Fresh COVID cases at 5-month high as Holi approaches

59,118 new cases of coronavirus reported, the highest single-day count in the country since October 2020 when 61,871 infections were recorded; Maharashtra issues fresh guidelines as it records highest number of new cases

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

In a huge spike, India registered 59,118 fresh cases of coronavirus, the government data showed early Friday (March 26). It is the highest single-day count in the country since October 2020. The figure for total infections stands at 1,18,46,652 at a time when the Festival of Colours, Holi, is barely three days away.

The spike in cases in the last 24 hours is the highest since October 18 when 61,871 infections were recorded. Active cases have yet again crossed the four lakh-mark; 25,874 active cases in the last 24 hours took the tally to 4,21,066.

Maharashtra on Thursday registered 35,992 new infections, a new high. The state has recorded the highest number of cases in the country so far — 26,00,833.


Punjab (2,661 cases), Karnataka (2,523), Chhattisgarh (2,419) and Kerala (1,989) are the other states that recorded the biggest single-day spike in the last 24 hours.

Also read: Second COVID wave in India might continue till May, says SBI report

The Maharashtra government has issued guidelines to tackle the situation. These measures are precautionary as well as the ones to strengthen the medical infrastructure.

The guidelines, issued on March 23 by Maharashtra Principal Health Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas, were addressed to district collectors, municipal commissioners, and divisional commissioners.

The authorities have been told to ensure that all oxygen tanks and cylinders are full and that home isolation patients are monitored more closely. Bed allocation in dedicated COVID health centres and dedicated hospitals has to be based on clinical condition of the patients.

Recovered patients with no fever or cough for the past three days and keeping over 95 per cent oxygen saturation at room air must be shifted to Covid care centres.

Cases in Mumbai continued to increase as the city recorded 5,504 new patients and 14 deaths in the last 24 hours. Consequently, Mumbai’s civic body BMC has planned to increase the bed capacity in hospitals from the current 13,773 to 21,000 in the next fortnight besides scaling up testing.

Also read: India halts vaccine export amid rising COVID-19 cases: Report

A new double mutant variant of coronavirus has been identified in India, according to the Health Ministry of Health. A total of 206 cases of the double mutant variant (E484Q + L452R) have been detected in Maharashtra. The Centre said there is no direct link of the new variant detected with the ongoing surge in the state.

A WHO release said on March 23 that A marked increase in the number of new cases was reported from the South East Asia, Western Pacific, European and Eastern Mediterranean regions, all of which are on an upward trajectory in recent weeks. The European region and the Americas continue to account for nearly 80% of all the cases and deaths.


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