India witnessed a jump of 59,118 in its Covid-19 tally on Friday, which took the nationwide numbers to 11,846,652, according to figures released by the Union ministry of health and family welfare. The daily toll from the disease also continued to rise and remained above 200 (257 to be exact) taking total fatalities to 160,949.
Continuing the upward trend, the active caseload breached the four lakh-mark as the tally went up by 25,874 cases to 4,21,066. Currently, the active cases account for 3.35% of the total caseload in the country.
The pace at which the cases are rising in the country indicates that the second Covid-19 wave may be much worse than the first wave, which was brought under control by November last year. The daily infection trajectory in Maharashtra and Gujarat has already surpassed the peaks of their first wave while Punjab is close to crossing its previous peak.
On Thursday, the health ministry said, Maharashtra, Punjab, Kerala, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, and Gujarat account for 81% of the daily new cases. "Three states, Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab, account for 74.32% of total active cases in the country. Maharashtra alone accounts for 62.91% of the total active cases," it added.
For the week ending March 25, India reported 47,442 new infections every day on average. This is the highest the seven-day average has touched since October 28. In terms of real figures, this is the worst the case rate has been in four months.
Following the sudden surge in the last two months, the government has stepped up the vaccination drive and has allowed all citizens above 45 years of age to get vaccinated from April 1 onwards. They will not need to produce any comorbidities certificate.
India has also put on the hold the expansion of vaccine exports in order to meet the domestic demands first. The rollout will be carried out in a phased manner and delivery schedules are expected to be calibrated in sync with domestic requirements, people familiar with developments said on Thursday.