Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on the need for creating micro-containment zones and extensive testing as a means to combat the second wave of Coronavirus, which pushed up the daily surge figures to 1.26 lakh in 24 hours. The state governments, he said, should not cut corners when it comes to this, he said.

“Our emphasis should be on micro-containment zone, we have to keep the maximum focus on it,” he said at a meeting of chief ministers called this evening to review the Covid situation in the country. Today the country logged its highest ever 24-hour surge figure of 1.26 lakh.

“The world has also accepted the night curfew. Curfew makes people remember that they are living in the age of Corona. It is good that we promote night curfew as ‘Corona Curfew’. This will not affect work too much,” the Prime Minister said.

Setting a target of 70 per cent RT-PCR tests for the states, PM Modi said this is the only way to identify and fight the virus.

“Proactive testing is very important… Now more cases are asymptomatic. People feel that they have some mild pulmonary disease and then they infect the whole family,” he said, adding, “Testing and tracing is the most important thing right now and we have to bring the positivity rate below 5 per cent”.

India’s total Covid tally is over 1.29 crore, making it the third worst-hit after the USA and Brazil, said the Union health ministry.

Ten states including Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala and Punjab have shown a steep rise in the daily Covid-19 cases accounting for 84.21 per centof the new cases. Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee did not attend the virtual meeting with Prime Minister Modi. Banerjeee said will be busy campaigning for the ongoing Assembly elections in the state, the sources said.

Kerala CM tests Covid positive:

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday. The chief minister was confirmed with Covid while he was staying in quarantine at his residence in in his native village in Kannur.

NZ suspends travel from India:

New Zealand has for the first time imposed a temporary ban on travellers coming from India, including its citizens, from 11 to 28 April due to a surge in Covid cases among visitors to this country, PM Jacinda Ardern said.

The restriction comes after NZ recorded 23 new positive coronavirus cases in managed isolation, of which 17 came from India.

Delhi cases jump to 7,437; deaths count 24: In a huge coronavirus spike, Delhi today recorded 7,437 fresh Covid cases, the highest single- day surge this year so far, while 24 more people died due to the contagious, deadly virus.