New Delhi: India on Friday reported the biggest spike of the year 2021 with 81,466 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. The country also saw 50,356 discharges and 469 deaths on April 2, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The sudden increase shot up the total number of cases in India to 1,23,03,131. While the total number of people who recovered and were discharged stood at 1,15,25,039. As per the government data, the number of active cases stood at 6,14,696 cases. Meanwhile, India’s death toll rose again and reached 1,63,396 fatalities on Friday.
As per the Health Ministry, 6,87,89,138 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered so far, out of these 36,71,242 beneficiaries received their jabs in the last 24 hours.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 11,13,966 samples were tested on Thursday. A total of 24,59,12,587 samples have been tested so far. With several parts of the country witnessing a spike in Covid-19 cases, the central government on Tuesday warned that the situation is going from “bad to worse” and urged states to achieve 100 per cent vaccination coverage of those above the age of 45 years in surge districts within the next two weeks. The vaccination for beneficiaries of 45 years and above began on Thursday.
India had started its vaccination drive on January 16 with priority given to all healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase. The second phase started on March 1 where doses are being administered to people above the age of 60 and those between 45 and 59 years with specific comorbidities. The third phase which will cover people who are 45 years and above, began on April 1.
MHA Releases new COVID-19 guidelines
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an order on March 23 with guidelines for effective control of COVID-19, which will be effective from April 1, 2021, and will remain in force till April 30, 2021. Keeping in view a fresh surge in COVID-19 cases, in some states, the guidelines provides directions to the states and UT governments to strictly enforce the Test- Track-Treat protocol in all parts of the country. They also instruct strict observance of COVID appropriate behaviour and have asked the states to scale up the vaccination drive by 70 per cent and cover all the target groups.
The main focus of the guidelines is to consolidate the substantial gains achieved in containing the spread of COVID-19, which was visible in the sustained decline in the number of active cases, continuously for about 5 months.