Surge in cases; Maharashtra, Kerala hotspots

New Delhi, February 19

In a major cause of worry for the government, daily new Covid cases today touched a three-week high with 13,193 new infections being witnessed — more than 72 per cent of these in Maharashtra and Kerala alone.

India’s daily new cases were 12,408 on February 5 and lower a week before.

The case surge came even as India crossed the milestone of administering one crore Covid vaccine doses to healthcare and frontline workers with Health Minister Harsh Vardhan publicly appealing to eligible beneficiaries to ignore misinformation and accept vaccines.

The six states reporting 86.6 per cent of the new cases today are Maharashtra (5,427 of the 13,193 cases), Kerala (4,584), Tamil Nadu (457), Karnataka (406), Chhattisgarh (276) and Punjab (275).

The government said resumption of suburban train services in Mumbai on February 1, reopening of schools in Kerala and lax Covid appropriate behaviours are pushing the surge. States reporting high cases are also reporting declines in daily testing and rising positivity levels.

Dr Reddy’s applies for Sputnik V emergency use

Dr Reddy’s Labs, the Indian partner for the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, on Friday applied to the drug regulator for emergency use authorisation for the Covid jab. Meanwhile, experts met to discuss extending the second dose regimen for Covishield on WHO’s recommendation i.e. after 8-12 weeks, not 28 days.

Patanjali’s flip-flop on coronil approval

New Delhi: Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved on Friday launched Coronil, claiming it had Ayush certification. Hours later, it retracted the claim after WHO distanced itself from the issue.

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