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India sees biggest jump in new cases in nearly six months

As many as 72,330 more people tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative caseload to 1,22,21,665, said Union health ministry on Thursday.

This is the biggest jump in the daily infections the country has seen in nearly six months. Nearly 74,000 cases were reported on 10 October last year.

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Five states — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab and Chhattisgarh — cumulatively account for over 79% of the total Covid-19 active cases in the country, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

Among these, Maharashtra continues to be the biggest contributor to the daily tally. The state reported 39,544 fresh coronavirus infections on Wednesday.

In addition to this, 459 more people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll in the country to 1,62,927. The fatality count has seen a major jump when compared to Wednesday, when the number stood at 354.

As many as 40,382 people recuperate from the disease in the same duration. The total number of recoveries in the country now stands at 1,14,74,683.

As a result, there are 5,84,055 active cases in the country currently. The active tally had breached the five-lakh mark on Monday and is now close to crossing six-lakh cases again.

India’s Covid-19 tally had crossed the 20 lakh mark on 7 August, 30 lakh on 23 August, 40 lakh on 5 September and 50 lakh on 16 September. It went past 60 lakh on 28 September, 70 lakh on 11 October, crossed 80 lakh on 29 October, 90 lakh on 20 November and surpassed the one-crore mark on 19 December.

Tests conducted so far

A total of 24,47,98,621 samples have been tested for Covid-19 so far, said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday.

Out of these, 11,25,681 samples were tested on Wednesday.

Vaccinations in India

The country has so far administered 6,51,17,896 anti-Covid shots.

The inoculation drive in India was rolled out on 16 January with healthcare workers getting inoculated and vaccination of the frontline workers started from 2 February.

The next phase of Covid-19 vaccination commenced on 1 March for those who are above 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified comorbid conditions.

The vaccination drive in the country was expanded on Thursday to include everybody above the age of 45.

Before extending the drive, the Centre on Wednesday asked states and union territories to identify low vaccine-coverage pockets, particularly in districts reporting a surge in new infections, and take corrective action.

National Health Authority (NHA) CEO and Empowered Group on Covid Vaccination chairperson Dr R S Sharma and Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a high-level meeting with health secretaries, mission directors of NHM and immunisation officers of all states and UTs during the day, a statement said.

The states and UTs were advised to ensure that there was no sedimentation of vaccine stocks at any level of storage, and that their distribution was based on consumption to avoid overstocking or under-stocking at cold chain points and Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs).

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