26,291 new corona cases detected in India; Maharashtra leading the race with 15,051 infections. Remaining T20 matches with England to be played without spectators.

In the last 24 hours, 26,291 new cases of coronavirus infections were detected in India. For the second consecutive day, active cases were more than 8,000. There are over 2.19 lakh active cases in India, of which Maharashtra alone accounts for over 1.27 lakh. Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab are the three states which account for 77% of the total active cases.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a high-level meeting with Chief Ministers and health officials through video conferencing, in view of the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases and administering of corona vaccination in different states and Union Territories. The Prime Minister will hold a meeting with Chief Ministers on 17 March at 12:30 pm through video conferencing. The Ministry of Health said that India has crossed the milestone of administering 3.15 crore Covid-19 vaccinations.

India’s worst-affected state, Maharashtra reported 15,051 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, while 10,671 patients have been discharged. The state has reported 48 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 52,909 as of 15 March. So far, Maharashtra has reported 23,29,464 Covid-19 cases; out of which 21,44,743 patents have been discharged. The state still has 1,30,547 active Covid-19 cases.

In view of rising Covid-19 cases, the Maharashtra government extended curbs imposed in containment zones till 31 March and issued fresh guidelines for the state. A cap of 50 people has been put in place for weddings, and all other public gatherings—social, cultural, political and religious—have been completely banned. Not more than 20 people will be allowed at funerals, the guidelines stated. Violation shall also attract penalties under the disaster act for the owner of premises. The property shall also have to remain closed till the period until the Covid-19 pandemic stays notified as a disaster by the Central government. 

The national capital reported 368 new Covid-19 cases, 306 recoveries, and 3 deaths in the last 24 hours. Total cases rose to 6,44,064 while recoveries have touched 6,30,799. The death toll stands at 10,944. The active caseload has reached 2,321.

Covid-19 cases continued to surge in Andhra Pradesh as 147 were added afresh in 24 hours, pushing the gross to 8.92 lakh. In all, 103 patients had recovered and one succumbed in a day, as the active caseload increased to 1,443. The total recoveries have touched 8,83,380 and deaths 7,185.

Kerala reported 1,054 new cases of Covid-19 and 11 fatalities in last twenty-four hours. The active caseload has reached 27,057 and the total death toll has risen to 4,407.

Jammu and Kashmir recorded 94 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally to 1.28 lakh, while no fresh death was reported. Out of the fresh cases, nine were from the Jammu division and 85 from the Kashmir division of the Union territory. The number of active cases is 937, while 1.25 lakh patients have recovered so far. The death toll stands at 1,974 and the infection tally is 1,27,734.

Meanwhile, it has been learnt that due to rising number of Covid cases, the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) has decided to organise the remaining T20 international matches between India and England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad behind closed doors without audience. The GCA will refund the money to spectators who have purchased tickets for the T20s scheduled on 16, 18 and 20 March.

“Due to rise in the number of corona cases, we at GCA have decided in consultation with BCCI, that the matches will be played closed door and not allow spectators in the ground during T20 Internationals to be played between India and England at Ahmedabad. We will form the policy for refund of money to the spectators, who have already purchased tickets for these three T20s. Those who have received complimentary tickets are requested not to visit the stadium,” said Dhanraj Nathwani, Vice President, Gujarat Cricket Association.