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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - NEW DELHI — India on Thursday reported 126,789 new cases of coronavirus, the highest single-day rise in infections since the beginning of the pandemic, according to figures from the Indian health ministry.
This is the second consecutive day the country has reported an all-time high of new cases.
India is amid a second wave of the pandemic following the previous peak in cases in September last year.
The western state of Maharashtra continues to report the highest deaths and cases in the country, according to health minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday, and several other states have also seen an "upswing" in cases, health officials said on Tuesday.
Maharashtra, Odisha, and Punjab state health officials said they're facing a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines.
Odisha state officials wrote a letter to the central government Wednesday expressing concern over the shortage saying: "Due to shortage of vaccine, we have had to close nearly 700 vaccination centers in the state," adding that the state would exhaust its currently available stock by April 9.
Maharashtra's health minister said on Wednesday the state was also facing a shortage. In response, Indian Health Minister Vardhan said in a statement: "This is nothing but an attempt to divert attention from Maharashtra government’s repeated failures to control the spread of the pandemic."
Punjab state health officials said on Thursday it is also facing a shortage of vaccines.
In a related development, New Zealand said on Thursday it will temporarily ban entry to travelers from India following a record surge in Covid-19 cases in recent days in the Asian country.
Speaking in a news conference on Thursday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the suspension would begin at 4 p.m. on April 11 and would last until April 28.
"I want to emphasize that while arrivals with Covid from India have prompted this measure, we are looking at how we manage high-risk points of departure generally. This is not a country-specific risk assessment, but of course, a risk assessment generally to ensure we better manage the number of cases that are coming in from those countries that are experiencing a surge," Ardern said. — Courtesy CNN
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