Coronavirus updates | March 25, 2021

In this March 11, 2021 photo, a boy catches offerings thrown by devotees in the Ganga after performing rituals during the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar.   | Photo Credit: AFP

India has reported 53,476 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours with a death toll of 251, according to the Health Ministry on Thursday. This is the highest daily spike since October 23 last year when 54,366 fresh cases were recorded.

Six States — Maharashtra, Punjab, Kerala, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat — are reporting a surge in daily new cases and together account for 80.63% of the new cases reported in the last 24 hours, the Ministry said.

India is unlikely to expand export of COVID-19 vaccines for the next few months as the focus shifts to domestic demand in view of spike in coronavirus infections, people familiar with the development said on Wednesday.

So far, India has sent 60.4 million doses of coronavirus vaccines to around 80 countries.

Those familiar with the development said India will fulfil the existing commitments made to various countries but will not expand the supplies for next few months to meet the domestic demand. They said the situation will be reviewed after 2-3 months.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

 Uttarakhand

Kumbh duration curtailed to 1 month for first time; pilgrims must show 'negative' COVID test report

The duration of Kumbh Mela in Haridwar has been curtailed to just one month for the first time in its history in view of a recent surge in COVID-19 cases and it has been made mandatory for pilgrims to have a "negative" RT-PCR test report to attend the mega congregation.

According to a notification, the congregation on the banks of the Ganges in Haridwar in Uttarakhand will take place from April 1 to 30, with three "shahi snan" (major bathing) dates on April 12, 14 and 27.

Thousands of devotes take a dip in the holy river during the mela with their number increasing manifold on the days of "shahi snan". Authorities also expect heavy turnouts on the occasions of Chaitra Pratipada on April 13 and Ram Navami on April 21.

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Mumbai

R. Madhavan tests positive for COVID-19

Actor R Madhavan on Thursday said he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is recovering well.

The 50-year-old actor took to Twitter and gave the health update to his fans, referencing his film "3 Idiots".

His co-star from the 2009 blockbuster, Aamir Khan, had tested positive for the virus on Wednesday.

Maharashtra

Maharashtra tops in COVID-19 vaccination drive, surpasses Rajasthan

Maharashtra has emerged as the leader in the COVID-19 vaccination drive as it has administered vaccine doses to 43,42,646 people, an official said on Thursday.

The state surpassed Rajasthan in the vaccination drive on March 24, he said.

Rajasthan now ranks second as it has vaccinated 43,27,874 people, the official said.

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Case count

Spike in daily COVID-19 cases, India reports 53,476 new infections

India saw 53,476 new coronavirus infections in a day, the highest single day rise so far this year, taking the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 1,17,87,534, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

The active caseload registered an increase for the 15th day in row and was recorded at 3,95,192 comprising 3.35% of the total infections, while the recovery rate has further dropped to 95.28%, the data stated. The daily rise in infections was the highest recorded in 153 days. The death toll increased to 1,60,692 with 251 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed. As many as 54,366 new infections were recorded in a span of 24 hours on October 23.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to1,12,31,650, while the case fatality rate has further dropped to 1.36%, the data stated. - PTI

Karnataka

Karnataka Minister warns of lockdown if COVID-19 cases continue to rise

After repeatedly stating that there will be no lockdown in the State, Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar on Wednesday gave an indication that there will be no other option for the State other than a lockdown if the number of COVID-19 cases further go up.

Speaking to reporters after a programme organised by the Health Department to mark World TB Day, the Health Minister said despite repeatedly appealing to the people to behave responsibly and follow COVID-19-appropriate behaviour, many are still not bothered about wearing masks or maintaining social distancing.

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Vaccine

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine 76% effective in updated U.S. trial results

AstraZeneca said on Thursday its COVID-19 vaccine was 76% effective at preventing symptomatic illness, citing a new analysis of up-to-date results for its major U.S. trial.

U.S. health officials earlier in the week publicly rebuked the drugmaker for using “outdated information” when calculating that the vaccine was 79% effective.

AstraZeneca reiterated on Thursday that the shot, developed with Oxford University, was 100% effective against severe or critical forms of the disease.

It also said the vaccine showed 85% efficacy in adults 65 years and older.

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Swiggy to cover entire vaccination cost for over 2 lakh delivery partners in India

Food ordering platform Swiggy on Wednesday said it would cover the entire vaccination cost for its fleet of over 2 lakh delivery partners across the country.

This comes close to the heels of the central government's announcement on the next phase of the nationwide vaccination commencing April 1, 2021, for individuals aged 45 and above.

In the first tranche of the programme, 5,500 of Swiggy's delivery partners, aged 45 and above will be eligible to opt-in for the vaccination, Swiggy said in a statement.

By the end of the programme, Swiggy hopes to encourage 2,00,000 plus delivery partners with the choice to get vaccinated as they continue to provide an essential service. The company is also requesting authorities for the prioritisation of delivery partners in the vaccine drive, it added. - PTI

Mumbai

Navi Mumbai sees record single-day high of 519 cases

Navi Mumbai on Wednesday reported its highest single-day surge of 519 new COVID-19 cases, breaking its record of 477 cases on August 20, 2020.

NMMC Commissioner Abhijit Bangar said that since March 10, there had been a significant increase in daily COVID-19 case spikes and thus, more effective implementation of ‘Mission Break the Chain’ had been initiated.

“The emphasis is on increasing vaccination as well as testing. On the other hand, health facilities are being ramped up along with restrictions on entry to malls, department stores, and public parks,” Mr. Bangar said.

Telangana

Telangana logs 2021’s highest single-day COVID total

As many as 431 coronavirus infections were detected in Telangana on Tuesday, which is the highest single-day total this year so far. The COVID-19 cases have been consistently surging in the past two weeks. The year’s second highest daily total of 417 was recorded on January 5.

Cinematography Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav has said the government has no intentions to down shutters on cinemas in the State and all news relating to the closure were mere rumours.

He said the cinemas will continue to function in compliance with COVID-19 safety norms as the closure would severely affect thousands of people dependent on it for livelihood.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 12:24:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-live-march-25-2021-updates/article34157034.ece

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