Coronavirus: As India's tally nears 2 crore mark, lockdown 'unlikely'
India on Monday reported 3.68 lakh new coronavirus infections, a decline in cases for the second consecutive day. However, India conducted a lesser number of tests on both days and the daily test positivity rate rose sharply to 24.4% on Monday. In spite of the rise in infections and the stress on the healthcare system, India is reportedly unlikely to impose a nationwide lockdown.
India reports 3.68 lakh new cases, 3.4K more deaths
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Monday morning, India reported a total of 1,99,25,604 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 2,18,959. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 1,62,93,003 patients have recovered, while 34,13,642 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 3,68,147 new infections and 3,417 fresh fatalities. 15,71,98,207 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
Maharashtra: Cases drop, positivity rate rises
Maharashtra—India's worst-hit state—reported 56,647 new cases, the first time in a week that the single-day tally dropped under 60,000. However, the positivity rate rose marginally to 22% as the state conducted 2,57,470 tests. The cumulative number of infections has now climbed to 47,22,401, which includes 6,68,353 active cases. The state also reported 669 more fatalities which pushed the death toll to 70,284.
Andhra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Bengal report record spikes
Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal were among the states that witnessed a record rise in infections. Other states/UTs where the COVID-19 situation is alarming include Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, and Puducherry. In Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, a decline in the test positivity rate has been observed.
India unlikely to impose nationwide lockdown: Report
Days after the top United States expert on COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci, advised a weeks-long nationwide shutdown in India, The Times of India reported that the government is unlikely to impose curbs across the country. Citing sources, TOI reported that the government has advised states to implement "customized lockdowns" instead. At least 11 states have already imposed curbs to limit the viral spread.
UK to send 1,000 more ventilators
In the time of such a crisis, international allies have stepped in to help. The United Kingdom will send another 1,000 ventilators. The Indian Air Force (IAF) had on Sunday airlifted four cryogenic oxygen containers from Germany and 450 oxygen cylinders from the UK.
Vaccine shortage hinders immunization drive
India—the world's biggest vaccine producer—is facing a shortage of vaccines, which has hindered plans to widen the vaccination drive as scheduled from May 1. Several states have postponed the expansion of the vaccination drive. The Centre said the states have 10 million vaccines stockpiled and two million more coming in the next three days. Only 9% of the population has received a single dose.