India recorded its highest-ever one-day spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths from the disease this year, with 53,364 people testing positive for the virus. The daily rise in infections was the highest recorded in 132 days, while the country's COVID-19 death toll increased to 1,60,441, with 275 new fatalities, the highest in around 83 days. As many as 47,905 new infections were recorded in a span of 24 hours on November 12 last year. With this, India's active caseload climbed to 3,68,457 or 3.14 per cent of the total infections.
Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, and Gujarat together account for 77.44 per cent of the new infections. Maharashtra reported 31,855 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday. The rate of increase in coronavirus cases in Maharashtra between February 14 to March 23 was three times that recorded in the previous four months. Between February 14 and March 23, in the span of 37 days, 4,68,748 cases were added in the state, taking the caseload to 25,33,026. On average, 12,668 cases were added daily.
The top five districts in Maharashtra where a high number of cases are being reported are Pune, Nagpur, Mumbai, Thane, and Nashik. Besides, the country also detected a new "double mutant" COVID-19 variant in states like Maharashtra and Delhi this week, according to the union health ministry.
The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Director S K Singh said 771 cases of variants of concern (VOCs) have been detected in a total of 10,787 positive samples in 18 states. Among the 771 cases of new variants, 736 samples are of the UK (B.1.1.7) lineage, 34 samples of the South African (B.1.351) lineage, and one sample of the Brazilian (P.1) lineage.