India on Saturday became the first country in the world to register over 400,000 coronavirus infections in a single day.
According to the Ministry of Health data, India reported a massive surge of 401,993 cases during the last 24 hours, with 3,498 deaths in the day.
It has reported 2,497,675 fresh coronavirus cases in seven days. The cumulative caseload stands at 19,164,969 and the death toll from the virus has reached 211,835. India now has nearly 3.3 million active cases.
The Indian armed forces were on Friday granted emergency financial powers to augment their efforts in the battle against Covid-19, the second wave of which has brought devastation to the country in the past few weeks. The army will establish and operate hospitals, quarantine facilities, and to undertake procurement of Covid-specific equipment without the usual clearances.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra reported 62,919 infections, followed by Karnataka (48,296), and Kerala (37,199) in the past 24 hours. Maharashtra also recorded 828 deaths, followed by Delhi (375) and Uttar Pradesh (332).
The six most affected states by total cases are Maharashtra (4,602,472), Kerala (1,571,183), Karnataka (1,488,118), Uttar Pradesh (1,252,324), Tamil Nadu (1,148,064), and Delhi (1,074,916).
HOSPITAL FIRE: At least 18 coronavirus patients were killed in a fire in a hospital in western Indian state of Gujarat, police said on Saturday.
Hospital workers and firefighters rescued dozens of other patients at the hospital in Bharuch, a town in Gujarat. The rescued patients were in a stable condition, police said.
The fire broke out after midnight in a COVID-19 ward on the ground floor. Fire fighters extinguished the fire within an hour, police said.
US TRAVEL BAN: Meanwhile,the United States has decided to restrict travel from India from next week, due to rampant spread of Covid-19 in the country, the White House said on Friday.
“On the advice of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the administration will restrict travel from India,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
She cited “extraordinarily high Covid-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in the India”.
The ban will take effect May 4.