India reports 2,61,500 fresh cases and over 1,500 deaths
Vardhan says gap between daily new cases, recoveries reflect that infection is spreading at a faster rate; less than 100 ICU beds let for patients, says Kejriwal; JEE exams postponed
India has reported 2,61,500 fresh virus cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day spike ever, pushing the country’s overall tally to 1,47,88,109, according to the Health Ministry data released on Sunday.
This is the fourth consecutive day that the country has registered over two lakh Covid cases.
Meanwhile, as many as 1,501 people died of Covid in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s death toll to 1,77,150 so far. The daily active cases tally rose to 18,01,316.
The Health Ministry said that a total of 15,66,394 samples were tested in the last 24 hours.
Underlining the alarming rise in the daily number of active cases and a sharp growth in deaths, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said the widening gap between the daily new cases and the daily recoveries reflects that the infection is spreading at a much faster rate than recoveries.
With the unprecedented surge in cases, the national capital is facing shortage of beds as daily positivity rate has jumped to 30 per cent, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told the media ater reviewing the Covid situation here on Sunday.
“There is a shortage of ICU beds in Delhi. At present less than one hundred ICU beds are available in Delhi. There is a shortage of oxygen too,” Kejriwal said.
The Delhi Chief Minister has appealed to the Centre for more beds for Covid-19 patients and additional help during the second wave of the pandemic.
“Yesterday I spoke to Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and told him about the critical situation of Delhi. I also spoke to Union Home Minister Amit Shah this morning regarding lack of beds and informed them that we are in dire need,” Kejriwal told the press. The Chief Minister’s remarks came ater reviewing Delhi’s Covid-19 situation with the Health Minister and senior health officials of the Delhi government.
The Chief Minister said the numbers of new Covid-19 cases are increasing fast and more number of patients are rushing to government hospitals which has resulted in a shortage of beds, especially ICU beds.
Meanwhile, Kejriwal also assured that the Delhi Government will increase around 6,000 beds within next 2-3 days.
He said, “Commonwealth Games Village, Yamuna Sports complex, Radha Swami Satsang Baes, and some schools will be converted into facilities for Covid-19 patients in Delhi.
Kejriwal stated that, in November, the Central Government had alloted around 4,100 beds in its hospitals when Delhi was facing the third wave of coronavirus and the highest daily tally had risen to 8,500 cases.
As of today, the Centre has provided only 1,800 beds in its hospitals while the daily Covid-19 cases have crossed 24,000.
The Union Education Ministry has decided to postpone the Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE) in India and abroad.
Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has asked the National Testing Agency (NTA) not to conduct the JEE Mains examination in view of the rising Covid cases.
The JEE Mains examination was scheduled to be held on April 27, 28 and 30 this year.
According to the Education Ministry, the students will be informed about the next date of examinations 15 days in advance.
On the entrance test, Nishank said, “JEE (Main) 2021 April session date will be announced later. It will be announced at least 15 days before the exam and all students will be informed about it.”
The Union Education Minister said, “In view of the Covid surge, I have advised the NTA to postpone the examination for the JEE (Main) April 2021 session.
“I would like to reiterate that the safety of our students and their academic career is my major concern right now.”
Amid rising cases former union minister and Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Sunday demanded that the Centre declare a national health emergency in the country. He also urged the Election Commission to declare a moratorium on election rallies.
He said on Twiter, “Covid-19...infections faster than recoveries. Modiji: Declare a National Health Emergency. Election Commission: Declare a moratorium on election rallies... Courts: Protect people’s lives.”