Coronavirus cases in India are surging rapidly: in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry reported 93,249 new cases and 513 deaths. New Delhi along with the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh account for 82 percent of India’s Covid-19 total cases.
Four days after India kick started the third phase of its vaccination rollout, a community of goldsmiths in the state of Gujarat is offering gold nose pins and regular hand blenders in a bid to encourage people to get inoculated, ANI reported on Sunday.
— Radhika Parashar (@_RadhikaReports) April 4, 2021
Netizens have reacted to the gesture of the Rajkot goldsmiths, with many saying they’re keen to get the jab in the city in return for freebie jewellery and kitchen gadgets.
— Pravir Arora (@arora_pravir) April 4, 2021
— Kalinga2020 (@kalinga2020) April 4, 2021
Wow! Great move to encourage people. https://t.co/y7QSCaH8wN
— Abhay Upadhyay (@abhaykol) April 4, 2021
Several people, however, aren’t so positive about the offer, slamming it as a form of bribery amid a pandemic that’s killed over two million people globally, according to real time statistics tracker Worldometer.
— SwissAlps🇮🇳 (@SwissAlps5) April 4, 2021
— Kaushik (@ancient_ruuh) April 4, 2021
Gujarat recorded 2,815 new infections on 3 April – the highest daily figure since the beginning of the COVID outbreak. The worst affected cities in the state are Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, and Rajkot, government data shows.
The first two vaccination drives in India that started on 1 February and 1 March respectively prioritised healthcare workers and senior citizens over the age of 65. On 1 April the third phase started as people aged 45 and above are now being offered the vaccine.
In a bid to control the second wave, several states have issued curfews in cities where infection rates are surging. Along with restricting night time movement, several Indian cities are observing day-long lockdowns on Sundays.