The Health Ministry reported that the number of beneficiaries aged 60 years and above in the nationwide Covid vaccination drive has crossed one crore in just 15 days. Meanwhile, the total vaccination coverage in India has crossed 3.29 crores.
However, the spread of the infection still continues as India recorded 24,492 new Covid-19 cases, taking the total cases in the country to 1,14,09,831, while the death toll increased to 1,58,856, with 131 fresh fatalities. For the sixth day in a row, India registered more than 20,000 cases.
Among the new cases, Maharashtra accounted for 17,864 new cases. This is the first time this year that over 17,000 Covid-19 cases have been recorded in a single day in the state. The previous highest single-day surge in 2021 was 16,620 on Sunday, March 14.
Besides the new cases, 87 Covid-19 deaths were recorded during the day, taking the state’s death toll to 52,996. The case fatality rate in the state is 2.26%.
The surge in cases in Mumbai also prompted the BMC education department to issue an order asking all schools in its jurisdiction to discontinue the 50% rotational attendance rule from March 17. Teachers are to take their classes in the ‹work from home› mode with the help of e-learning platforms until further orders.
Delhi recorded 425 new Covid-19 cases as its positivity rate rose to 0.61 percent. The death toll climbed to 10,945 with one more fatality. The new coronavirus cases recorded took the infection tally to 6,44,489. The national capital recorded a positivity rate of 0.59 percent.
Goa›s coronavirus caseload went up by 94 and reached 56,100, while the recovery count increased by 73 to touch 54,497. With four deaths in the last 24 hours, the toll in the state is 811, leaving the state with 792 active cases. Jammu and Kashmir recorded 97 fresh Covid-19 cases that pushed its infection tally to 1,27,831, while two more deaths linked to the virus raised the toll to 1,972 in the Union Territory. 19 of the fresh cases are from the Jammu division and 78 from the Kashmir division.
India’s southern states also saw a surge in coronavirus cases. Tamil Nadu reported 867 new cases, taking the state’s infection tally to 8,61,429, while five more fatalities took its death toll to 12,556. The number of active cases stands at 5,450.
Karnataka reported over a thousand cases for the first time since Christmas last year. As many as 1,135 more people contracted the infection in the last 24 hours, indicating a test positivity rate of 1.65 percent. Of these, Bengaluru Urban continued to top the list with 710 new cases and 329 discharges among 30 districts in the state.
Kerala recorded 1,970 new cases of Covid-19 and 15 deaths in the last 24 hours. The active caseload amounted to 26,127 as the death toll rose to 4,422. In the same period, a passenger from South Africa tested positive for Covid-19. This has taken the total number of passengers infected with Covid-19 strains from the UK, South Africa and Brazil to 104.
The surge in fresh coronavirus cases also continued in Andhra Pradesh with 261 people testing positive for the virus in the last 24 hours, pushing the active caseload up to 1,579. The state also saw 125 patients recovering from the infection while no deaths were reported during this period. The Covid-19 caseload in the state is at 8,92,269 with 8,83,505 recoveries and 7,185 deaths. Nationwide, registering a spike in cases, the total active caseload has increased to 2,23,432, which now comprises 1.96 percent of the total infections. Meanwhile, the recovery rate has dropped to 96.65 percent.
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SURAT TEACHERS ORDERED TO REGISTER COVID DEAD BODIES
Surat Corporation has gone too far in handing over the responsibility of Covid-19 management to its employees. Teachers have been assigned Covid-19 work. They are given the task of registering the bodies coming for the funeral. Teachers, along with SMC (Surat Municipal Corporation) employees, will also be on duty in three shifts of eight hours each. It’s teachers responsibility to ensure that there is no disruption in the registration of the bodies coming to the crematorium.
During the pandemic, all SMC employees were assigned different tasks, in which the teachers were asked to be outside the homes of the infected Covid patients.
There were orders to go with Dhanvanri Rath to carry out survey work, and distribute food grains, which were performed by the teachers as part of their duty amid such a difficult situation in the city.
At that time, the teachers who were assigned to the operation of the cemetery have been put in a dilemma.
A teacher, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, “The process of registering a body in a cemetery is not appropriate for us.. We made a presentation for our Teachers’ Union last night on this matter. We were given a message about this operation through social media. The Union has informed our appointees to cancel this order. Union officials have also vowed to inform the Municipal Commissioner and the State government about handing over the work to teachers.”
UTTARAKHAND CM RAWAT CONFIDENT TO CONDUCT HARIDWAR KUMBH MELA SAFELY
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat on Friday said that the state government is determined to conduct Haridwar Kumbh Mela safely.
He inaugurated the Command and Control Room and Adarsh Barrack of the Police Surveillance System built for the Kumbh Mela, at the CCR Tower in Haridwar.
On this occasion, the Chief Minister said that the state government is fully committed to the modernization of the police.
He said, “Our government is determined to conduct Haridwar Kumbh Mela safely. 310 CCTV cameras have been installed in the area. Command and Control Room of Police Surveillance System has been set up at CCR Tower, Haridwar.”
