-highest single-day rise in infection tally since the pandemic began.
With 1.23 crore infections, India has the third highest number of cases in the world after the United States and Brazil.
The government on Thursday (April 1) decided that COVID vaccination will continue at both private and government centres throughout the April, holidays included. All states and UTs have been told to make arrangements for the inoculation drive throughout the month.
Also read: During COVID, MNREGA gave jobs to 11 crore, most of them migrants
Beginning April 1, the government has decided to vaccinate all people above 45 years of age as recommended by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration. According to the government data, more than 2.2 million people signed up for the COVID vaccines and at least 2 million were given shots till 9pm on Thursday.
India began its vaccination drive on January 16 with healthcare and frontline workers getting inoculated first. The second phase started on March 1 during which people above the age of 60 and 45 with comorbidities were given the vaccine. The country is soon expected to get seven more vaccines, the government has said.