- India also saw 469 daily new fatalities, the highest since December 6
- Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh among states that account for 84% of new cases
- The Covid surge in the country is due to a new strain: Doctor
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The single-day rise in cases is the highest recorded since October 2 when 81,484 new infections were recorded. Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Punjab, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh continue to show a steep rise in daily new cases, accounting for 84.61 per cent of the new cases reported in a span of 24 hours, the Health Ministry said.
COVID-19 cases have been rising fast in Maharashtra and the state has been taking steps like enforcing safety guidelines more strictly. The Maharashtra government has brought down the rates of coronavirus RT-PCR tests to ₹ 500 from ₹ 1,000. The charges for rapid antigen tests were also brought down.
On Thursday, Mumbai reported 8,646 cases of COVID-19 infection, making it the highest one-day spike since the pandemic reached the city early last year. 18 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.
Delhi witnessed a huge 53 per cent jump in number of cases from the previous day after the city reported 2,790 new coronavirus cases on Thursday. The national capital had reported 1,819 cases on Wednesday.
The worrying surge in Covid cases has prompted many states to consider return of school closures, restrictions on public gatherings and other virus-fighting measures, including lockdown in their worst-hit districts.
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.
Amid the worrying surge, the government has decided to operationalise both public and private sector vaccination centres throughout the month of April, including on gazetted holidays.
India is currently in the third phase of COVID-19 vaccination drive through which all above 45 years will get vaccination. More than 36 lakh people were vaccinated on Thursday, taking the total number of beneficiaries in the countrywide vaccination drive to over six crore.
Two vaccines - Serum Institute of India's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin - have been cleared for the vaccination programme which began on January 16. The country is soon expected to get seven more vaccines, the government has said.
With 1.23 crore infections, India has the third highest number of cases in the world after the United States and Brazil. Worldwide, the number of cases have surged to nearly 12 crore; 28 lakh deaths have so far been recorded.