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Keep Your Masks Up, Advises Govt as Cases Show Five-fold Rise

India’s Covid-19 tally climbed to 1,20,95,855 with 56,211 more people testing positive for the infection in a span of 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry’s data updated on Tuesday. With 271 more fatalities, the death toll rose to 1,62,114. Maharashtra continues to account for the bulk of India’s caseload, as it recorded 31,643. Six states – Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat – reported 78.56 per cent of the new cases in the last 24 hours. Punjab is the state with the second-most new infections at 2,868, followed by Karnataka which reported 2,792 new cases.

The Maharashtra government is likely to impose more curbs on public movement from April 1 but without implementing a full lockdown as fresh Covid cases continue to soar in the state. State minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik said the state cannot afford a lockdown and has reportedly asked Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to consider other options.

Maharashtra on Monday added 31,643 fresh infections, but the lower tally was attributed to reduced testing because of Holi holiday. The state has recorded close to six lakh cases this month and registered over 2,100 deaths. State officials said that for now, local trains will continue to run but fresh restrictions will be introduced to reduce overcrowding at restaurants, malls, public places, private offices and pubs.

India saw 68,020 new coronavirus cases in a span of 24 hours on Monday, the highest single-day rise so far this year, taking the country’s COVID-19 tally to above 1.20 crore, according to Union Health Ministry data. Registering a steady increase for the 19th day in a row, the active cases have increased to 5,21,808, which comprise 4.33per cent of the total infections, while the recovery rate has further dropped to 94.32 per cent, the data stated.

Eight states including Maharashtra, Karnataka and Punjab have reported a high number of daily COVID-19 cases and account for 84.5 per cent of the fresh cases recorded in the country in a day. While Maharashtra reported the highest daily rise, it was followed by Karnataka, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh, the ministry said. Cases have also surged in the national capital Delhi.

This second wave of Covid-19 comes amid the heat of Assembly elections in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry where campaigning is on in full swing, raising fears of a rapid spread of infection due to crowding.

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