India recorded the highest single-day rise in coronavirus cases in six months with 88,665 new infections in a span of 24 hours, taking the COVID-19 tally of cases to 1,23,90,775, according to State Health Departments and Ministries on Friday.
The single-day rise in cases is the highest recorded since September 26, 2020, while the death toll increased to 1,64,062 with 634 new fatalities, the highest since December 3, the data updated at 10 p.m. showed.
Here are the latest updates:
Surges in States
‘Serious concern’ over COVID-19 in 11 States/UTs
The current COVID-19 case growth rate of 6.8% in March 2021 has surpassed the previous record of 5.5% (June 2020), noted a release issued by the Central government following a meeting chaired by the Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Friday.
The government has also identified 11 States/UTs as areas of grave concern — Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Haryana. These States/UTs have been reporting a surge in daily cases and daily mortality because of COVID-19 in the last two weeks. The meeting was to review and discuss the COVID-19 management and response strategy.
“Another worrisome aspect pointed out at the meeting was that Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities along with peri-urban areas have recorded a surge in COVID-19 cases. The spread of infection to the rural areas with weak health infrastructure would overwhelm the local administration,”’ noted the release.
India vaccine jabs
Over 7 crore vaccine doses administered so far
The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed seven crore on Friday, according to the Health Ministry.The first dose has been administered to more than six crore beneficiaries so far. A total of 7,06,18,026 vaccine doses had been given till 8 p.m. on Friday, according to a provisional report.
Eight groundsmen at Wankhede Stadium test positive
Eight groundstaff members at the Wankhede Stadium have tested COVID-19 positive during the tests conducted ahead of the Indian Premier League’s (IPL’s) 2021 edition. The Wankhede is scheduled to host 10 league games from April 10 to 25.
The Hindu understands all the 19 groundstaff members at the Wankhede Stadium underwent RT-PCR tests over the last week. While three were confirmed to have contracted the virus during the tests conducted on March 26, five more test reports conducted on April 1 returned positive on Friday.
Strict restrictions in Maharashtra in the coming days: Uddhav
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said that strict restrictions would be implemented in the State in the coming days, adding he did not want to impose a lockdown on the people but would be left with no option if COVID-19 cases continued to rise in the present manner.
“I have been getting calls enquiring whether a lockdown would be imposed in the State. I am only warning today; I am not announcing anything. I will be watching for the next two to three days and discussing with various stakeholders. I will announce strict restrictions in the coming few days. We have to stop this wave and ensure there is no third wave. It is not a one-way process; both sides have to work hard. I expect cooperation like last year,” said Mr. Thackeray, in his address to the State.
(With inputs from our Correspondent, agencies)