New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: India reported over 2.59 lakh fresh COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours which pushed the country's caseload to over 15.3 million. Meanwhile, 1,761 deaths in the same time span accounted for the highest-ever single-day spike in terms of deaths due to the pathogen. 

With the country reporting over 2.5 lakh infections for four consecutive days, the active caseload has now crossed the 2-lakh mark - the highest ever recorded active caseload in a given period of time since the start of the pandemic last year. Also, the death toll of the country now stands at 1,80,530. 

The current surge in active cases came within 10 days as the country's active cases reached the 20-lakh mark in just 10 days since it crossed the 10-lakh mark. India had crossed the 10-lakh mark of active cases on April 10.

While Delhi reported over 23,000 cases in the last 24 hours along with a record 240 deaths, Maharashtra a dip in its daily count by recording 58,924 fresh infections and 351 deaths, a day after logging the highest 68,631 COVID-19 cases.

Amid the frightening spike in daily coronavirus cases and deaths, several states have imposed lockdowns and other restrictions like weekend curfews and night curfews. Delhi on Monday announced a week-long lockdown while Maharshtra, which is already under a lockdown-like curfew, continues to look into the possibility of imposing a strict lockdown across the state. 

Uttar Pradesh, which logged over 28,000 cases in the last 24 hours, refused to follow Allahabad High Court directions to impose lockdown in five cities - Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Kanpur, Gorakhpur - from Monday night till April 26 - in view of the rapid daily increase in coronavirus cases. 

Meanwhile, the central government announced on Monday that everyone above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 from May 1. Vaccination will continue as before in the government of India vaccination centres free of cost to the eligible population -- healthcare and frontline workers and all people above 45 years of age.

The Health Ministry said the important decision to allow vaccination to everyone above the age of 18 from May 1 was taken in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta