Covid update: India reports over 3 lakh new cases for first time, record deaths – Mint

This is the first time the country has crossed the three-lakh mark in new infections. India’s daily jump in cases today surpasses the previous highest one-day rise in the world of 297,430 cases posted by the United States in January.

In addition to this, 2,104 more people succumbed to the disease. The death toll due to the disease has now increased to 1,84,657.

A total of 1,78,841 people recuperated from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours. With this, the total number of recoveries has reached 1,34,54,880.

The active tally in the country has surpassed 22-lakh mark for the first time to stand at 22,91,428. The number was 21.57 lakh on Wednesday.

Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala cumulatively account for 60.86 per cent of India’s total active cases, the government said on Wednesday.

“We are in the midst of the second wave of the pandemic and we are still seeing an upsurge. We cannot comment when the numbers will come down,” ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava said.

India’s second wave, which picked up pace last month, is proving to be far more severe than the first wave that peaked in September 2020.

Tests conducted so far

India has tested 27,27,05,103 samples for Covid-19 until now, said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Of these, 16,51,711 samples were tested on Wednesday.

Vaccinations in India

The country has so far administered 13,23,30,644 anti-Covid jabs.

Over 13 crore doses of vaccines were administered in 95 days.

The inoculation drive in India was rolled out on 16 January with HCWs getting inoculated and the vaccination of the FLWs started on 2 February.

The next phase of Covid-19 vaccination commenced on 1 March for those who are above 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified comorbid conditions.

India extended the drive to include everybody aged 45 last week.

Re-infection after vaccination

The health ministry on Wednesday said that the breakthrough infection rate of Covid-19 after taking either of the two Made in India vaccines – Covaxin and Covishield vaccines – “is a very small number”.

“Two-four per 10,000 breakthrough infections has occurred after vaccination, which is a very small number,” ICMR DG Dr Balram Bhargava said.

Citing data, he said 4,208 people have tested positive for the coronavirus disease after taking the first dose of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. Also, 695 people tested positive after taking the second dose of the vaccine.

After the first dose of the Covishield vaccine, 17,145 people have tested positive. “Also, 15,732,754 people have been given the second dose of the vaccine, of whom, 5,014 have been retested positive, which is 0.03 per cent,” Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.

On oxygen supply

The centre has said that of the total 7,500 metric tonnes of oxygen being produced in India per day, 6,600 metric tonnes, is being allocated to states for medical use.

The government assured that efforts are being made to increase its supplies in the coming days.

“Presently, we have issued instructions that, leaving a few industries, the supply to industries will be restricted so that more and more oxygen can be made available for medical use,” said Bhushan.

He said that a 24×7 control room has been set up where state governments can raise the problems bring faced by them.

As India is facing an acute shortage of oxygen supply for Covid patients, the government on Wednesday also floated a short-term global tender to import 50,000 metric ton of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO).

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