New Delhi: In the last 24 hours, Coronavirus has infected 2,95,041 people in India and left 2,023 dead, the worst ever record so far. Urging self-discipline, the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday said states must use lockdowns only as the last resort.
The total number of deaths has increased to 1,82,553 after the huge one-day spike. This is the seventh straight day of over two lakh new cases in the country. India’s tally of more than 1.56 crore COVID cases is the second-highest globally, behind the United States and ahead of Brazil.
Modi addressed the nation on Tuesday night. He said the need of the hour is to save the country from a lockdown and asked state governments to treat lockdowns only as the last resort and concentrate on micro-containment zones.
Maharashtra – the worst-affected state – on Tuesday reported 62,097 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the tally to over 39.6 lakh. 519 more patients died of the infection. Along with lockdown-like restrictions that are already in place in the state, more restrictions are likely to be announced today. Ministers have recommended a full lockdown to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and have left the decision to him.
After Maharashtra, the southern states of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have the highest number of infections.
Delhi on Tuesday reported 28,395 coronavirus cases as it registered its biggest ever single-day spike. After several SOS appeals from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendar Jain for oxygen supply at hospitals, some of the city’s biggest hospitals received stocks of medical oxygen late last night.
Kerala on Tuesday recorded its highest single-day rise in COVID infections with 19,577 cases, which takes the state’s tally to over 12.72 lakh. Deaths of 28 patients were reported on the same day.
In neighbouring Karnataka, the BS Yediyurappa government has announced a stricter set of measures to attempt to control the massive COVID surge. These include a statewide night and weekend curfew, and the closing of educational and many commercial establishments in a bid to avoid gatherings. Karnataka and capital Bengaluru reported single-day highs with 21,794 new cases in the state, of which 13,782 are from Bengaluru.
In Uttar Pradesh, nearly 30,000 new cases were reported. The state will offer COVID vaccines free of cost from May 1, when vaccinations will be opened to all above 18.