India reported 11,109 new Covid infections on a 24-hour basis — the highest in over 236 days — while deaths jumped to 29, according to data released by the Health Ministry on Friday. However, people continue to shop, travel and mingle with each other with no fresh restrictions being imposed by the Centre and State governments.
Signs of what the Ministry described as Covid-19 entering the ‘endemic stage’ are visible with no rush to hospitalised or any uptick in demand for vaccination. Vaccine off-take continues to remain below average, with just 467 doses being administered on a 24-hour basis. Stocks remain low and many vaccine makers have also curtailed production because of poor demand.
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This is despite the daily increase in the number of cases, to the tune of 10 per cent. Active cases rose to 49,622 as of Friday. The daily positivity rate was at 5.01 per cent while the weekly positivity rate was pegged at 4.29 per cent. Death toll climbed to 5,31,06.
Haryana and Puducherry are the only two regions to have brought back the mask mandate. Most markets, malls and public places remain bustling with shoppers even as States like Kerala, Delhi, Haryana and Maharashtra reported a steep rise in cases.
Officials across airlines — both full service carriers and low cost ones — told businessline, “Forward booking trends are on the rise and there has been no uptick in end-minute cancellations so far.” As of April 13, the departing passenger count was 4,26,039, according to the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s website.
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Online travel agencies like ixigo and Cleartrip continue to offer flexible bookings and complete refund in case of cancellations — which have remained popular options. “Travel demand continues to be buoyant with no cancellations or dip in bookings as of now. Inbound and outbound travel is on full swing,” said Sabina Chopra, COO, Corporate Travel and Head Industry Relations, Yatra.com.
The domestic travel market is also “booming”, due to events like the IPL, G20 summits and so on, said Nishant Pitti, CEO and co-founder, EaseMyTrip, adding that summer travel sentiments continue to be postive. “The lack of cancellations, amid the current scenario, signals a strong desire to travel,” Prahlad Krishnamurti, Chief Business Officer, Cleartrip, said.