Bihar reports 12,948 new coronavirus infections, 76 deaths

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Patna, May 8 (PTI) Seventy six people, including a JD(U) legislator, on Saturday lost their lives to COVID-19, raising the death toll in Bihar to 3,215, the health department said.

According to the department, 12,948 people have tested positive since the previous day during which 14,902 recovered from the infection, resulting in a comforting decline in the active caseload which dropped by 2,000 and stood at 1.12 lakhs.

Those who died included Tanweer Akhtar, an MLC of the JD(U), who breathed his last at the IGIMS hospital here after testing positive for COVID-19.

He became the second member of the state legislature to have died of coronavirus in less than a month.

Less than a fortnight ago, BJP MLC Harinarayan Chaudhary had succumbed to COVID-19.

The raging second wave also recently led to the death of the states top bureaucrat, the then chief secretary Arun Kumar Singh, a lung cancer patient who ended up contracting the contagion while suffering from the co-morbidity.

Although the mortality rate in Bihar, which is under complete lockdown till May 15, is lower than in many other states, a more than two-fold increase in the death toll in a month has caused panic.

Condoling Akhtars death, the chief minister announced that the MLCs last rites will be performed with full state honours.

The chief minister also held, via video conferencing, a meeting to review preparations for vaccination of those aged between 18 and 44 years which is to commence in the state from Saturday.

Altogether 79.27 lakh people have received Covaxin or Covishield jabs in the state so far. These include people aged 45 years and above besides health workers and frontline workers of all age groups.

The total number of people infected by the coronavirus in the state, since March last year, is 58.02 lakhs and out of them 46.40 lakh have so far recovered, says the health department. PTI NAC MM MM