India records worst daily peak in coronavirus cases


India records worst daily peak in coronavirus casesIndia recorded 26,291 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, its highest peak in one day this year, bringing the total number of cases to 11,385,339, according to official data.

The number of deaths linked to COVID-19 rose to 158,725 with 118 more deaths recorded during the day, according to the press release from the Federal Ministry of Health.

The western state of Maharashtra, which has been a hotspot for the virus since the outbreak last year, has accounted for 16,620 new infections.

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India, which has the highest number of virus cases after the United States and Brazil, saw a downward trend in infections at the end of 2020, but the numbers have risen again in recent weeks.

The number of infections on Monday was the biggest daily increase in 85 days since Dec.20, when 26,624 new infections were recorded, according to data on the Johns Hopkins University website.

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There were concerns about a second wave of the pandemic in India with medical experts suggesting that new variants of the virus as well as poor compliance with safety standards could be behind the surge in cases.

Besides Maharashtra, which has imposed partial lockdowns and restrictions to contain infections, four other states, including Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, have reported an upward trend in cases.

India has extended its COVID-19 vaccination campaign from March 1 to cover people over the age of 60, after launching the campaign in mid-January by vaccinating frontline workers and staff at health.

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Nearly 30 million doses have been administered so far, but experts believe the pace of vaccinations needs to be stepped up to meet the government’s target of vaccinating 300 million people by early August (dpa / NAN)

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