- India has entered 3rd phase of world's largest inoculation drive today
- For last one week, India has been recording over 50,000 cases each day
- Over 6 crore doses of vaccines have been administered so far
Here is your ten-point cheat sheet on this big story:
The huge spike in cases comes on the day when the country enters the third phase of world's biggest inoculation drive with the vaccine net extended to those who are 45 and older.
On March 1, the public rollout of vaccine had started for people above 60 years of age and those above 45 with serious illnesses. In the first phase, which began on January 16, health workers and frontline workers were given priority.
In the last 24 hours, Maharashtra's Covid tally surged to 28,12,980 total cases with 39,544 fresh infections. The state has logged the highest number of cases since the start of the pandemic.
The Covid surge in the country is due to a new strain and the situation is exactly like the one in the UK when the virus underwent a mutation around Christmas, Dr Randeep Guleria, chief of Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences, told NDTV.
Karnataka has reported 4,225 new cases of COVID-19, a surge of 42% compared to the previous 24 hours. In Bengaluru, around 500 children had tested positive for Covid in March. The reopening of schools for some grades makes the situation different from last year when cases increased in the first wave.
Gujarat on Wednesday saw the highest single-day spike since the pandemic began with 2,360 new cases of coronavirus.
Today, voting is also being held in Assam and Bengal for the second phase of the state elections with all the government-mandated Covid protocols in place.
Eyeing approval for adolescents to get their jabs before the next school year, BioNTech-Pfizer said Wednesday their vaccine showed 100 per cent efficacy against the coronavirus in 12 to 15 year olds, adding they plan to submit data to US drug regulator.
In India, more than 6 crore doses of vaccines have been administered so far. The country aims to vacciate 30 crore people by July.
Worldwide, the number of cases have surged to 12,88,63,830; 28,15,358 deaths have so far been recorded.