India reports new 43,846 Covid-19 cases, biggest daily rise in 4 months

A healthcare worker collects a swab sample from a woman during a testing campaign for the coronavirus disease, in Navi Mumbai (Photo: Reuters)
India recorded 43,846 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, marking the sharpest single-day rise in almost four months and taking its total cases to 11.5 million.

The number of fatalities has risen to 1,59,755 with 197 news deaths, data by the union health ministry showed Sunday. Maharashtra, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are among states reporting a surge in coronavirus cases, prompting the authorities to lock down worst-hit districts and restrict public gatherings. 

The county has administered more than 4.36 crore vaccine doses, with over 16 lakh people being inoculated in the last 24 hours.

India has 3.09 lakh "active" cases, while 1.11 crore people have recovered. Maharashtra reported 27,126 new cases, while Punjab had 2,578 on Sunday.

Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab cumulatively account for 76.22 per cent of India’s total actives. The Indian Express reported Madhya Pradesh has announced a one-day lockdown in state capital Bhopal, Indore and Jabalpur every Sunday. Schools and colleges in the three cities have been closed till March 31. 

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday blamed "public laxity" for rising cases. "With vaccines available now, people feel they should not wear masks. Maximum people hang their masks around their neck, some keep it in their pocket and some do not use it at all," he said in Chandigarh, according to a PTI report.

States have to take "quick, decisive" steps to stop the emerging second peak of Covid-19, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi last, urging chief ministers in a virtual meeting to adopt the test, track and treat.

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