Coronavirus: India reports biggest spike of 4.14 lakh new cases
India reported a record number of 4.14 lakh fresh coronavirus infections on Friday. The nationwide tally now stands at 2.14 crore while the test positivity rate rose slightly to 22.6%. The country also added 3,915 more fatalities, a marginal dip from a record number of 3,980 single-day fatalities on Thursday. India has added 15.7 lakh new cases and over 15,000 deaths this week alone.
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Friday morning, India reported a total of 2,14,91,598 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 2,34,083. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 1,76,12,351 patients have recovered, while 36,45,164 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 4,14,188 new infections and 3,915 fresh fatalities. 16,49,73,058 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
With 62,194 new cases, Maharashtra continued to report the highest number of new cases for any state. The state also reported 853 more deaths. Karnataka—the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra—reported 49,058 new cases, while the third worst-hit Kerala recorded the biggest single-day spike of 42,464 new cases. Tamil Nadu—the fourth worst-hit state—reported 24,898 new cases; the biggest spike for the 23rd consecutive day.
At least eight other states independently reported a record single-day spike in infections. These include West Bengal (18,431 new cases), Odisha (10,521), Punjab (8,874), Uttarakhand (8,517), Assam (4,936), Himachal Pradesh (3,929), Goa (3,869), and Sikkim (264). Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh continued to report a high number of daily infections and deaths.
Although India has administered over 16 crore vaccine doses, the rate of inoculations has slowed from a record of 45 lakh on April 5 to roughly 25 lakh now. Amartya Lahiri, an economics professor at the University of British Columbia, told Mint that even at 50 lakh daily inoculations, it will take India a year before the entire population gets both doses.
India has been receiving foreign aid from several countries including the US, the UK, Germany, etc. Ships carrying oxygen from Bahrain and Kuwait are also on their way, officials said. India has received vaccine components from the US which will allow the manufacturing of 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being sold as Covishield in India.
The government has been facing criticism over the lack of clarity on the allocation of the foreign aid it has been receiving. Reports also said that India took a week to frame guidelines for distributing urgent medical supplies that started arriving from other countries on April 25. The government dismissed these reports as "totally misleading." It said the relief material has reached 31 states.