India reports year's biggest Covid-19 spike

The new cases mark the highest 24-hour figure since December 19, according to health data


Reuters March 13, 2021
A man wearing a protective mask walks past a graffiti amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on a street in Navi Mumbai, India, March 8, 2021. REUTERS

MUMBAI:

India reported its biggest daily spike in COVID-19 of the year on Saturday, with 24,882 infections as a resurgence since last month continues.

The new cases mark the highest 24-hour figure since December 19, according to health data, boosting the caseload of 11.33 million, now third after United States and Brazil, which has overtaken India, according to recent data.

India’s COVID-19 deaths rose by 140 to 158,446, compared to an average of about 100 since early February.

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India’s caseload had been falling steadily since peaking in late September, but increased social gatherings and travel has caused a spike since early February, even as the country has started to vaccinate its vast population.

Maharashtra state, yet again the nation’s epicentre of fresh cases, has imposed fresh lockdowns in several districts.

About 3,000 police will be deployed to enforce a week-long curfew and lockdown in the central Indian city of Nagpur from Monday after a 60% jump in coronavirus cases there, officials said on Friday.

The government is running a nationwide immunisation campaign aiming to vaccinate a fifth of the country’s 1.3 billion people by August.

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