With a steady increase in the daily fresh coronavirus cases since the third week of February, with over 89,000 cases reported on April 2, the seven-day average test positivity rate climbing to 6.8% as on April 2, and with the reproduction number (R0) — how many people each infected person will infect on average — above 1.5 and steadily increasing over the last two–three weeks, the second wave has well and truly begun in many States.
Here are the latest updates:
Uttarakhand CM recovers from COVID-19
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat on Sunday disclosed through a social media post that he has recovered from coronavirus.
Mr Rawat had tested positive for COVID-19 on March 22 and had been in self-isolation since then.
“My COVID test report has come out negative twice in the past 48 hours,” Mr Rawat said in the social media post.
He thanked the almighty and all his well-wishers for his recovery.
Haryana’s new guidelines limit number of people at functions
The Haryana government on Sunday issued fresh guidelines putting a ceiling on the number of people permitted at functions in open spaces and indoors, and at funerals in the wake of a surge in coronavirus cases in the State.
While at the most 200 people would be allowed at events indoor, the crowd capacity outdoors has been put at 500. At funerals, a maximum of 50 people would be allowed to attend, the new guidelines stated.
Actor Govinda tests positive for COVID-19
Actor Govinda has tested positive for coronavirus and is under home quarantine, his wife Sunita Ahuja said on Sunday.
The 57-year-old actor has “mild symptoms” and is following necessary protocol.
“He (Govinda) tested positive today morning. His symptoms are absolutely mild. There’s nothing to worry about. He is quarantining at home and taking precautions,” Sunita told PTI.
Govinda was last seen on the big screen in the 2019 comedy “Rangeela Raja”.
PM Modi chairs high-level meeting, central teams to be sent to high-burden States
With daily coronavirus cases crossing 90,000 a day – very near the numbers seen last September – Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Sunday to review the COVID-19 pandemic situation and vaccination program.
The meeting, attended by top officials at the Centre including the Home Secretary, Secretaries of Health, Principal Scientific Adviser, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research, veered around the view that the spike in cases was due to “severe decline in people complying with Covid-appropriate behaviour.”
This meant, as several communiques from the Centre have reiterated over the past month, that people had largely abjured the use of masks, maintaining ‘2 Gaj ki Doori’, (six feet distance), pandemic fatigue and that authorities weren’t effectively implementing containment measures at the field level.
Assam makes COVID-19 negative report must for passengers from Maharashtra, Karnataka
Assam’s Health and Family Welfare Department has issued an order making it mandatory for air and train passengers from Karnataka and Maharashtra to carry a negative RT-PCR report “in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in some parts of the country”.
The April 3 order almost coincided with State’s Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma claiming “there is no COVID-19 in Assam” and it was unnecessary for people to wear masks.
Eight States account for over 80% of new COVID-19 cases
Eight States including Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat account for 80.96% of the 93,249 new daily COVID-19 cases, according to the Union Health Ministry.
India is seeing a steep intensification in the doubling time of the COVID-19 cases. As of April 4, it is 115.4 days, the Ministry said on April 4. India’s total active caseload has reached 6,91,597 and now comprises 5.54% of the country’s total infections. A net rise of 32,688 cases recorded in the total active caseload in a span of 24 hours.
Five States account for over 43% of total vaccinations
As India races to contain the second wave of COVID-19, five States of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal have carried out over 43% of the total vaccinations in the country, according to the Health Ministry data.
Of the total 7,59,79,651 vaccinations carried out till now, 3,33,10,437 were carried out in these five states.
Out of the 3,33,10,437 jabs administered in these five states – 2,91,54,577 were first doses and 4155860 were second doses, according to the data till 7 a.m. on April 4.
Jammu and Kashmir
J&K schools for students up to Class 9 to remain shut till Apr 18
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday announced that all schools for students up to Class 9 will remain closed for two weeks from April 5 in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the union territory.
Physical classes for students from classes 10 to 12 will also be suspended for a week, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha’s office said in a tweet on Sunday.
