Coronavirus India Updates: India reported over 72,000 Covid-19 cases in the 24 hours ending 9 am on Thursday. Of the 72,330 new infections, 39,544 were from Maharashtra. Chhattisgarh recorded its highest ever count, with 4,563 cases. Karnataka also reported over 4,000 cases.
Meanwhile, 459 deaths were reported from across the country, the highest since December 5, 2020. Apart from Maharashtra, which reported 243 deaths, Punjab (55), Chhattisgarh (39), Karnataka (26), and Tamil Nadu (19) were the other big contributors. At least 14 states reported zero deaths on Wednesday.
The third phase of India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive begins Thursday, with everyone above the age of 45 eligible for the shot. It will cover the population which is at the highest risk — 90 percent of deaths related to the disease in India have been in the category of those above the age of 45. The Centre has instructed states to ensure all districts with high caseloads achieve 100 percent vaccination coverage in the next two weeks.
Now, as state governments begin imposing restrictions, mobility indicators predict a potential dent in the uptick in business activity, especially in the services sector. While Maharashtra has imposed localized restrictions for public places like restaurants, gardens, parks, malls, and beaches, states like Chhattisgarh and Gujarat have imposed night curfews, and Uttarakhand and Gujarat have made Covid-19 testing mandatory for those entering the regions from outside.