International Asia From new air travel rules to Covid-19 upsurge in states, what next...

From new air travel rules to Covid-19 upsurge in states, what next week holds

India's Covid-19 forecast including new air travel rules

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India — India’s daily cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) are once again on the rise, having fallen below 10,000 several times earlier this month. According to the Union ministry of health and family welfare’s dashboard on Sunday morning, there were 14,264 new infections in the country in the preceding 24 hours, taking the infection tally to 10,991,651. There were 11,667 recovered cases, 2,507 new active cases and 90 related deaths in the past 24 hours, taking their respective tallies to 10,689,715, 145,634 and 156,302.

With the pandemic resurgent in several parts of the country, here are some key things to watch out for next week as India fights Covid-19:

1. New rules for international air travel will come into effect from 11:59pm on Monday. Earlier this week, the civil aviation ministry released an updated standard operating procedure (SOP) after cases of the South Africa and Brazil variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus were detected in the country.

2. According to a briefing by the health ministry earlier this week, at least four cases of the South Africa variant and one of the Brazil variant have been found in India thus far. There are also more than 150 cases of the UK variant. However, none of these has resulted in a single death thus far.

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3. The states of Maharashtra and Kerala were flagged as areas of concern by the health ministry. While Maharashtra recorded more than 6,000 new daily cases twice this week, Kerala saw 4,650 new infections on Saturday.

4. Curbs have been announced in several parts of Maharashtra and its government has repeatedly warned of another lockdown in view of the resurgence of the pandemic in the western state. There were 6,281 infections on Saturday and 6,112 on Friday, as per the state health department.

5. Maharashtra’s capital city of Mumbai has also seen its daily cases rise and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has updated its Covid-19 norms for the metropolis. Mumbai recorded 897 new cases on Saturday.

6. While Maharashtra’s Covid-19 tally of 2,093,913 (49,630 active cases and 51,753 deaths) is the highest nationally, Kerala’s is next at 10,30,587. However, with more than 58,000 active cases, the southern state tops on that count, followed by Maharashtra.

7. The health ministry has also expressed concern at the upswing in cases in the states of Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

8. As of Sunday morning, India has administered more than 11 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, as per the health ministry’s dashboard. With India being the fastest to the majority of vaccination marks, it is likely to achieve some more in the coming days and week.

9. The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) is also likely to announce the latest Covid-19 norms for the country. Several state governments, Maharashtra in particular, may also choose to extend lockdowns in their respective states.

10. This week, India registered 86,711 new cases of the viral disease, 8,314 cases or 10.35% higher than last week. Related fatalities were 660 this week, as against 637 from last week.

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