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COVID-19 situation explodes in India with single-day spike of 184,372 cases


Nepalnews
2021 Apr 14, 16:51, NEW DELHI
Workers clean the steps as thousands of devotees arrive to take holy dips in the Ganges River during Kumbh Mela, or pitcher festival, one of the most sacred pilgrimages in Hinduism, in Haridwar, northern state of Uttarakhand, India, Monday, April 12, 2021. Photo: AP via RSS

The COVID-19 situation has exploded in India, as a record number of 184,372 cases were registered in a single day, between Tuesday and Wednesday.

The number of new cases has been consistently on the rise over the past couple of weeks, and have been above 100,000-mark/day for almost ten days.

As many as 1,027 deaths were recorded in 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 172,085. This is the highest single-day spike this year.

After last year's 68-day long lockdown beginning March 25, the federal government and states governments don't seem to be in a mood to impose a complete lockdown to contain this year's surge.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday ruled out a lockdown. "With the second wave, we are very clear we are not going in for a lockdown in a big way. We don't want to totally arrest the economy. The local level isolation of patients and keeping people in quarantine are methods through which the crisis of the second wave will be handled," he said.

Even as the country is struggling to contain the second wave of the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of devotees were seen taking a holy dip in river Ganga during the ongoing Kumbh festival on Wednesday, without observing social distancing norms.

In the present circumstances, India has once again emerged as the second most pandemic-affected country globally. To take stock of the latest situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to hold a virtual meeting with Governors and Lieutenants Governors of all the states.

Modi is also slated to hold a meeting with the education minister and key officials on Wednesday to discuss the issue of holding or postponing school board examinations for Classes 10th and 12th, which are scheduled from May 4.

Besides Delhi, the central states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have emerged as the new hotspots of the pandemic over the past couple of weeks.

While Chhattisgarh recorded 15,121 new cases and 156 deaths during the past 24 hours, Madhya Pradesh saw a single-day spike of nearly 9,000 new cases and 40 deaths, and Delhi witnessed an increase of 13,468 new cases and 81 deaths in past 24 hours.

The worst affected state Maharashtra registered a maximum of 60,212 new COVID-19 cases and 281 deaths in the past 24 hours, while the northern state of Uttar Pradesh saw an increase of 18,021 new cases and 85 deaths in a single day.

Over the past couple of days, TV reports showed long queues at crematoriums and burial grounds in various states with people waiting for their turn to perform the last rites of their near and dear ones who died due to COVID-19.

In Delhi a few crematorium grounds and burial grounds have been dedicated for those who die due to COVID-19.

Considering the steep rise in the number of cases per day, many state governments have announced fresh guidelines, including night curfews and restrictions. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday announced to impose stringent restrictions for the next two weeks starting 20:00 hours on Wednesday.

Many other places, including Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Indian-controlled Kashmir are too observing night curfew partly or wholly.

There are still 1,365,704 active cases in the country, while 12,336,036 people have been discharged so far from hospitals after medical treatment.

The federal government has ramped up COVID-19 testing facilities across the country, while over 260 million tests have been conducted so far.

As many as 260,618,866 tests were conducted by Tuesday, out of which 1,411,758 tests were conducted on Tuesday alone, said the latest data issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Wednesday.

Two types of vaccines "Covishield" and "Covaxin" are being administered to the people in India.

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