India reports 89,129 new COVID-19 cases in biggest surge since Sept

Lockdown cannot be ruled out in Maharashtra if the situation did not improve, warns CM Thackeray

Vaccine
A medic administers the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to a policeman | Photo: PTI

In its biggest surge since late September, India reported 89,129 fresh COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, indicating worsening of the pandemic situation despite the vaccination drive going on in the country. Since Friday, 44,202 discharges and 714 deaths were also reported, according to the latest update by the Union health ministry.

Counting the latest data, the total tally of the country since the pandemic began last year, now stands at 1,23,92,260 cases, 1,15,69,241 recoveries, and 1,64,110 deaths. Currently, there 6,58,909 active cases in the country. So far, 7,30,54,295 people have been given the vaccine jab against the virus.

India has been witnessing an upward surge in the coronavirus infections over the past two weeks, Maharashtra being one of the worst-hit states. Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said the state may face a shortage of healthcare facilities if the present surge in cases continued and a lockdown cannot be ruled out if the situation did not improve.

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Maharashtra recorded 47,827 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest daily count since the coronavirus pandemic began. State capital Mumbai, known as the financial capital of the country, also broke its previous record with 8,832 new infections. In Pune, authorities have already ordered a 12-hour night curfew for a week, starting today (April 3).

On Friday, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired a high-level review meeting with the chief secretaries, director generals of police and health secretaries of all states and UTs, and asked them to take strict action to contain the pandemic.

The Centre has marked 11 states and UTs as “states of grave concern” due to their rising daily COVID-19 cases and said they’ve not shown a commensurate increase in enforcement of containment activities. These 11 states are Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Haryana.

Related news | Delhi reels under fourth wave of COVID; Pune imposes curfew

Delhi reported 3,594 fresh COVID-19 cases on Friday, its highest single-day count this year. Besides, it also reported 14 more deaths to the infection during the period, taking its death toll to 11,050, according to the capital city’s health department. However, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said imposition of a lockdown is not being considered yet.

Karnataka too reported a surge in cases on Friday, logging 4,991 cases, the bulk of it from Bengaluru, pushing the caseload to just over 10 lakh. Six deaths took their toll to 12,591, according to the state’s health department. Bengaluru alone accounted for 3,509 cases and five deaths. The other fatality was reported from Kalaburagi.

(With inputs from agencies)

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