- India's Covid caseload surged to 1.45 crore cases
- Maharashtra and Delhi saw the highest-ever surge in infections
- Many states continue to report vaccine shortage
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Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan will today hold a meet with health ministers of 11 states on the Covid crisis. India has recorded 10 lakh new cases in six days.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi this morning appealed in a tweet that the mega Kumbh Mela should "now only be symbolic". The gathering of tens of thousands of pilgrims and fears of violation of Covid protocols along the banks of Ganga has sparked nationwide concern.
Maharashtra and Delhi saw the highest-ever surge in infections in the last 24 hours. With 63,729 new infections, Maharashtra's caseload is past the 37-lakh mark now. Delhi, which has surpassed Mumbai, has recorded over 8 lakh cases since the start of the pandemic; 19,486 cases were recorded in the last 24 hours.
Grim scenes from hospitals running out of oxygen supply and crematoriums struggling to keep up have caused worry as authorities scramble to break the chain of transmission amid the fast-growing second wave.
The alarming surge in cases is being reported as states continue to report vaccine shortage. Over 12 crore doses of vaccines have been administered so far, according to the Health Ministry data. Yesterday, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stressing that "vaccine stocks have completely run out".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday held a high-level meet about the efforts being made by the government to import medical grade oxygen to bridge the demand-supply gap.
The government on Friday evening issued its third emergency order in 24 hours to ensure the uninterrupted supply of cylinders across state borders, and to allow manufacturers and suppliers to serve hospitals across India. Earlier this month, the government had insisted there's no shortage of medical oxygen.
Weekend restrictions are back in Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh among other states. Maharashtra, earlier this week, announced tough restrictions for 15 days.
The government earlier this week identified 12 states - Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan - as those having high Covid "burden".
Worldwide, nearly 14 crore cases have been recorded so far and nearly 30 lakh people have died. India has the second-highest number of cases after the United States (3.15 crore).