States tighten COVID restrictions as new cases in India touch record high

Maharashtra continues to top daily caseload as vaccine shortage hits many centres in the state

The Health Ministry said that In terms of the number of daily doses administered globally, India continues to remain at the top with an average of 38,34,574 doses administered per day. Photo: PTI

India reported 1,31,968 COVID cases — a new record — in the last 24 hours since Thursday (April 8). This is the fourth time that India’s 24-hour tally breached the 1-lakh mark in a surge much steeper than last year’s first wave, forcing many states to tighten restrictions to check the spread of the virus.

The Union Health Ministry said on April 8 that 10 states — Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala and Punjab — have witnessed a spurt in daily infections. A total of 780 people have died of the infection since April 8.

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In the last 24 hours, 13,64,205 samples were tested, about one lakh more than the number of samples tested on April 7. Maharashtra remains the biggest contributor to the daily tally: it saw 59,907 new infections on Thursday, followed by Chhattisgarh with 10,310, while Karnataka reported 6,976 new cases.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met chief ministers on April 8 and stressed the need for creating micro-containment zones and extensive testing to combat the pandemic’s second wave. He appealed to the states to observe a ‘tika utsav’ (vaccine festival) between April 11 and 14 to vaccinate the maximum number of eligible people.

In Maharashtra several districts have exhausted their vaccine stocks and stopped inoculation. Media reports said Mumbai and Navi Mumbai have shut over 20 vaccination centres. The state’s Home Minister Rajesh Tope has appealed to the Centre to scale up the supply of vaccines. Mumbai reported 8,938 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, a dip from over 10,000 infections reported in the previous two days.

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has announced a night curfew in Bengaluru and six other cities from 10 pm to 5 am starting April 10 till April 20. With 6,570 new cases, Karnataka’s total caseload crossed 10.4 lakh.

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Delhi registered 7,437 fresh cases of COVID-19 in the highest single-day spike this year. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has demanded the inoculation drive be opened to other age groups. On March 1, the nationwide vaccination was widened for those above 60 years and those over 45 with other illnesses.

A night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am has been announced in Noida till April 17. The Delhi government on Tuesday (April 6) imposed a night curfew from 10pm to 5am till April 30 to curb the surge in COVID-19 positive cases. However, the night curfew, effective from April 6, will be relaxed for people engaged in essential services and others would need an e-pass to travel during the restricted hours.

 

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