India’s daily Covid cases passed the grim four lakh-mark in a first on Sunday, the country saw the deadliest day of the pandemic with 3,689 deaths in last 24 hours. The Covid caseload surged to 1.95 crore on Sunday with 3.92 lakh new cases.
Hospitals are overburdened and shortage of medical oxygen has emerged as one of the top challenges. The country’s daily Covid cases passed the 1 lakh-mark for the first time about three weeks ago.
Meanhwile, for the second straight day, Delhi reported over 400 Covid deaths on Sunday while the positivity rate – the rate at which people getting tested for Covid receive positive results – dropped below 30 per cent, according to the state health bulletin. The city also added 20,394 fresh cases.
It reported 407 deaths on Sunday, a tad behind the 412 deaths on Saturday, the highest so far. The positivity rate stood at 28.33 per cent.
Delhi on Friday recorded 375 deaths, 395 on Thursday, 368 on Wednesday, 381 on Tuesday, 380 on Monday, 350 on Sunday, and 357 on Saturday last week, according to government data.
The city has so far recorded 11,94,946 cases, of which over 10.85 lakh have recovered. The death count due to the viral disease stands at 16,966, the bulletin said.
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Vaccination centres, banks and essential services will remain functional during the weeklong lockdown in Haryana from Monday imposed amid a sharp surge in coronavirus cases.
Vaccination drive for the 18-44 age group began in the state on Sunday.
An official order on Sunday evening detailing the lockdown guidelines said that considering the unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases across the state, the Haryana government has considered it necessary to take effective measures to prevent its spread in the state.
The state on Sunday recorded its biggest single-day jump with 145 deaths taking the count to 4,486 while 13,322 fresh infections pushed the infection count to 5,14,888.
Leaders of 13 Opposition parties Sunday urged the Centre to launch a free mass vaccination drive across the country in view of the unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases.
In a joint statement, they also called upon the Centre to ensure uninterrupted oxygen supply to all hospitals and health centres as they manage the staggering patient loads in view of the rising cases.
The signatories include Congress president Sonia Gandhi, JDS leader and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee.
“In times of the uncontrollable surge of the pandemic across our country, we call upon the Central government to focus all attention in ensuring the uninterrupted flow of Oxygen supplies to all hospitals and health centres across the country,” they said in a joint statement.
“We call upon the Central government to immediately launch a free mass vaccination programme across the country,” they added.
The opposition leaders said the budgetary allocation of Rs 35,000 crore for the vaccination programme must be utilised for this drive.