India reports over 1.26 lakh Covid-19 cases, 685 deaths in 24 hours
New Delhi/IBNS: In a grim picture, India, which is witnessing a massive surge in Novel Coronavirus cases, on Thursday reported over 1.26 lakh fresh infections from across the vast country of 1.3 billion people.
In 24 hours between Wednesday and Thursday mornings, the country has reported 1,26,315 new cases taking the tally to 12,928,789.
In the same period, 685 Covid-19 patients have died taking the toll further up to 1,66,892.
The five most-affected states in the country are Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Among the five, Maharashtra recorded the most number of cases (59,907) in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Thursday hold a meeting with the Chief Ministers of all states and union territories over the current situation of Covid-19 in the country and the vaccination drive.
The meeting will be held via video conferencing.
While the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has written a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to expand the vaccination drive to all adults, Maharashtra Minister Rajesh Tope has raised concern that states might run out of Covid-19 vaccines.
Contradicting Tope's statement, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday said there was no shortage of vaccines and such "irresponsible statements mislead the public and spread pandemic."
Meanwhile, Adar Poonawalla of Serum Institute of India (SII), which has manufactured the Oxford vaccine in India, has said the company is prioritising Indians first in the vaccination drive, cutting down the exports temporarily.
In an interview with Mojo, Poonawalla said, "We exported actually 50 per cent of what I (SII) was producing in January and February. But then what happened in March was expected.
"In March, we started to see the surge in cases which is when the Indian government and the vaccine producers came together to prioritise supplies to India and that is exactly what we are doing today."