Friday, 16 April, 2021

India's Maharashtra sets curfew as cases spike

India surpasses 100,000 daily COVID-19 infections for the first time as politicians stage massive election rallies Indias daily coronavirus cases cross 100,000 mark for first time
Adrian Cunningham | 05 April, 2021, 17:08

India's worst-hit state ramped up its coronavirus restrictions as nationwide the daily infections exceeded 100,000 for the first time on Monday.

Hitting a grim milestone, India recorded over 100,000 COVID-19 cases in a span of 24 hours, the highest single daily spike in infections since the pandemic started a year ago.

Registering a steady increase for the 26th day in a row, the active cases have increased to 7,41,830 comprising 5.89 per cent of the total infections, while the recovery rate has further dropped to 92.80 per cent, the data stated.

India has reported a record rise in COVID-19 infections, becoming the second country after the United States to surpass more than 100,000 new cases in a day.

Fatalities rose by 478, raising the country's death toll to 165,101.

India recorded the most number of cases in the world once before.

The biggest contributor to the surge has been the western state of Maharashtra, home to the commercial capital of Mumbai.

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Maharashtra state will start shutting shopping malls, cinemas, bars, restaurants, and places of worship from Monday evening. In large cities, hospital beds are filling up with Covid-19 patients.

Scientists say new variants and lax social distancing could be to blame. The district administration says that 150 ICU ventilators are being sought after being requested by the Dean of the Government Medical College. According to the Health Ministry, 11 states - Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Haryana are among the states with "serious worrisome" status due to new cases and high mortality.

Meanwhile, the northern state of Uttarakhand is marking the month-long Hindu pilgrimage of the Kumbh Mela, which draws hundreds of thousands of people to the banks of the Ganges River.

The resurgence of the pandemic comes as the vaccination drive is in full swing.

India's per capita COVID-19 vaccinations, however, are lower than many other countries, including that of more populated China that started giving shots to its citizens much earlier.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is anxious to avoid imposing a new national lockdown after a shutdown in March 2020 caused widespread human and economic misery. Over 11.6 million have recovered since the beginning of the pandemic.

The third phase of its vaccination drive with everyone above the age of 45 eligible for the jab was launched on 1 April. At 29%, the state continued to record a high daily positivity rate.