India's COVID-19 case tally continues to rise, with more than 72 thousand cases being recorded in the last 24 hours. As per Health Ministry data, this brings the total number of active cases in the country to 5,84,055. At the same time, the death toll has now risen to 1,62,927.
On Thursday morning, India reported 72,330 new cases, 40,382 discharges, and 459 deaths. Maharashtra continues to lead the list of states with more than 3.5 lakh active cases, followed by Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh and Punjab.
As cases continue to rise, many states have implemented restrictions such as demarcation of containment zones, night curfews or localised lockdowns. Authorities warn that addition steps can follow.
The Centre has warned that the situation is going from "bad to worse" and urged states to achieve 100 per cent vaccination coverage of those above the age of 45 years in surge districts within the next two weeks. Officials and experts are now drawing a parallel with the COVID-19 situation in the UK, holding the mutations responsible for the surge.
Thus far, more than 6.43 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered. From today, the vaccination drive will be taken up a notch, with all individuals above the age of 45 becoming eligible for inoculation. From April 1, the CoWIN portal will be open for those born before January 1977 to register and book their appointments.
Presently, two vaccines are being used in India -- Covishield (Oxford-AstraZeneca's vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India) and Covaxin (manufactured by Bharat Biotech Limited).
(With inputs from agencies)