Here's your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:
The country now has a total of 84,62,080 coronavirus cases with 1,25,562 overall Covid-linked deaths since January 30, when India reported its first COVID-19 case.
The death rate has hovered around the 1.5 per cent mark since the mid-September surge, but the daily deaths have reduced from 1,100 a day to about 500 a day.
However, the one-day positivity rate rose marginally to 4.5 per cent based on the almost 11 lakh tests conducted in the last 24 hours.
Delhi, which is in the middle of a third wave of Covid infections, recorded 7,178 cases in a day - the highest in the country in this period. For last three days, Delhi had been reporting over 6,000 coronavirus cases daily. The second-biggest spike in cases was on November 4, when the city reported 6,842 cases.
The national capital was followed by Kerala (7,002), Maharashtra (6,870), West Bengal with almost 4,000 cases - a one-day tally it has maintained for a few weeks, and Karnataka (2,960). Together these states account for 50 per cent of all cases in India
Maharashtra, the country's worst hit state with overall 17 lakh cases, continued to report the highest one-day deaths as 161 Covid patients lost their lives in the last 24 hours. It was followed by Delhi with 64 deaths, West Bengal (55), Chhattisgarh (52) and Karnataka (35), which together account for 63 per cent of all deaths.
Delhi's rising positivity rate - 12.2 per cent - and deaths have worried experts amid severe pollution - 45 per cent of which is being attributed to stubble burning in neighbouring states.
Poor air quality is an important cofactor increasing the risk of mortality from COVID-19 by 15 worldwide, as per latest research, the National Green Tribunal was informed in a case related to ban on fire crackers.
Amid rising concerns of a second, more severe national wave of coronavirus infections in the winter, several states including Delhi, Karnataka, Odisha, Sikkim, Rajasthan and West Bengal have banned firecrackers ahead of Diwali.
India remains the second worst-hit nation after USA, which saw record 1,27,000 new coronavirus cases in a day. The country has more than 97 lakh Covid cases and more than 236,000 coronavirus-related fatalities.