India recorded 18,094 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the case tally to 1,04,14,044, according to data from the union health ministry. The total number of recoveries reported have reached 1,00,36,722 with 20,532 among them being discharged on Thursday. The total deaths from the pandemic have reached 1,50,606 with 233 fatalities recorded yesterday. With this, the overall active cases in the country now stand at 2,22,416.
The government is holding a dry run today, to prepare health authorities ahead of the official roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine which is expected in a few days. The second nationwide dry run will take place in 33 states and union territories (UTs).
The objective of the mock drill is to simulate the actual vaccine administration event. The health ministry said that the entire planning of the vaccination drive, including beneficiary registration, micro-planning and vaccination at the planned session site, will be tested under the leadership of district collector/ district magistrate.
As per the health ministry, 19 states and UTs would receive the COVID-19 vaccine through their suppliers while the remaining 18 states/UTs will get the vaccine through Government Medical Store Depot (GMSDs).
Three more U.K. returnees tested positive for the new COVID-19 strain on Thursday in Maharashtra. There are 11 cases of such infection in the state now, all of which are asymptomatic, according to the state officials. Of these, two patients from Pune and Mumbai have been discharged after 14 days of quarantine and their two consecutive RT PCR tests have returned negative.
Maharashtra on Thursday reported 3,729 new COVID-19 cases as opposed to 3,350 recoveries. The active case tally has risen to 51,111, while the total case tally and recoveries stand at 19,58,282 and 18,56,109 respectively. A total of 66 fatalities saw the death toll climbed to 49,897.
The state’s recovery rate stands at 94.78%, while the case fatality is 2.55%. “Of 1,31,99,201 laboratory samples tested so far, 19,58,282 have returned positive with over 65,000 samples being tested in the last 24 hours,” said Dr Awate.
A total of 2,70,217 people across the state are in home quarantine, while 2,824 are in institutional quarantine facilities.
The overall confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kerala now stands at 7,95,934 after recording 5,051 new incidences on Thursday. The state has 64,447 active infections. With 5,638 new recoveries, the total recovered cases have reached 7,28,059 and the death toll stood at 3,235 with 25 new deaths.
West Bengal reported 921 new cases on Thursday, taking its case tally to 5,58,173. The active infections in the state stood at 8,476, with 5,39,816 recoveries and 9,881 deaths reported so far.
Chhattisgarh saw 1,010 new infections, 1,253 recoveries and 7 deaths on Thursday. The total confirmed cases in the state now stand at 2,86,596, with the active infections at 8,859.
The death toll stands at 3,454 in the state.
The union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Thursday wrote to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, urging them to take steps to curb the spike in COVID-19 cases, a release issued by the health ministry said.
The states have been advised to maintain a strict vigil and take steps to keep a check on the rising cases, especially in view of the new strain of the virus being observed in certain countries and which has also been reported in a few states in India. The states were showing an upsurge in the number of daily new cases in recent days.
Bhushan has stressed on the low and declining testing rates in these states. Any laxity at this crucial junction may squander the results of the collective actions in containing the transmission, he noted.
The health authorities in the states have been advised to proactively promote the wearing of mask and other COVID-19 appropriate behaviours even while the vaccination drive is about to begin. “It is important to ensure that there is no complacency in the collective efforts in containment and management of COVID-19,’’ the health secretary has reiterated.