It was on March 23 last year that Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the nationwide lockdown against COVID-19. A year on since the country went into a ‘janata curfew’ (people’s curfew), it is facing a second wave of coronavirus. However, with vaccines available now, several experts are in favour of a mammoth scale-up in the government’s immunisation drive to safeguard the vulnerable. Following a surge in COVID-19 cases in Mumbai, Pune and other cities, the calls for widening the scope of the vaccination programme have only grown stronger and louder. Meanwhile, India recorded 46,951 new coronavirus cases and 212 fatalities on Monday, March 22, pushing the country’s tally past 11.6 million (1.16 crore) and death toll to 1.59 lakh, according to health ministry data. This was the sharpest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases since early November.
The Union Health Ministry said on March 21 that Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh constitute 83.14% of the new COVID-19 cases in the country. The ministry added that Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, and Tamil Nadu are showed an upward trajectory in the daily new caseload.