Covid-19: Single-day rise of 81,466 cases, highest in six months

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New Delhi, April 2 (PTI): India recorded the highest single-day rise in coronavirus cases in six months with 81,466 new infections in a span of 24 hours, taking the Covid-19 tally of cases to 1,23,03,131, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.

The single-day rise in cases is the highest recorded since October 2, 2020, while the death toll increased to 1,63,396 with 469 daily new fatalities, the highest since December 6, the data updated at 8 am showed.

Registering a steady increase for the 23rd day in row, the active cases have increased to 6,14,696 comprising 5 per cent of the total infections, while the recovery rate has further dropped to 93.67 per cent, the data stated.

As many as 81,484 new infections were recorded in a span of 24 hours on October 2 while 482 daily deaths were registered on December 6.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 11525039. The case fatality rate stood at 1.33 per cent, the data stated.

India’s Covid-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16.It went past 60 lakh on September 28,

70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.

According to the ICMR, 24,59,12,587 samples have been tested up to April 1, and 11,13,966 samples were tested on Thursday.

The 469 new fatalities include 249 from Maharashtra, 58 Punjab, 34 from Chhattisgarh, 19 from Tamil Nadu, 18 from Karnataka, 11 from Kerala and 9 each from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

A total of 163396 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 54898 from Maharashtra, 12738 from Tamil Nadu, 12585 from Karnataka, 11036 from Delhi, 10331 from West Bengal, 8,820 from Uttar Pradesh and 7220 from Andhra Pradesh and 6926 from Punjab.

The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

“Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,” the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.

More than 36.7 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day coverage till now, the Union Health ministry said on Friday.

Of the 36,71,242 vaccine doses, 33,65,597 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 51,215 sessions for the first dose and 3,05,645 beneficiaries received the second dose of vaccine, the Health ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said this is the highest single-day vaccine coverage till now.

Cumulatively, more than 6.87 crore (6,87,89,138) vaccine doses have been administered through 11,37,456 sessions, as per the provisional report till 7 am on Friday.

These include 83,06,269 healthcare workers (1st dose), 52,84,564 HCWs (2nd dose), 93,53,021 frontline workers (1st dose) and 40,97,634 FLWs (2nd Dose), 97,83,615(1st Dose) and 39,401 (2nd dose) beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific co-morbidities and 3,17,05,893 (1st Dose) and 2,18,741 (2nd dose) beneficiaries aged more than 60 years, it said.

Eight states account for 59.58 per cent of the cumulative doses given so far. These eight states are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala.





Restaurants, bars, malls to be shut for week in Pune


Pune, April 2 (PTI): Eateries, bars and restaurants in Pune district of Maharashtra will remain shut for seven days starting April 3 in view of the spike in coronavirus cases of late, a senior official said on Friday.

A curfew will be in place across the district from 6 pm to 6 am, and malls, cinema halls and places of religious worship will also be shut during this seven-day period, he said.

The administration introduced these “stricter restrictions” in the district, which reported more than 8,000 Covid-19 cases in the past two consecutive days.

The decision to impose these curbs was taken during a review meeting chaired by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar here on Friday.

“These stricter restrictions will be applicable for seven days from Saturday. As part of it, there will be a curfew from 6 pm to 6 am. Eateries, bars and restaurants will remain closed, but home delivery of the food will continue,” Pune divisional commissioner Saurabh Rao said.

“Malls, cinema halls will remain shut for seven days from Saturday. All religious places will also be closed for a week,” he said.

Except weddings and last rite rituals, all other public gatherings have been banned in the district. Only 50 people will be allowed to attend a wedding and only 20 people can remain present for the last rites, he added.

He said that essential services have been exempted from the curfew.

Buses of the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML), city’s public transport system, will remain off roads for seven days, Rao said, adding that schools and colleges will remain closed till April 30.

“Only the students of Classes 10 and 12, and the candidates preparing for MPSC exam will be allowed to carry out their regular academic activities,” he added.

“All these decisions were taken in view of the surge in Covid-19 cases in the last few days. The situation is becoming critical. In the last one week, the positivity rate of the district has crossed 32 per cent,” Rao said.

Till last Friday, the positivity rate was around 26-27 per cent. But in last one week, it went beyond 32 per cent and the per day tally of the cases is also around 8,000, he said.

Rao said that as per the assessment by experts, if this growth rate does not change, the district will surpass the 9,000-mark (o Covid-19 cases) in the next two days.

The situation will be reviewed after seven days when further decision will be taken, he said.

According to him, efforts were on to increase the number of beds in hospitals in the district.

“Since vaccination is the key to bring down the impact of infection, the speed of giving vaccines will be increased in the coming days,” he said.

As far as testing ratio of the district is concerned, it is the highest in the state. On Thursday alone, 29,000 tests were carried out, he said, adding, “But we want to increase the testing ratio further.”

The administration will focus on adding more oxygenated and ICU beds in the private as well as government-run hospitals, he said.

The administration is in constant touch with private hospitals to increase the number of beds, Rao added.

“We want to achieve the highest bed availability by April 5 and if the case scenario remains the same, we will have to declare some hospitals as 100 per cent Covid-19 hospitals,” he said.

“The speed of vaccination in the district was the highest in the state in the last 10 days. It is even highest in the country, but we are planning to increase the pace. We are planning to scale up the vaccination to 1 lakh per day in the next three to four days,” the senior official said.

In order to break the virus chain, monitoring of patients in home isolation will be done effectively and focus would be given on testing of super-spreaders, he said.

BJP Lok Sabha member from Pune, Girish Bapat, who also attended the meeting, opposed the decision to stop the PMPML bus services and imposition of curfew from 6 pm.

“We oppose the decision to suspend the PMPML service as majority of the working class is dependent on the public transport system. We as a party will take further course of action on the decision of PMPML,” he said.

He also suggested that the earlier curfew timing of 8 pm to 6 am should be kept unchanged and the administration should ensure that more than five people do not gather.

Bapat said that while implementing the restrictions, police should avoid using force, such as lathicharge, on common people.

“People should fear the police, but they should not feel terrorised,” he said.

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