The death count in the country rose to 18,655, with 442 people succumbing to the deadly virus in 24 hours
Family members perform the last rites of a person, who died from the Coronavirus disease in Delhi. Pic/PTI
India on Saturday recorded the highest single-day spike of 22,771 cases, pushing the total tally to 6,48,315, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said. The country recorded a spike of 20,903 cases on Friday. The death count rose to 18,655, with 442 people succumbing to the deadly virus in 24 hours. A total of 3,94,226 people have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.
The recovery rate is 60.73 per cent among the COVID-19 patients. With a spike of 6,364 cases, Maharashtra remained the worst-hit state in the country. The state has a total of 1,92,990 cases, including 8,376 deaths. Tamil Nadu is on the second spot with 1,02,721 confirmed cases, of which, 1,385 people have died, 58,378 recovered and 42,958 are active. Delhi with a total of 94,695 cases, is on the third spot.
A businessman wears a facemask made of gold worth R3 lakh. Pic/AFP
Fresh surge in Agra
With 14 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths in the last 24 hours, alarm bells have begun to ring in the Taj city. The district authorities have reviewed the grim situation and scaled up testing in the hotspots. In view of the spike in cases, the authorities have again raised the number of containment and buffer zones to 68. Earlier, the number had dropped to 54.
The new cases have taken the tally to 1,267. Six patients were discharged after recovery. The death toll now stands at 90, while the total number of discharged patients is 1,040. Health officials said the number of active cases was now 137.
Kanwar yatra banned
The Odisha government on Saturday decided not to allow Kanwar Yatra or Bol Bom devotees to offer prayers at Shiva temples across the state, to contain the spread of COVID-19. Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Jena said no Bol Bom devotees or Kanwariyas will be allowed to congregate, carry water from water bodies and walk on public roads to pour water on Shiva Lingas.
In the month of Sharavan (July/August), people carry water from a religious place, walk barefoot for several miles and offer water at some Shiva temples on each Monday of the month.
'Ready for trials'
Amid reports of India's COVID-19 vaccine being given a green signal for human trials, a top functionary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has offered himself for it. Surendra Jain, VHP's joint general secretary has written in this regard to the Vice Chancellor of Pt Bhagwat Dayal Sharma University of health sciences in Rohtak, which is one of the hospitals that got a green signal from ICMR DG Balram Bhargava to begin human clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Offering himself for the human trial, Jain wrote, "I will be ready, whenever you call me for these trials." The vaccine is being developed jointly by Bharat Biotech and ICMR.
Surat gets Rs 100 crore
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on his visit to Surat on Saturday announced an immediate grant of R100 crore for setting up two dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in the city. Looking at the rising number of cases, he also announced that 200 ventilators will be provided to the city within two days. The Gujarat CM said, "We have assessed the situation here and we are taking steps to curb the virus outbreak. The stemcell hospital will be converted into a dedicated COVID-19 hospital shortly. The kidney hospital in the city, too, will be converted into a dedicated COVID-19 hospital within a month's time. One hundred crore rupees have been allocated for the purpose. We have appointed six to seven agencies to implement it."
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