India marks record-breaking 72,330 Covid cases in a day

Siliguri, India: India's novel coronavirus cases were recorded at the highest numbers since October 11 last year, at 72,330 cases yesterday, the federal health ministry data showed, taking the national total to 1,22,21,665 cases.

The huge spike in the number of cases comes as India opens the doors of the mass vaccination program to more inclusive demography, after launching the pilot vaccination drive with healthcare workers, followed by frontline workers and senior citizens up until March 31st. 

On Tuesday, the government said that the country's virus situation is going from "bad to worse over the last few weeks" and "any complacency at this stage, and at any level, will have heavy costs".

Maharashtra, whose capital is Mumbai, lodged the highest number of cases since the start of the pandemic. Maharashtra's Covid tally surged to 28,12,980 total cases with 39,544 fresh infections. 

Maharashtra alone accounts for 88.23 percent of the total number of cases reported in the previous five-month period, the official data says. 

Cases have increased in Karnataka, Gujrat as well in the last 24-hours. 

Speaking to NDTV, chief of Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr. Randeep Guleria said the sudden spike in COVID-19 cases in India is because of a new strain of COVID-19, and the situation in India is 'exactly like the UK.'

"It is likely that there is a variant which is causing the virus to be more infectious and this is part of what we tend to see," he said, adding, the case also explains why the rising caseload comes around Holi which is synonymous to the Christmas spike in cases in the UK. 

Ideally, the high numbers must be tallied with epidemiological data before a particular cause can be confirmed for the sudden rise in the number of cases, Dr. Guleria said "the fact that the data is not there does not mean it is not happening."

"It is likely logically that if there is a sudden surge in cases, there is something which is happening which is making the virus more infectious," Dr. Guleria told NDTV, who is also a principal member of the Centre's Covid Task Force.

India aims to vaccinate some 30 crore Indians by July this year, only more than 6 crore doses of vaccines have been administered so far.

The global number of cases has surged to 12,88,63,830; with 28,15,358 deaths recorded so far.

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