NEW DELHI: India on Thursday reported its highest-ever single-day spike in Covid-19 with over 2 lakh cases. The country’s total number of cases now stands at 1,40,74,564, while the active cases surpassed the 14-lakh mark.
The death toll increased to 1,73,123 with 1,038 daily new fatalities, the highest since October 3 last year.
Such has been the second wave surge in India that daily cases have hit a new high on nine of the last 11 days — the only two exceptions being Mondays, when numbers usually drop sharply due to lower testing and staff shortages over the weekend.
10 states, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, show steep rise in daily Covid-19 cases
Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan have shown a steep rise in Covid-19 daily cases, accounting for 80.76 per cent of the new infections reported in a day, the Union health ministry said on Thursday.
It said that Maharashtra alone accounts for 43.54 per cent of the country’s total active cases. The ministry said 1,038 deaths were reported in a day and 10 states account for 82.27 per cent of the new fatalities.
Maharashtra, the worst-hit state, logged 61,695 fresh cases on Thursday. The state continued to lead the country in cases as well as fatalities, with 349 deaths reported in the last 24 hours.
Weekend curfew imposed in Delhi; malls, gyms and spas to remain shut
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced sweeping restrictions, including a weekend curfew and the closure of malls, gyms, spas and auditoriums, in a bid to break the chain of Covid infections in the city.
There will be no in-house dining in restaurants and cinema halls will be allowed to operate with only 30 per cent capacity, the chief minister said at an online press conference a day after the city recorded the biggest single-day jump 17,282 new Covid-19 cases.
Covid-19 cases, he said, are rising every day in Delhi and the restrictions were needed to check the spread of the virus.
Battling the fourth wave of the pandemic, Delhi recorded over 17,000 cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday to become the worst-affected city in the country, leaving financial capital Mumbai far behind in the daily tally.
HC allows 50 people to offer namaz 5 times a day at Nizamuddin Markaz during Ramzan
The Delhi high court on Thursday allowed 50 people to offer namaz five times a day at the Nizamuddin Markaz mosque during Ramzan.
The court declined to increase the number of people or allow use of other floors of the mosque for offering prayers as sought by senior advocate Ramesh Gupta on behalf of the Delhi Waqf Board, but allowed them to move an application before the SHO for the same.
The court said the SHO may decide any such application moved by the Board in accordance with the law.
Haryana cancels class 10 board exams, postpones class 12 exams
The Haryana government on Thursday cancelled the class 10 board exams which were to be conducted by the state board of school education and decided to postpone the exams of class 12 amid the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
Notably, coronavirus cases in Haryana have also registered a sharp increase in recent days.
Haryana education minister Kanwar Pal said the result of class 10 will be declared on the basis of internal assessment of students. The state board exams were to start later this month and continue till mid-May.
Centre asks Madhya Pradesh to implement 5-fold strategy to check Covid spread
Amid alarming rise of Covid cases in Madhya Pradesh, the Centre has asked the state to strengthen and enhance oxygen and ICU beds and effectively implement a five-fold strategy of “test, track, treat, follow Covid-appropriate behaviour and vaccinate” to check the spread.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla along with Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary chaired the meeting to review the status of COVID-19 in Madhya Pradesh and the public health measures taken for its surveillance, containment and management by the health authorities.
The health ministry has also asked it to curb non-essential movement of large groups of people and social gatherings that could turn into super spreader events.
UP schools shut till May 15 as state reports highest single-day spike
The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday shut all schools till May 15 and postponed exams for board classes as the state reported its highest-single day spike in coronavirus cases since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.
The state on Thursday reported 104 deaths and 22,439 fresh cases, pushing the fatality count to 9,480 and the total infection number to 7,66,360.
Board exams for Classes 10 and 12 have been postponed till May 20 and the new dates will be decided in the first week of next month, an official said.
This is the second day in a row when the state has reported a record daily increase in the Covid numbers. On Wednesday, 20,510 cases had surfaced in the state.
Night curfew in 10 districts of Uttar Pradesh from today
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday said that night curfew will be imposed from 7 pm to 8 am with immediate effect in ten districts of the state in view of the rise in Covid-19 cases.
He also said that classes for 1 to 12 will be suspended till May 15.
“Corona curfew to be effective from 8 pm to 7 am in all 10 districts with more than 2,000 active cases including Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar, Gautam Budh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Gorakhpur,” he tweeted He further said that the order will be applicable from immediate effect.
NEET-PG exams postponed amid rising Covid cases
In view of a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases, the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (postgraduate), which was scheduled to be held on April 18, has been postponed, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Thursday.
The decision was taken keeping the well-being of the young medical students in mind, he added.
“In light of the surge in Covid-19 cases, GoI has decided to postpone NEET PG 2021 exam which was earlier scheduled to be held on Apr 18. Next date to be decided later. Decision has been taken keeping wellbeing of our young medical students in mind,” Vardhan said in a tweet.
ASI monuments closed for visitors till May 15
All centrally protected monuments, museums and sites under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have been closed with immediate effect till May 15 due to the surge in coronavirus cases in the country.
An order to this effect was issued by the ASI and it was tweeted by culture minister Prahlad Patel this evening.
“Due to the prevailing Covid situation, it has been decided to close all centrally protected monuments, sites and museums under the ASI with immediate effect and till May 15 or until further orders,” the ASI said.
Curfew from 6 pm to 5 am in Odisha‘s 10 districts
Odisha chief secretary Suresh Mahapatra on Thursday announced that night curfew from 6 pm to 5 am will be in place in 10 districts bordering Chhattisgarh.
“The state government has extended the timing of night curfew in 10 districts bordering Chhattisgarh to 6 pm to 5 am from 9 pm to 6 am. A weekend shutdown will also be imposed in urban areas of these districts from April 17 in addition to night curfew,” he said. “The night curfew in urban areas of remaining 20 districts of the state, will also be imposed from tomorrow from 9 pm to 5 pm,” he said.
(With agency inputs)