March 24 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, CNN

Updated 3:17 AM ET, Thu March 25, 2021
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2:37 a.m. ET, March 24, 2021

India reports highest single-day Covid-19 death toll this year as country marks anniversary of first lockdown 

From CNN's Esha Mitra in New Delhi

India reported 275 deaths due to coronavirus on Wednesday, the highest number of fatalities in a single day since December 31, according to a CNN tally of figures from the Indian Ministry of Health.

The country also reported 47,262 new Covid-19 infections Wednesday, the highest single-day rise since November 12, bringing the total to 11,734,058 cases, including 160,441 deaths.

This comes as India marks one year since the first nationwide Covid-19 lockdown was imposed in the country, forcing its 1.3 billion people indoors. 

New rules: In light of the "fresh surge in cases in some parts of the country," the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday announced new Covid-19 control guidelines that will be in place until the end of April.

India has reported more than 35,000 new cases daily for seven consecutive days, according to CNN's tally of figures from the Ministry of Health. This rise follows a "sustained decline in the number of active cases, continuously for about 5 months," as per the MHA order.

Some of the measures outlined in the Tuesday order included quickly isolating positive cases and tracing contacts of Covid-positive patients within 72 hours.

According to the Ministry of Health on Tuesday, Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu accounted for 81% of new cases reported over the previous 24 hours. Parts of many of these states have imposed complete or partial lockdowns and night curfews in order to contain the spread of the virus.  

India has distributed more than 50 million vaccine doses since January 16 when it began vaccinating healthcare and frontline workers, as well as those over age 60 or above 45 with comorbidities. Everyone 45 or older will be included in the rollout from April 1, according to the Ministry of Health.