India hits grim world record with 3.14L new coronavirus cases
India on Thursday reported 3,14,835 fresh coronavirus cases, the highest single-day spike since the pandemic began. No country has reported more cases in one day so far. In the last 24 hours, 2,104 more people succumbed to coronavirus-linked complications, taking the total death toll to 1,84,657. The countrywide tally is nearing the 1.60 crore mark and the number of active cases stands at 22,91,428.
India surpassed the milestone set by the US
On January 8, the United States had reported the highest single-day spike, and India's latest data eclipses it. The surge in infections has overburdened the healthcare infrastructure, with patients struggling to find a bed, oxygen cylinder, or medicines. Medical professionals have been posting passionate appeals on social media, asking people to stay inside homes, wear a mask properly, and maintain distance from others.
Maharashtra reported highest number of infections, deaths
The worst-hit state, Maharashtra, reported 67,468 fresh infections. It was followed by Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state, which reported 33,214 new cases. The country's capital Delhi added 24,638 cases to its tally. Maharashtra also reported the most number of casualties as 568 people died. This was followed by Delhi, which lost 249 people, and Uttar Pradesh from where 187 new fatalities were recorded.
India was averaging 11,000 cases/day in early February
India's April coronavirus picture is strikingly different from that of early February when the nation was recording an average of 11,000 cases per day. The vaccination drive that had started on January 16 also gave hope to citizens, who faced a harsh lockdown in March 2020. But new variants, weak healthcare infrastructure, and lax attitude pushed India to the brink.
India is registering over two lakh cases daily since mid-April
Since April 15, India has been recording more than two lakh fresh cases daily. To give a perspective, even during the peak of the first wave, India hadn't crossed the one-lakh mark on a single day. With 23,558 and 22,414 new cases respectively, Karnataka and Kerala also registered their highest single-day numbers. Maharashtra introduced new rules that will remain in place till May 1.
The vaccination drive will include those above 18 from May
Now, the federal government is hoping that vaccinations will rein in the crushing wave. So far, 13,23,30,644 people have received at least one dose, with 22,11,334 people getting vaccinated in the last 24 hours. The vaccination drive will be expanded on May 1, to include everyone who is aged above 18. India has so far approved three vaccines, and two are currently being administered.