India recorded 23,285 fresh cases of coronavirus infection in 24 hours, the highest in around 78 days, taking the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 1,13,08,846, according to the data updated by Union Health Ministry on Friday.
The death toll surged to 1,58,306 with 117 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.
The total active caseload increased to 1,97,237, which now comprises 1.74 per cent of the total infections, while the national recovery rate has dropped to 96.86 per cent.
On December 24, 24,712 new infections were reported in a span of 24 hours.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to1,09,53,303, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.40 per cent, the data stated.
With the number of infections rising sharply in the state of Maharashtra, a complete lockdown has been imposed in Nagpur from March 15 to March 21 due to a sudden rise in the recorded cases. Nagpur city saw a spike of 1,710 Covid-19 cases on Thursday.
Nagpur Guardian Minister Nitin Raut said, “Complete lockdown to remain imposed in Nagpur City Police Commissionerate area from March 15 to March 21. Essential services will continue.” The state government had earlier imposed a night curfew in Kalyan Dombivli and Nandurbar districts.
Amid a spurt in Covid-19 cases, the Punjab government on Thursday also announced a night curfew in Patiala district from March 12. However, the state government has exempted the essential services, government officials and medical emergency services from the purview of curfew.
Finance capital Mumbai has also been witnessing a spurt in Coronavirus cases. The civic body (BMC) has said that they may resort to any option including lockdown if corona cases don’t go down in Mumbai.
The centre on Thursday expressed its concern over the rise in active Covid-19 cases in a few states, including Maharashtra, and advised people to be "careful and watchful" and not lower guard as the pandemic is not yet over.
While referring to the lockdown imposed in Nagpur, NITI Aayog member (Health) V K Paul said, "We are reaching a situation where these approaches (to tackle the spread of COVID-19) are being brought back."
Meanwhile, the first case of the South African Covid-19 strain was found in Karnataka on Wednesday. So far, a total of 29 people have tested positive for the UK strain in the state.
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, 22,49,98,638 samples have been tested up to March 11 with 7,40,345 samples being tested on Thursday.
Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu continue to report a surge in daily Covid-19 cases, accounting for 85.6 per cent of the new cases, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday.
"Five states cumulatively account for 82.96 per cent of the total active cases in the country. Two states – Maharashtra and Kerala- account for 71.69 per cent of India's total active cases," the ministry said.
A total of 23,285 new cases were registered in a span of 24 hours. Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 14,317 (61.48 per cent of the daily new cases). It is followed by Kerala with 2,133 while Punjab reported 1,305 new cases, the ministry said.
The Centre is actively engaging with all state and UT governments, especially those showing an upsurge in daily new cases and with a high caseload of active cases, it said.
The Union government is regularly reviewing the status of Covid-19 containment and public health measures with them.
Recently, the Centre rushed high level public health teams to Maharashtra and Punjab to assist in Covid-19 control and containment measures in view of recent spike in cases in these states.
The Central government had earlier also deputed high-level teams to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Jammu and Kashmir to support them in their fight against the recent spike in Covid-19 cases.
The reports of Central Teams are shared with states for further follow up action. The follow up and compliance on part of states is monitored by the Union Ministry of Health.
More than 2.61 crore (2,61,64,920) vaccine doses have been administered through 4,87,919 sessions, as per the provisional report till Friday 7 am.
These include 72,23,071 healthcare workers (HCWs) who have been administered the 1st dose, 40,56,285 HCWs who have been given the 2nd dose, 71,21,124 frontline workers (FLWs) who have received the 1st dose and 6,72,794 FLWs who have taken the 2nd dose).
Besides, 10,30,612 beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific co-morbidities (1st Dose) and 60,61,034 beneficiaries aged more than 60 years also were administered the 1st dose.
A total 4,80,740 vaccine doses were given on day-55 of the vaccination drive (March 11, 2021). A total of 4,02,138 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 9,751 sessions for 1st dose and 78,602 HCWs and FLWs received the 2nd dose of vaccine.
"In most of the states, people celebrated Maha Shivratri yesterday. Other than being a gazetted holiday, many people also observed a fast, particularly women including ANMs, ASHA workers and women vaccinators. The COVID-19 vaccination coverage is hence reported to be on the lower side," the ministry said.
The recoveries have surged to 1,09,53,303 with 15,157 patients being discharged in a span of 24 hours.
"The gap between recovered and active cases is constantly increasing and currently stands at 1,07,56,066," the ministry stated.
It said 117 deaths were reported in a span of 24 hours.
Six states account for 82.91 per cent of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (57). Punjab follows with 18 daily deaths and Kerala reported13 deaths in a span of 24 hours.
Nineteen states and UTs have not reported any Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours. These are Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Mizoram, Ladakh (UT), Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
(With inputs from PTI)