Jammu and Kashmir
J&K L-G Manoj Sinha visits hospital to enquire about Farooq Abdullah’s health
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha visited the SKIMS hospital in Srinagar on April 4 to enquire about the health of National Conference (NC) president and MP Farooq Abdullah, who is undergoing treatment for COVID-19.
Mr. Sinha, who met Mr. Abdullah’s son and NC vice-president Omar Abdullah at the hospital, instructed the doctors at the SKIMS to provide best treatment to the MP from Srinagar.
Maharashtra, Punjab reporting highest daily cases
Maharashtra and Punjab are the two worst hit States in terms of their share in the total number of new cases and fatalities across the country in the last fortnight, according to official documents.
The growth rate of last seven days for daily new cases till March 23 in Maharashtra was 3.6% and in Punjab it was 3.2%.
Maharashtra has added 4,26,108 cases in last two weeks as on March 31, while Punjab has added 35,754 cases in the same period. — PTI
Vice-President receives second COVID-19 vaccine shot
Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu was administered the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the AIIMS here on Sunday.
He had received the first shot in Chennai on March 1.
“I appeal to all the eligible people to get themselves vaccinated immediately & everyone to continue to follow all precautions in view of the surge in cases in some parts of the country,” the Vice President’s Secretariat tweeted, quoting Mr. Naidu. — PTI
PM Modi chairs high-level meet to review COVID situation as cases surge
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Sunday to review the COVID-19 situation and the vaccination programme amid a surge in coronavirus cases.
Sources said top officials, including cabinet secretary, principal secretary to the prime minister, health secretary and NITI Aayog member Vinod Paul, attended the meeting.
India on Sunday recorded 93,249 new coronavirus infections, the highest single-day rise so far this year, which took the total COVID-19 cases to 1,24,85,509, according to Union health ministry data.
This is the biggest daily rise in cases since September 19, when 93,337 fresh infections were recorded. – PTI
India records this year’s biggest single-day jump of 93,249 COVID-19 cases
People undergoing COVID tests at the ENT hospital in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak
India on April 4 recorded 93,249 new coronavirus infections, the highest single-day rise so far this year, which took the total COVID-19 cases to 1,24,85,509, according to Union Health Ministry data.
This is the biggest daily rise in cases since September 19, when 93,337 fresh infections were recorded.
The death toll climbed to 1,64,623 on Sunday with 513 new fatalities, the Ministry data updated at 8 a.m. showed. — PTI
Akshay Kumar tests positive
Actor Akshay Kumar announced on Twitter that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
“I wish to inform everyone that, earlier this morning, I have tested positive for COVID-19. Following all the protocols, I have immediately isolated myself,” he wrote.
“I am under home quarantine and have sought necessary medical care. I would sincerely request all those that have come in contact with me to get themselves tested and take care of. Back in action very soon!” the tweet said.
What is driving the second wave in India?
While the onset of the festival season since the pandemic peaked in mid-September in India, winter, no restrictions on movement, large gatherings and not-so-good adherence of mask wearing and other non-pharmaceutical interventions did not cause any spike in cases across the country, what is driving the current surge in cases in many States?
Cited reasonsThe Health Ministry has cited the general laxity among people regarding COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, including mask wearing, and lack of containment and management strategy at the ground level as reasons for the surge in cases. The role of variants, either the imported ones or those that have originated in India, are not seen to be responsible.
Read what experts say, here.
No fresh vaccine registration for healthcare workers and frontline workers
No fresh registration for COVID-19 vaccination in categories of Health Care and Frontline workers will be allowed with immediate effect, confirmed a senior health ministry official on Saturday.
The one-page-order, issued by the Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, comes after “various inputs received from different sources stating that in some of the vaccination centres ineligible beneficiaries are being registered as healthcare and frontline workers and getting vaccinated in complete violation of the prescribed guidelines,” noted the Health Ministry.
The order further states that there has been a 24 % increase in healthcare workers databases in the past few days.
(With inputs from our Correspondents and Agencies)