India added 1.14 lakh new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours while deaths from COVID-19 rose by 2,667.The country’s overall case load now stands at 2.88 crore, while total fatalities are at 3.46 lakh, according to the health ministry.
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India’s active caseload dropped to 14.77 lakh, with 1.89 lakh people recovering from the infection in the last 24 hours. The daily recoveries in the country have been outnumbering the daily cases for 24th consecutive day now.
About 20 lakh tests were conducted on Saturday taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far to 36,47,46,522, while the daily positivity has further declined to 5.62 per cent . It has been less than 10 per cent for 13 consecutive days, the ministry said.
With the addition of 13,659 coronavirus cases, the infection count in Maharashtra, the worst-hit state, has risen to over 58.19 lakh. The recovery rate in the state reached 95.01 per cent while the case fatality rate dropped to 1.71 per cent.
After Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh have the highest number of infections.
In Tamil Nadu, the government has extended the COVID-19 lockdown for another week with two sets of relaxations for 11 hotspot districts and the rest of the state. The lockdown, set to end on Monday, will now be in place till June 14.
Meanwhile in Delhi – which reported 414 new cases of COVID-19, the lowest since March 15 – Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced that markets and shopping malls in the city will be allowed to open on an odd-even basis, similar to the strategy employed to beat air pollution in the national capital.
More than 23 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far in India under the mega inoculation plan. However, states continue to face shortage of the two vaccines currently being used.
The centre, meanwhile, has defended its liberalised vaccine policy, saying that the Liberalised Vaccine policy that came into effect from May 1 reduces the “operational stress” on state-run vaccination facilities. The media reports suggesting inequities in distribution of doses were “inaccurate and speculative in nature”, it said.
The Haryana government said on Saturday that a company based in Malta has expressed interest to supply up to 60 million doses of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V to the state. The foreign company offered to sell the vaccine at ₹ 1,120 per dose, the state government said in a statement.
India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19. India crossed the grim milestone of 2 crore on May 4.