New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Maharashtra on Friday 773 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, its highest-ever single-day spike so far. In the same time, the state reported 66,836 fresh infections, which took the state's caseload to 41,61,676. The overall death toll of Maharastra now stands at 63,252. 

On the other hand, Delhi reported 24,331 fresh cases in the last 24 hours and a record 348 fatalities in the same time span. The national capital, where hospitals continue to struggle with increased demand of oxygen, now has 92,029 active cases. 

Meanwhile, a record single-day spike of 37,238 COVID-19 cases and 199 fatalities on Friday pushed Uttar Pradesh's infection tally to over 10 lakhs and the death toll due to the disease to 10,737. 

Lucknow reported the highest number of 5,682 fresh cases, followed by Kanpur (1,993), Allahabad (1,954), Varanasi (1,483), Meerut (1,361), Gautam Buddh Nagar (1,064) and others districts, the bulletin said.

Kerala continued to witness a spike in fresh COVID-19 infections adding 28,447 cases on Friday, the highest single day surge so far, pushing the caseload to 13,50,501, the state government said. 

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the toll has mounted to 5,055 with 27 additional deaths. The state has been witnessing a steep surge in cases with 26,995 cases being reported on Thursday, 22,414 cases on Wednesday and 19,577 on Tuesday.  

With India staring at an oxygen shortage and several hospitals scrambling for it including in Delhi, where 25 COVID patients died in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in a 24-hour span, the Indian Air Force Friday airlifted empty oxygen containers to various filling stations across the country, which recorded over 3 lakh new coronavirus cases for the second consecutive day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for utilising the industry's full potential to meet the demand of medical oxygen and said Railways and Air Force are being deployed to reduce the transportation time for oxygen tankers.

Besides oxygen tankers and containers, the IAF also airlifted doctors and nursing staff from Kochi, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and Bengaluru for various hospitals in Delhi, besides transporting essential medicines as well as equipment required by the designated COVID hospitals in various parts of the country.

India is struggling with a second wave of the coronavirus infection and hospitals in several states are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds in view of a rising number of cases.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta