India today witnessed the biggest daily surge in Covid cases since October 11 with 72,330 fresh infections recorded taking the tally to 1,22,21,665 cases, NDTV reported. Today's surge is the highest since October 11 when 74,383 infections were reported.
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 Covid surge in the country is due to a new strain and the situation is exactly like the one in the UK when the virus underwent a mutation around Christmas," NDTV quotes Dr Randeep Guleria, chief of Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences as saying.
The third phase of India's Covid-19 vaccination drive begins today, with everyone above the age of 45 eligible for the shot. It will cover the population which is at the highest risk — 90 per cent 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 per cent vaccination coverage in the next two weeks.
In India, more than 6 crore doses of vaccines have been administered so far. The country aims to vacciate 30 crore people by July.