Here are the top 10 developments on coronavirus cases in India
Daily Covid deaths spiked today after Kerala added 292 fatalities from earlier periods; minus that the southern state reported 271 deaths in the past 24 hours. India has reported over 4.53 lakh COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began. Daily cases remain well below 50,000 (for 118 consecutive days) and 30,000 (for 29 consecutive days).
Red flags have been raised, though, over a spurt in cases in Bengal following Durga Puja celebrations; cases have increased from 451 to 833 in a seven-day period. Experts are particularly concerned because several of the new cases are asymptomatic, suggesting more may be infected Over the past 24 hours the state logged 846 cases.
Kerala reported over 9,000 cases in 24 hours. Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu each reported over 1,000. The other major contributor to daily new cases was Mizoram with 745 reported. These four have the highest active caseloads among all states.
Overall, active cases are now approximately 0.51 per cent of total infections - the lowest since March last year. The recovery rate is 98.16 per cent - the highest since the same time. There were 17,677 recoveries over the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry said.
As active caseloads drop states continue to slowly re-open; Maharashtra has said cinema halls, theatres, and auditoriums can open with 50 per cent capacity. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the limit could be raised if things were under control after Diwali
Over 68.48 lakh vaccine doses were administered in the past 24 hours. According to CoWIN nearly 40 lakh of these were the second of the two required doses. The total number of vaccines administered in the country is more than 101.3 crore.
India administered its billionth vaccine on Thursday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing the nation a day after, said it was "not just a number" but the symbol of the country's ability and of a "new India". India's critics had been silenced, the PM said.
The opposition Congress, however, has accused the Prime Minister of misleading the country. The party pointed to data that says only 21 per cent has been fully vaccinated - a far cry from the government's promise of vaccinating 60 per cent by December.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates yesterday congratulated India on administering over 100 crore, or 1 billion, vaccine doses. Mr Gates called it "a testament to India's innovation, ability to manufacture at scale, and the efforts of millions of health workers".
On the subject of vaccines, the World Health Organization has still not granted Bharat Biotech an EUL, or emergency use listing, which is needed for other countries to recognise Covaxin as a valid COVID-19 vaccine. A top WHO official was quoted by PTI as saying the process sometimes takes time and it wanted to be absolutely sure.
With input from PTI
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