India witnessed a new spike in COVID-19 incidences after registering 40,906 new cases on Friday. The total tally of cases went up to 11,554,895, while active caseload comprised 285,449 cases, according to the union health ministry data. The death count increased to 159,594 with 188 daily recent fatalities. With 23,623 new discharges, the total recoveries have increased to 11,105,149.
With 25,681 new COVID-19 incidences reported in the past 24 hours, the total case tally of Maharashtra surged past 24 lakhs reaching 2,422,021. The state’s active caseload went up to 177,560. As many as 14,400 discharges and 70 deaths were reported from COVID-19 on the day. The overall recoveries and deaths form the pandemic has increased to 2,189,965 and 53,208 respectively.
Maharashtra government on Friday issued guidelines restricting attendance at private offices, except those in health and other essential services, at 50%. The measures will be effective till March 31.
Kerala recorded 1,984 new COVID-19 cases, 1,965 discharges and 17 related deaths on Friday. The total case tally rose to 1,100,276 while the number of active infections declined to 25,156 in the state. The overall recoveries have reached 1,070,343 and the death toll stood at 4,468.
Punjab reported 2,470 new COVID-19 cases pushing its total case tally to 207,888. The active cases stood at 15,459, as the recoveries increased to 186,187 and death toll went up to 6,242.
Amid rising cases of COVID-19, the Punjab government has announced state-wide restrictions beginning March 20, with closure of educational institutions till March 31 and restrictions on entry to cinemas and malls.
All educational institutions, other than medical and nursing colleges, will remain closed till March 31, with restriction of 50% capacity in cinema halls and not more than 100 persons in a mall at any time, said Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh.
A complete ban has been ordered on all social gatherings except for funerals, cremations and weddings, at which only 20 persons shall be allowed. The new curbs will come into force from March 21 in 11 worst-hit districts of the state. The chief minister has directed the health officials to ramp up daily tests to 35,000.
Other states which registered a spike in COVID-19 cases on Friday included Karnataka (1,587 new cases), Gujarat (1,415), Chhattisgarh (1,097), Tamil Nadu (1,087), Madhya Pradesh (1,140), Haryana (872) and Delhi (716).
India has administered over 41,155,978 crore COVID-19 vaccination doses so far, the health ministry said in a release. They include 7,686,920 health care workers (HCWs) who have taken the first dose and 4,769,469 HCWs who have taken the second dose, 7,910,529 frontline workers (FLWs) (first dose), 2,316,922 FLWs (second dose), 15,378,622 beneficiaries more than 60 years old and 3,093,516 beneficiaries aged 45 and above with specific co-morbidities.
On Friday, the 63rd day of nationwide vaccination, 1,816,161 vaccine doses were given till 7 p.m. Of them, 1,643,357 beneficiaries were vaccinated for first dose and 172,804 HCWs and FLWs received the second dose.