Registering an upward trend in Covid-19 cases for the fifth day in a row, India recorded 26,291 new infections on Monday in the last 24 hours, its highest single-day spike in 85 days, taking the total tally to 1,13,85,339. Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan blamed the rise in cases to people’s disregard for social distancing and other guidelines.
Vardhan also said that Covid-19 cases are on the rise in a few States only. “Around 85% of cases are in five to six States. The main reason behind the increase in cases is people not taking Covid appropriate behaviour,” the Minister said.
Five States — Maharashtra, which alone accounts for more than 58 per cent of the total active cases in the country, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu — continue to report a surge in Covid-19 cases, accounting for 78.41 per cent of the new infections, the Union Health Ministry said in a statement here.
The death toll due to the disease increased to 1,58,725 with 118 more fatalities being recorded in a day, the Ministry added. The total active caseload has gone up to 2,19,262 which is 1.93 per cent of the total infections in the country, while the recovery rate has dropped to 96.68 per cent, the data said.
As many as 26,624 infections were recorded in a span of 24 hours on December 20.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,10,07,352, while the case fatality rate stood at 1.39 per cent, according to the data.
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, 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.
According to Indian Council of Medical Research, 22,74,07,413 samples have been tested for COVID-19 up to March 14, including 7,03,772 on Sunday.
A total of 26,291 new cases were registered in a day. Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 16,620 (accounting for 63.21 per cent of the daily new cases). It is followed by Kerala with 1,792 while Punjab reported 1,492 new cases.
“A rising trajectory of daily new cases is visible in eight States. These are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka and Haryana,” the Ministry said.
India is, meanwhile, fast approaching total vaccination coverage of 3 crore.
The Ministry said 2,99,08,038 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered through 5,13,065 sessions, as per the provisional report till Monday 7 a.m. These include 73,55,755 healthcare workers (HCWs) who have been administered 1st dose, 43,05,118 HCWs who have been given the 2nd dose, 73,40,423 frontline workers (FLWs) who have taken the 1st dose and 11,50,535 FLWs who have received the 2nd dose.
Besides, 14,64,014 beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific co-morbidities and 82,92,193 beneficiaries aged more than 60 years have been administered the 1st dose.
Six States account for 82.20 per cent of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (50). Punjab follows with 20 daily deaths and Kerala reported 15 deaths in a span of 24 hours.
Sixteen States and UTs have not reported any COVID-19 deaths in a span of 24 hours. These are Assam, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Jharkhand, Lakshadweep, Sikkim, Ladakh (UT), Manipur, Daman and Diu & Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Andman and Nicobar Islands and Arunachal Pradesh.