India reports 1,761 COVID-19 deaths, 259,170 new cases of infection in last 24 hours
Migrant workers waiting to board buses to their home towns after the Delhi Government announced a six-day lockdown in the national capital to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, at Kaushambi Bus Stand, near Delhi, on April 19, 2021.Qamar Sibtain/IANS

India reports 1,761 COVID-19 deaths, 259,170 new cases of infection in last 24 hours

New Delhi, April 20, 2021

India today reported a new high of 1,761 deaths due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and 259,170 new cases of infection even as the Centre and various State Governments unveiled new measures to stem the rapid spread of the virus across many parts of the country.

As the crisis continued to grow, the Centre and the States unveiled new measures to stem the spread of the virus.

Among other things, the Central Government decided to allow COVID-19 vaccination for everyone above the age of 18 from May 1 as part of a liberalised and accelerated Phase 3 strategy of the countrywide innoculaton drive to stem the spread of the pandemic.

As part of the strategy, vaccine manufacturers would supply 50% of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to Government of India and would be free to supply the remaining 50% doses to State Governments and in the open market.

An official press release said vaccination shall continue as before in Government of India vaccination centres, provided free of cost to the eligible population as defined earlier -- Health Care Workers (HCWs), Front Line Workers (FLWs) and all people above 45 years of age.

The second dose of all existing priority groups -- HCWs, FLWs and population above 45 years -- wherever it has become due, would be given priority, for which a specific and focused strategy would be communicated to all stakeholders.

In a bid to break the chain of transmission, more States and local authorities imposed night curfews, weekend curfews and other forms of restrictions. Several states have also announced postponement of Class 12 Board and other examinations.

At 1,761, the number of COVID deaths in the last 24 hours is the highest in a single day since the pandemic broke out in India in late January last year. The country had reported 1,619 deaths yesterday.

At 259,170, the number of fresh cases of infection in a single day reported today is lower than the 273,810 reported yesterday -- the highest so far.

This is the seventh consecutive day that the country has registered more than 1,000 deaths. This is also the sixth consecutive day that the country has recorded more than 200,000 new cases in a single day.

With Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and some other States reporting a sudden surge in the number of cases in recent days, the country has logged more than a lakh new cases of infection in 24 hours for 14 consecutive days now and more than 150,000 cases for nine days in a row.

Of the 259,170 new cases of infection recorded in the country in the last 24 hours, Maharashtra -- by far the worst-hit State -- alone accounted for 58,924 cases. The State also accounted for 351 of the 1,761 deaths registered today.

National capital Delhi logged 23,686 new cases of infection and 240 deaths in the last 24 hours, while Karnataka recorded 15,785 new cases and 146 deaths.

Gujarat registered 11,403 new cases and 117 deaths, while Madhya Pradesh reported 12,897 new cases and 79 deaths. There were 11,967 new cases and 53 deaths in Rajasthan; 10,941 cases and 44 deaths in Tamil Nadu; 2,160 cases and 24 deaths in Uttarakhand and 13,644 cases and 21 deaths in Kerala.

Within Maharashtra, Mumbai, the state capital and the financial hub of the country, reported 7,381 fresh cases of infection and 57 deaths.

With the latest numbers put out this morning by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, the death toll in the country so far has risen to 180,530 while the total number of cases of infection, since the first case was registered in late January last year, has surged to 15,321,089.

The number of those who have recovered from COVID-19 rose to 13,108,582 as of this morning, up 154,761 from yesterday. The recovery rate has dropped to 85.55% from 86.00% yesterday.

The number of active cases has gone up by 102,648 in the last 24 hours to cross 2 million and reach 2,031,977 -- the highest since the pandemic began in India.

The active caseload has been rising after February 12 this year, when it had touched its lowest mark of 135,926 in recent months.

The world has reported a total of 142.098 million cases of COVID-19 so far while the global death toll has climbed to 3.029 million as of this morning, according to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University in the United States, which is tracking the pandemic.

India ranks second in the world in terms of the total number of infections so far, behind the United States (31.737 million) and ahead of Brazil (13.973 million).

In terms of the number of deaths, the country now ranks fourth after the US (567,690), Brazil (374,682) and Mexico (212,466).


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