With 81,466 new cases, Covid situation ‘grave’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 03, 2021

India administered more than 36 lakh Covid vaccine doses on Friday, the highest so far   -  -

Biggest single-day surge since Oct 2; no ban on vaccine exports, says MEA

Even as the Covid situation became grave in 11 States, with 81,466 new cases reported in the last 24 hours, the biggest single-day rise since October 2, 2020, India clarified that it has not imposed a ban on export of vaccines. It has only made clear its position to all countries that its vaccine supply would depend on meeting requirements at home.

Indeed, India has taken the lead to send vaccines to more than 80 countries, Arindam Bagchi, spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), told a media briefing on Friday.

MEA’s clarification

But “we have already stated that our external supplies would be done keeping in mind our domestic requirements. At this time I am sure our partners understand that our vaccines are primarily purposed for domestic consumption. I want to emphasise that we have not imposed any export ban on vaccines,” Bagchi said.

The MEA clarification follows speculation that the government may have stopped Serum Institute of India (SII) from exporting Covid-19 vaccines. As for the concerns of countries such as Nepal on delayed supplies, the MEA spokesperson said that India’s position had been conveyed through official channels.

Record vaccinations

On Friday, a record 36 lakh Covid vaccination doses were administered. According to Health Ministry data, 36,71,242 got the vaccine of whom 33,65,597 were given the first dose in 51,215 sessions and 3,05,645 the second shot.

Cumulatively, till 7 am on Friday, more than 6.87 crore vaccine doses have been administered a vaccine through 11,37,456 sessions. Eight States — Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala — account for 59.58 per cent of all the doses administered, with Maharashtra leading with a tally of 9.48 per cent of the shots.

Maharashtra worst affected

The stepped up vaccine drive coincides with a steep rise in Covid cases especially in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. These eight States accounted for 81.25 per cent of the 81,466 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra registered the most number of cases at 43,183, followed by Chhattisgarh and Karnataka with 4,617 and 4,234 new cases, respectively.

India’s total active caseload has reached 6,14,696, comprising 5 per cent of the total positive cases. The total active caseload in the last 24 hours jumped 30,641 cases. Five States — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Punjab — together account for 77.91 per cent of all active cases in the country. Maharashtra accounted for nearly 60 per cent of the total active caseload.

With 50,356 recoveries in the last 24 hours, the cumulative number stood at 1,15,25,039. The national recovery rate is 93.68 per cent. Of the 469 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, six States accounted for 83.16 per cent of the fatalities. Maharashtra led with 249 deaths followed by Punjab at 58, according to Health Ministry data.

Review meet with States/UTs

At a high-level review meeting with States and Union Territories, chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, States were asked to increase testing to ensure that positivity comes down to 5 per cent or less. They were also advised to ensure that at least 70 per cent of the tests were RT-PCR and also to reduce the result wait time with a regular review of the labs.

Published on April 02, 2021

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