Here are the top 5 news updates of April 22, 2021:
1. India sees world's highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases; sets domestic record with 2,104 deaths
India's COVID-19 tally continues to rise, breaking new records along the way. For the first time ever, the single-day case tally crossed the three lakh mark, with 3,14,835 new cases being recorded in the last 24 hours. This incidentally is the highest single-day caseload recorded by any country in the world. At the same time, the rising death toll set a record of its own, with a whopping 2,104 people succumbing to the deadly virus. As per data released by the Health Ministry today morning, India presently has 22,91,428 active cases.
As the country grapples with the current wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court today told the Centre that it wants a "national plan" on issues including supply of oxygen and essential drugs for treatment of patients infected with the virus. Taking suo motu cognisance of the prevailing grim situation across the country, a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said it would also consider the matter pertaining to the method and manner of COVID-19 vaccination in the country. The bench, also comprising Justices L N Rao and S R Bhat, said it would examine the aspect relating to judicial power of the high courts to declare lockdown amid the pandemic.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi today wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the new COVID-19 vaccine policy, terming it as arbitrary and discriminatory and urged him to intervene immediately to reverse it. Why is the government allowing a policy that reeks of such "insensitivity", she said in the letter to the prime minister. She alleged that the new vaccine policy implies that the central government has abdicated its responsibility of providing free vaccine to all Indians between 18 and 45 years of age. "This is complete abandonment of the government's responsibility towards our youth," she said.
After the Centre released the interim allocation data of Remdesivir injection to various states in India, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik slammed the Central government and demanded more vials per day for Maharashtra. Taking to Twitter, Malik wrote, "Central government has just released the allocation data of #Remdesvir injection to various states in our country. #Maharashtra requires 50,000 injections per day, which our government has been demanding. So far we have been receiving only 36,000 injections per day and now according to the new allotment, the state will receive only 26,000."
Equity benchmark Sensex rebounded 375 points today, tracking gains in index majors ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Kotak Bank despite mounting COVID-19 cases in the country. After falling 501 points in opening session, the 30-share BSE index pared all losses to end 374.87 points or 0.79 per cent higher at 48,080.67. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty jumped 109.75 points or 0.77 per cent to 14,406.15.