For the fourth consecutive day, India witnessed a record new high of 1,45,384 COVID-19 fresh cases on Saturday, pushing India’s total tally to 1,32,05,926. The death toll due to the infectious disease has climbed to 1,68,436 with 794 fatalities, which also happens to be the highest since October 18 last year, said media reports.
According to the Union Health Ministry’s data updated at 8 am, the number of active cases too has breached the 10-lakh mark again after a span of six-and-a-half months. The active cases have been steadily scaling up for a month now to 10,46,631, which is 7.93 % of its total caseload. It was at its lowest on February 12, accounting for only 1.25% of the total number of cases in the country. The recovery rate too has further dropped to 90.80%.
Maharashtra, which is the worst impacted state in this pandemic, has registered the maximum number of fresh fatalities – 301 out of a total of 794. The next highest is Chhattisgarh with 91 fatalities, Punjab with 56 and Karnataka with 46. The lowest number of fatalities – 11 each has been recorded in Andhra Pradesh and Haryana.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra flagged off its weekend lockdown from Friday night, which has been imposed to control the spread of the pandemic. There is also a possibility that the state may head for an extended lockdown, if the cases continue to rise and the load on their healthcare system increases.
“I am not in favour of a total lockdown but the state seems to be heading in that direction. If cases continue to rise and we exhaust our beds we will have no option but to implement a lockdown,” said Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Indian Express reported.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra, like a few other states in the country, are running out of Remdesivir. The state which accounts half of the 10 lakh active cases reported in the country, requires 40,000-50,000 vials of Remdesivir, which is higher than the 30,000 vials per day they needed when they had experienced their first “peak” last year.
Not anticipating this sudden surge in demand for Remdesivir, the manufacturers had reduced production of the anti-viral drug for three months from December to February. It would take at least another 10 days for the manufacturers to step up their production and plug this shortage, said media reports.