India, on Monday, reported a near 90 per cent jump in Covid cases on a 24-hour basis, leading to apprehensions of a fresh spike in numbers.

According to the data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 2,183 fresh Covid cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, against 1,150 reported on Sunday.

Daily positivity rate, an indicator of the spread of the infection in the population, increased from 0.31 per cent on Sunday to 0.83 per cent on Monday.

According to the CoWIN dashboard, over 78,300 pre-cautionary doses were administered in the 18-59 age-group till 7 pm on Monday.

The Covid-19 death count rose to 214 after including a backlog of 62 death cases from Kerala.

Centre pulls up Kerala

The Centre has asked Kerala to provide updated Covid data daily while pointing out that the State reporting figures after a gap of five days has skewed India’s key pandemic-monitoring indicators such as cases, deaths and positivity rate.

“It has been observed that Kerala has reported its State-level Covid data after a gap of five days (since April 13). This has impacted and skewed the status of India’s key monitoring indicators like cases, deaths and positivity. India has reported a 90 per cent increase in new cases and 165 per cent increase in positivity in a single day,” wrote Luv Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in a letter.

Spike in Delhi-NCR

Interestingly, a spike in cases is being noticed in the Delhi-NCR region over the last one week to 10 days. Hospitalisations continue to be low, though.

On Sunday, Delhi reported 517 fresh infections, up 12 per cent over Saturday. However, the positivity rate dipped slightly to 4.31 per cent from over 5.33 per cent.

In view of the spurt in cases, the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh government has made masks mandatory in Lucknow and other areas such as Noida, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Meerut, Bulandshahr and Baghpat.

Over the last 24 hours, there have been reports of 65 fresh infections across Noida, Ghaziabad and Lucknow. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced a “close monitoring of the situation”.

Apprehensions continue as a number of children, including school-going kids have been detected with Covid across the Delhi-NCR region. This has led to many schools suspending class or shifting online again. Fresh guidelines with relation of schools are expected on April 20.

AI flights barred from Hong Kong

Hong Kong has banned Tata-owned Air India flights till April 24 after three passengers were tested positive for Covid. They were travelling on AI 316 Delhi-Kolkata-Hong Kong flight on April 16, and were tested positive post arrival in the country.

Following the ban from Hong Kong, Air India has cancelled all its flights to Hong Kong from April 19 to April 24.

Passengers from India can arrive in Hong Kong only if they have a Covid negative certificate from a test done 48 hours prior to the journey, according to rules issued by the Hong Kong government. International passengers are also required to take a post-flight Covid test at the airport premises upon landing in Hong Kong.

In a statement on Twitter, the airlines said flights “to Hong Kong & back of 19th and 23rd April stand cancelled,” due to “limited demand in the sector” and “restrictions imposed by the Hong Kong authorities”.