Coronavirus | New COVID-19 cases surge past 40,000

Spike follows dramatic dip in cases in February; total death toll at 1.59 lakh

March 20, 2021 06:20 pm | Updated 07:44 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A health worker takes a swab sample of a passenger for coronavirus tests at the CSMT railway station, amid surge in COVID-19 cases, in Mumbai.

A health worker takes a swab sample of a passenger for coronavirus tests at the CSMT railway station, amid surge in COVID-19 cases, in Mumbai.

India reported 40,953 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day rise in 111 days, taking the country's cumulative COVID-19 tally to 1,15,55,284.

The country also reported 188 deaths during this time taking the total death toll to 1,59,558, with 2,88,394 active cases currently, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

India is seeing a surge in COVID deaths after the country touched a low of less than 100 deaths per day in February. From end of January to mid-February this year saw a dip with just 8,000 cases per day.

As per data released by the Ministry, currently Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh continue to report a spike in new cases.

Also read: Coronavirus | Rising cases are because of carelessness of people, says CCMB chief Mishra

“Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 25,681. It is followed by Punjab with 2,470 while Kerala reported 1,984 new cases. A rising trajectory of daily new cases is visible in eight states — Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka and Haryana. Kerala, however, is showing a consistently declining trend,” said the Ministry.

It added that India’s total active caseload has reached 2,88,394 currently with Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab cumulatively accounting for 76.22%

The cumulative recoveries stand at 1,11,07,332 with 23,653 recoveries registered in the last 24 hours. While 188 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours, five States account for 81.38% of the new deaths. Maharashtra registered the maximum casualties at 70, Punjab followed with 38 while Kerala reported 17 fatalities.

Amid the surge, doctors have requested the Central government to expand the vaccination cover to include caregivers of patients who are bed ridden.

Dr. Rajendra Prasad, senior consultant neurosurgeon and spine Surgeon, at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi said, “While those bed-ridden (patients and those with disabilities) cannot be vaccinated at home, for obvious reasons, they are exposed to COVID virus through their caregivers, both professional and family members. We have several patients and family members who have highlighted this urgent requirement and we request the government to allow doctors to certify care-givers for the vaccination. With the next wave imminent, it is imperative that we include and vaccinate caregivers of the elderly, disabled and bed ridden persons as early as possible.’’

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