Up to 68,020 fresh coronavirus cases were reported in India over the past 24 hours, making it the biggest one-day surge since October, Union Health Ministry data indicate. This includes 291 deaths. The total number of active cases has risen by 35,498, it show.
The total number of Covid-19 cases in the country now stands at 1.2 crore with 1,61,843 deaths recorded till now since the outbreak hit India in January 2020.
Maharashtra, which has officially warned of another lockdown given the resurgence of the infection, reported an overwhelming majority — 40,414 cases — of the total, along with 108 deaths. The state is already bracing for a shortfall in health care infrastructure. It has been placed under a strict night curfew since Saturday midnight.
The state has been reporting the highest number of coronavirus cases over the past few days. On Saturday, Mumbai reported its single-highest surge in 24 hours since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Delhi government has also re-applied restrictions on gatherings such as weddings and funerals amid a big spike.
Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu remain the other worst-affected states.
This second wave of Covid-19 comes amid the heat of Assembly elections in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry where campaigning is on in full swing, raising fears of a rapid spread of infection due to crowding.
The Union Health Secretary on Saturday chaired a high-level meeting with 12 states and Union Territories to discuss the spike. A five-step strategy was introduced to tackle the situation. The steps were: exponential increase in testing, effective isolation and contact tracing, re-invigorating healthcare workers, ensuring Covid protocols are followed, and targeted approach to vaccination.