New Delhi:

Maharashtra, Punjab, Kerala, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, and Gujarat are reporting a surge in daily coronavirus cases, accounting for 80.63 percent of the new COVID-19 infections, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.

The three states of Maharashtra, Kerala, and Punjab also account for 74.32 percent of total active cases in the country which has increased to 3.95 lakh and comprises 3.35 percent of the total infections.

India added over one lakh coronavirus infections in just two days with 53,476 new cases in a span of 24 hours, the highest single day rise so far this year, pushing the nationwide COVID-19 tally of cases to 1,17,87,534, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

A total of 53,476 new cases have been reported in a span of 24 hours, the highest single-day rise so far this year.

Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 31,855 (59.57 percent). It is followed by Punjab with 2,613 while Kerala reported 2,456 new cases, the ministry said.

Ten states including Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh are displaying an upward trajectory in daily new cases, it highlighted.

India's total COVID-19 active caseload has increased to 3,95,192. A net rise of 26,735 cases is recorded from the total active caseload in a span of 24 hours.

''Three states, Maharashtra, Kerala, and Punjab, account for 74.32 percent of total active cases in the country. Maharashtra alone accounts for 62.91 percent of the total active cases in the country,'' the ministry underlined.

The ministry also said that over 5.31 crore vaccine doses have been administered through 8,61,292 sessions.

These include 79,80,849 HCWs (1st dose), 50,61,790 HCWs (2nd dose), 84,78,478 FLWs (1st dose) and 3 2,37,381 FLWs (2nd Dose), 51,31,949 beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific co-morbidities (1st Dose) and 2,32,55,262 beneficiaries aged more than 60 years.

As of day-68 of the vaccination drive (March 24), more than 23 lakh (23,03,305) vaccine doses were given. Out of which, 21,13,323 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 38,243 sessions for 1st dose and 1,89,982 HCWs and FLWs received the 2nd dose of vaccine.

The ministry said that 60 percent of the cumulative doses (5,31,45,709) have been given in eight states –Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra.

India's cumulative recoveries stand at 1,12,31,650 with 26,490 recoveries being registered in a span of 24 hours. The gap between total recovered cases and the active cases stands at 10,836,458 as of date, the ministry stated.

Also, 251 deaths were reported in a span of 24 hours.

Six states account for 78.49 percent of the daily deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (95). Punjab follows with 39 daily deaths and Chhattisgarh reported 29 deaths in a span of 24 hours.

Fourteen states and UTs have not reported any COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours. These are Jammu and Kashmir, Goa, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Ladakh (UT), Sikkim, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland.

The active caseload registered an increase for the 15th day in row and was recorded at 3,95,192 comprising 3.35 per cent of the total infections, while the recovery rate has further dropped to 95.28 per cent, the data stated.

The daily rise in infections was the highest recorded in 153 days. The death toll increased to 1,60,692 with 251 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.

As many as 54,366 new infections were recorded in a span of 24 hours on October 23.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,12,31,650, while the case fatality rate has further dropped to 1.36 per cent, the data stated.

India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16.It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.

According to the ICMR, 23,75,03,882 samples have been tested up to March 24 with 10,65,021 samples being tested on Wednesday.

The 251 new fatalities include 95 from Maharashtra, 39 Punjab, 29 from Chhattisgarh, 12 each from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and 10 from Kerala.

A total of 1,60,692 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 53,684 from Maharashtra, 12,630 from Tamil Nadu, 12,461 from Karnataka, 10,973 from Delhi, 10,312 from West Bengal, 8,769 from Uttar Pradesh and 7,197 from Andhra Pradesh.

The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.