The next highest caseload reported by a state on Wednesday — Punjab at 2,039 cases — is lower than that of Maharashtra cities such as Nagpur, Pune and Mumbai. Punjab is the only major state where the death rate in the second round of infections is higher than in the first. For the last two days, Punjab has been reporting the second-highest number of deaths in the country, after much bigger Maharashtra. The state reported 38 deaths on Tuesday and 35 on Wednesday.

As many as 70 districts have reported a 150 per cent increase in the number of cases over the past few weeks, Prime Minister Modi told a virtual meeting of Chief Ministers on Wednesday. Amid the spike, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged states to take “quick and decisive steps” to stop the emerging “second peak” of the Covid-19 pandemic. For the first time since vaccination was opened up for the general public at the beginning of the month, the Prime Minister flagged multiple concerns emerging from the inoculation drive.

In other news, the unemployment rate in Delhi six months post-pandemic, rose to 28.5 per cent in October-November 2020 compared with 11.1 per cent in January-February, according to a Delhi government-commissioned survey accessed by The Indian Express.