India soars to a new Covid-19 peak

Country records as many as 168,912 fresh cases of infections, making it the second most affected country globally, reports Asian Lite News

Several staff members of the Supreme Court have tested positive for the coronavirus disease. As of Saturday, at least 44 members from judges’ offices and in the court registry are found to be infected with the viral disease.

Following this, sanitisation work is underway at the top court’s premises including courtrooms and the proceedings will begin an hour late than their scheduled time. The Supreme Court has a staff strength of 3,400.

The latest outbreak comes as India is facing a spiralling Covid-19 crisis. On Monday, the country recorded as many as 168,912 fresh cases of infections which pushed the tally to over 13.52 million. Active cases in the country have gone up by 92,922 and the total number currently stands at 1,201,009. The death toll has also increased to 170,179 after 904 fresh fatalities, according to the numbers published on the Union health ministry’s website.

After the latest spike, the country has overtaken Brazil to become the second-most affected country globally by the pandemic. As per John Hopkins tally, Brazil has a caseload of 13.48 million cases. The Unites States is at the top of the list with 31.19 million cases, according to John Hopkins.

Meanwhile, the national capital registered 10,732 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the single-day highest spike since the pandemic broke out early last year, while there were 48 more deaths, as per the Delhi health bulletin.

The previous highest single-day spike, 8,593 cases, was reported on November 11, 2020 during the third wave. Delhi had reported 7,897 new cases on Saturday, and 8,521 on Friday. However, the number of samples tested on Saturday was also less.

As per the bulletin, the daily positivity rate was reported at 9.43 per cent, while the number of recoveries stood at 5,158.

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With the new cases, Delhi’s Covid tally reached 7,25,197, including 6,79,573 patients who have recovered so far, while the cumulative positivity rate was reported at 4.66 per cent.

The number of active cases stands at 34,341, out of which 17,093 are in home isolation, while the toll has risen to 11,283.

In the last 24 hours, 1,14,288 samples were tested — 76,954 by RT-PCR and 37,334 by Rapid Antigen Tests.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Chief Minister Arvid Kejriwal said that the fourth wave “is more critical” and appealed to the people to stay at home as much as possible.

The government is taking all possible steps to break the chain of coronavirus, but it cannot do this alone, he added.

“People of Delhi have fought against three waves of Covid-19 in the last one year, but this fourth one is more critical. I would request people to come out from their homes only if there is urgency, otherwise stay at home for a few days. It will help us to break its chain,” he said.

Gujarat heading towards health emergency, warns HC

Taking a serious note of the worsening coronavirus situation, especially on the healthcare system and infrastructure, the Gujarat High Court on Sunday observed that the state was heading towards a health emergency.

Taking suo moto cognizance, it filed a fresh PIL regarding the situation, with the state and Central governments made respondents, and will hold a hearing on Monday.

The high court had recently advised the Gujarat government to impose a three-four day lockdown, and take appropriate measures to check Covid-19 cases.

“But it has been five days since. Newspapers and channels are flooded with harrowing tales, unfortunate and unimaginable difficulties, unmanageable conditions of infrastructure, the shortfall and deficit of not only testing facilities, but availability of beds, ICUs, supply of oxygen and basic medicines like remdesivir,” Chief Justice Vikram Nath said in his order on Sunday.

“A perusal of some news would indicate that the state is heading towards a health emergency of sorts. Accordingly, I direct the HC registry to register this as a suo moto fresh PIL titled ‘Uncontrolled upsurge and serious management issues in Covid control’ by impleading the Gujarat government through the Chief Secretary, the Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, and the Central Government through the Department of Home and the Health Ministry,” he ordered.

The Chief Justice said a bench comprising of him and Justice Bhargav D. Karia should be constituted to hear this PIL at 11 a.m. on Monday.

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