Coronavirus: With 3.8 lakh cases, India reports another record high
India on Thursday reported 3.8 lakh new cases, a record single-day spike for the second consecutive day even as the test positivity rate rose to 21.4%. The country also recorded its deadliest day yet with over 3,600 fresh fatalities. In its weekly epidemiological update, the World Health Organization (WHO) said India accounted for 38% of the 5.7 million cases reported worldwide last week.
India reports 1,83,76,524 cases, 2,04,832 deaths
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Thursday morning, India reported a total of 1,83,76,524 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 2,04,832. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 1,50,86,878 patients have recovered, while 30,84,814 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 3,79,257 new infections and 3,645 fresh fatalities. 15,00,20,648 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
Nearly 1,000 deaths in Maharashtra alone; record high
Maharashtra, India's worst-hit state, reported 63,309 new cases. The state conducted 2,73,125 tests and the positivity rate remained a high 23.1%. The cumulative number of infections has now climbed to 44,73,394, which includes 6,73,481 active cases. The state also reported 985 more fatalities, the highest in a single day since the pandemic began, which pushed the death toll to 67,214.
Bengal reports record spike in infections; 8th polling phase underway
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and other leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party have been facing criticism for holding massive election rallies this month. Over 84 lakh people are set to vote for the eighth phase of the West Bengal elections on Thursday. The state reported a record spike in infections for the 18th consecutive day, reporting 17,207 new cases.
Karnataka, Kerala among 16 states reporting record surge
At least 16 states and union territories witnessed a record surge in infections, including Kerala (35,013 new cases) and Karnataka (39,047); the second and the third worst-hit states in India. The national capital of Delhi notably reported 25,986 fresh cases.
India started vaccine registrations for age group 18-44 years yesterday
Experts say vaccination is India's best hope to beat COVID-19. Starting Saturday, India will expand its vaccination drive for the age group 18-44 years, for which, registrations started on Wednesday. After initial glitches, the online vaccination portal Co-WIN recorded over one crore registrations on the day. However, Maharashtra has said it would be unable to start vaccinations for people aged 18-44, citing vaccine shortage.
India received critical medical supplies from Russia today
As the second wave of COVID-19 has left India with a shortage of hospital beds and key supplies such as medical oxygen, ventilators, etc., allies have stepped in for help. India on Thursday received a shipment of 20 oxygen concentrators, 75 ventilators, 150 bedside monitors, and medicines totaling 22 metric tonnes from Russia. The US has also redirected its Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine doses to India.
'India's COVID-19 outbreak is a humanitarian crisis'
Further, the US is sending supplies worth more than $100 million to India, which includes 1,000 oxygen cylinders, 15 million N95 masks, and one million rapid diagnostic tests. US Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren said, "India's COVID-19 outbreak is a humanitarian crisis," adding that she has sent a letter to Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson regarding the expansion of global access to vaccines.