(With ANI inputs)
CELEBRATIONS IN JAMMU AFTER THE RELEASE OF COBRA COMMANDO BY NAXALS
As soon as the news of Rakeshwar Singh Manhas’ release reached Jammu, there were celebrations not only in his village but in other adjacent villages as well. Earlier his wife Meenu had appealed to the government that her husband should be rescued from the Naxals and the Congress leaders of the Jammu region visited the family and made her talk to the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister who assured all help and action.
People in the villages adjacent to his hometown were glued to television sets and expressed their joy when he stepped out of an ambulance as shown by different media channels.
Meenu Manhas exclaimed, “This is the happiest moment in our lives. Hope never died though we were anguished for his safe return. I am thankful to the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh and also to the Central government as everyone stood by us.”
Earlier, the relatives of Manhas and villagers protested and blocked the traffic for hours, appealing to the government to intervene and save him from the captivity of Naxals. He was posted in Chhattisgarh and was captured alive by the Naxals in a fierce gun battle in which dozens of his colleagues were killed while over 15 Naxals were also killed.
DELHI SCHOOLS TO REMAIN SHUT FOR ALL CLASSES AMID COVID SURGE: KEJRIWAL
NEW DELHI: The Delhi government on Friday announced that all schools will be shut given the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the national capital.
“Due to increasing cases of COVID-19, all schools, government and private, in Delhi are being closed for all classes till further orders,” the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted. Schools have been shut ever since the pandemic broke out last year but for those from Classes 9 to 12 had resumed their classes. The board examinations for Class 10 and Class 12 are slated for May-June.
Several other states and Union territories have also closed down schools and colleges to curb the surging infections.
Delhi on Thursday reported 7,437 fresh cases and 24 related deaths over the last 24 hours. As per the daily health bulletin, the total positive cases in the city now stand at 6,98,005, including 23,181 active cases and 6,63,667 recoveries. So far, 11,157 lives have been claimed by the infectious virus.
Covid chaos in Gujarat, waiting list in hospitals, cemeteries & crematoria
The state of Covid-19 spread in Ahmedabad seems frightening. The scenario in various cemeteries and crematoria of the city is bad with people waiting for hours for the burial and cremation of the dead bodies.
A total of eight bodies were brought to a cemetery in Vadaj cemetery in the city for burial around the same time. There is also a two-hour wait for the funeral at Thaltej. Both chimneys are currently in operation at the city’s Vadaj crematorium, where relatives of the deceased have been seen waiting.
There are no vacant beds in hospitals because of the surge in Covid-19 cases. As the number of patients keeps on increasing, the beds are getting filled. In some hospitals there is no stock of injections and while at other hospitals videos of missing oxygen are emerging. Extremely heart-rending videos surfaced on Friday at the Vadaj Cemetery in Ahmedabad, where eight bodies were being prepared for burial while many others were waiting in the cemetery. Similar is the case with Thaltej cemetery in Ahmedabad.
As a result of the worsening situation due to Covid-19 in Gujarat, relatives have to wait in hospitals for as long as 12 hours to get the body of the deceased in cities like Rajkot and Surat. Not only that, even after getting the dead body, they have to wait for 8 to 10 hours for cremation. Worse, the rising death toll at Rajkot Civil Hospital is waiting not only for cremation but also for ambulances to take the dead bodies to the cemetery.
In the Nagarwada area of Vadodara, a 65-year-old man died of Covid-19 and his body had to be taken in a handcart as the ambulance was not available to take him to the crematorium.
ALL-PARTY MEET TO DISCUSS LOCKDOWN IN MAHARASHTRA
State reports 58,993 Covid cases and 301 deaths in 24 hours.
In view of the alarming spike in Covid-19 cases in the state, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has called an all-party meeting on 10 April. The government will take stock of the Covid-19 situation in the state.
The meeting will be attended by prominent leaders of the three parties involved in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, leaders of BJP, MNS, API, SP, and others.
On Friday, State Disaster Management Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said that he has proposed a complete lockdown in the state, during a virtual meeting earlier in the day, given the continued spike in Covid-19 cases and upcoming festivals. While speaking to India Today, the Minister said that it was crucial to close all shops and establishments to break the chain of the pandemic.
“Every day we are witnessing 50,000 to 60,000 cases. We have 5.31 lakh active cases today. If the upsurge continues like this, we will have over 10 lakh active cases soon,” the Disaster Management Minister said to India Today. “If we have to break the chain, it’s not possible keeping half the shops and establishments open. In the virtual conference that took place today, I have suggested a strict lockdown of three weeks to break the chain,” the Minister said.
Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Pravin Darekar said the decision to organise the all-party meeting was taken this afternoon.
“This decision was taken during the meeting held today to decide the postponement of MPSC exams scheduled for Sunday,” he said.
When asked about the weekend lockdown that comes into force from Friday night, Darekar said the state government should decide on financially supporting small businesses.
Maharashtra Chief Minister will brief all parties regarding the covid situation. Maharashtra is planning a complete three weeks lockdown.
Maharashtra on Friday reported 58,993 coronavirus cases and 301 deaths in 24 hours amid a second wave of infections. Pune, with 10,084 Covid cases, was the worst-affected district today, followed by Mumbai with 9,200 single-day infections.
After the new additions, the total of active cases has reached 5,34,603. The state had reported 56,286 cases and 376 deaths on Thursday.
With Agency Inputs
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