For the first time since the outbreak began, India has reported over 1 lakh fresh COVID-19 cases on Monday, which had taken the country's total tally past 12.6 million cases. India is nearly 14 months into the outbreak and after reporting a sharp decline in cases in late 2020 and till the first week of February 2021, the country has been witnessing the second wave of the pandemic, which has been predicted to be more severe than the preceding wave.
In the last 24 hours till Monday morning 8 am, India has reported 1,03,558 fresh cases through which it has become the second country after the United States to post more than 1 lakh cases in a day. The latest reporting of India has become the highest single-day surge than any other country on Monday. The development has alarmed the country to put a curb to contain the dreadful second wave.
The development has also come when India has been witnessing heated election campaigns in five crucial states. The massive rallies had increased fears of the rampant spreading of the virus. Maharashtra has become the national epicenter by recording an unprecedented surge of cases and the hospitals in India's richest state are overwhelmed by patients with many patients finding it difficult to afford a timely hospitalization.
Maharashtra amounts to 50% of the fresh cases that India reported in the last 24 hours. According to reports, Maharashtra had reported 57,074 cases for the first time in the last 24 hours and dozens of celebrities living in the state had also been tested positive for the pandemic. With 1,03,558 new infections, India has now reported 12.6 million cases, the highest after the United States and Brazil.
According to Reuters, India has recorded the most number of infections in the past week anywhere in the world. Epidemiologists say that more infectious variants of the virus may have played a role in the second surge. India has been going through the second phase of the vaccination drive to vaccinate the people over 45 years. The first phase of the vaccination had concentrated on inoculating the vaccine shots to the three crore frontline workers.
India has developed two indigenous vaccines - Covaxin and Covishield and the country has infected 77 million doses at home since launching the campaign. The vaccination numbers are the third-highest after the United States and China. In the wake of the second wave after several episodes of lockdown and vaccination drive, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a meeting on Sunday with the health officials and discussed the resurgence of the outbreak.
In its statement concerning the meeting, the Prime Minister's Office said, "The Prime Minister directed that for sustainable COVID-19 management, awareness of the community and its involvement is paramount and there is a need to continue Jan Bhagidari and Jan Andolan for COVID-19 management. He mentioned that the five-fold strategy of Testing, Tracing, Treatment, Covid-appropriate behavior, and vaccination if implemented with utmost seriousness and commitment would be effective in curbing the spread of the Pandemic."
It further said, "It was highlighted that all efforts are underway to secure adequate quantities of vaccines to meet the rising domestic requirements as well as to meet the genuine needs of other countries". "The Prime Minister directed to continue with the mission-mode approach in the states and districts reporting high cases so that the collective gains of COVID-19 management in the country in the last 15 months are not squandered", the statement added.
With the unprecedented surge, the Maharashtra government has ordered to shut shopping malls, cinemas, bars, restaurants, and places of worship from Monday evening, as a prefix of a complete lockdown. India has reported over 12.6 million cases so far as of Monday of which 7,41,830 are active, 1,16,82,136 have been discharged, and 1,65,101 people had succumbed to the viral infection.