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Delhi, which has cases and deaths touching record highs, logged in the highest number of cases in 24 hours with 5,879 cases. The capital also saw 111 deaths in a day, the highest in the country in 24 hours. Infections in Delhi have soared over the 5-lakh mark as well.
Over 400 ICU beds have been added to state and private hospitals across Delhi in the past five days to combat the surge in Covid cases, the government said Saturday. The Arvind Kejriwal government, which has promised a total of 1,400 new ICU beds to deal with this health crisis, said 206 beds had been added today, 76 on Thursday, 100 on Wednesday and 29 on Tuesday.
Authorities in Haryana's Gurgaon and Faridabad have started random testing of people coming into the cities from Delhi which is struggling with its worst phase of the COVID-19 pandemic so far. Over 400 people have been checked at the border and have found three positive cases. Earlier, Noida had also started random checks.
Maharashtra remains the top affected state in the country with over 17.74 lakh cases. There are over 80,000 active cases in the state and in the last 24 hours Maharashtra recorded 5,760 cases. The total deaths in the state is over 46,000. The other top affected states are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has started working on a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan to ensure it can "administer the vaccine at the first available opportunity" to its healthcare workers and elderly people amid reports of some vaccines showing promising results. At a virtual G20 summit on Saturday, PM Modi said, "Coordinated efforts by the largest economies of the world will surely lead to faster recovery from this pandemic."
Several drug companies are involved in developing a vaccine to fight COVID-19. Many are in advanced stages of trials and they have reported over 90 per cent effectiveness. The third phase of human trials of Covaxin, India's homemade vaccine also started on Friday.
Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla on Thursday said the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine should be available for healthcare workers and elderly people by around February 2021 and by April for the general public, and will be priced at a maximum of Rs 1,000 for two necessary doses for the public.
Some cities in Rajasthan have imposed a night curfew amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the state, news agency ANI reported on Saturday. No one except those providing essential and emergency services will be allowed to come out from 8 pm to 6 am in the state. The Rajasthan government has imposed night curfew in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Bikaner, Udaipur, Ajmer, Alwar and Bhilwara.
The coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 1,373,381 people worldwide since the outbreak emerged in China last December. At least 57,583,290 cases of coronavirus have been registered globally, of which at least 36,725,500 are now considered recovered.
The United States is the worst-affected country with 254,424 deaths from 11,913,945 cases. India is at number 3 (with 1.33 lakh deaths) following Brazil with 168,613 deaths. Mexico and the United Kingdom follow India with 100,823 deaths and 54,286 deaths respectively.