Coronavirus: India reports another record spike with 3.86 lakh cases
India on Friday reported 3.86 lakh new coronavirus infections, the biggest single-day spike for the third consecutive day. The nationwide tally has now risen to 1.87 crore, with a daily test positivity rate of 20.1%. Daily deaths declined slightly to 3,498 a day after a record 3,645 patients were reported to have died of COVID-19. However, experts say the tally is grossly underreported.
India reports 1,87,62,976 cases, 2,08,330 deaths
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Friday morning, India reported a total of 1,87,62,976 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 2,08,330. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 1,53,84,418 patients have recovered, while 31,70,228 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 3,86,452 new infections and 3,498 fresh fatalities. 15,22,45,179 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
66K new cases in Maharashtra
Maharashtra, India's worst-hit state, reported 66,159 new cases. The state conducted 2,88,213 tests and the positivity rate remained a high 23%. The cumulative number of infections has now climbed to 45,39,553. Active cases in the state declined by 3,180 to 6,73,481 as 68,537 patients were discharged from hospitals. The state also reported 771 more fatalities, which pushed the death toll to 67,985.
10 states report record rise in infections
At least 10 states witnessed a record rise in infections including Kerala (38,607 new cases), Tamil Nadu (17,897), and West Bengal (17,403). Notably, Bengal concluded a staggering eight-phase election just this Thursday. All Northeastern states are also witnessing a steady rise in infections, with Sikkim reporting a record 170 new cases. The situation is also worrisome in Karnataka, UP, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, and MP.
India has added 77 lakh new cases since late-February
Since the end of February, when India's second wave of the outbreak began, India has added roughly 77 lakh infections. In contrast, it had taken India six months to add the previous 77 lakh cases. However, even as India reaches a record number of infections and fatalities, medical experts say that the actual tally could be five to 10 times greater.
Oxygen crisis to be eased by mid-May
The second wave has left hospitals, morgues, and crematoriums overwhelmed, with many people scrambling to find hospital beds, medicines, and medical oxygen. Reportedly, India's oxygen crisis is expected to be eased by mid-May. Earlier in the day, one worker died and two were injured after an oxygen cylinder exploded during refilling at the Panki Oxygen refilling plant in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
States report shortage of vaccine doses
India—the world's largest vaccine producer—is also running low on vaccine doses. As the country looks forward to expanding its vaccination drive to people aged 18-44 years from Saturday, several states complained they do not have enough doses to do so as they have earmarked the doses for those awaiting their second shots. All vaccination centers in Mumbai were shut for three days starting Friday.
US shipment with medical supplies reaches India
India received a US shipment carrying oxygen cylinders, regulators, rapid diagnostic kits, N95 masks, and pulse oximeters on Friday. The US will send over $100 million in medical aid. It has also redirected its AstraZeneca vaccine supplies to India. A third shipment from the UK arrived earlier in the day, while Romania and Ireland also sent supplies late on Thursday.