Here are the top 10 updates on coronavirus in India:
Kerala contributed 19,675 fresh cases and 142 deaths, which took the caseload to 45,59,628 and fatalities to 24,039. The number of people who recovered from the infection since Tuesday was 19,702. There are currently 4,81,195 people under surveillance in various districts, of whom 4,57,822 are in home or institutional quarantine and 23,373 in hospitals.
With 3,608 new cases, Maharashtra's infection tally has risen to 65,31,237. The state also reported 48 fresh virus-related deaths, taking the total number of dead to 1,38,664. Maharashtra now has 39,984 active cases.
The active cases comprise for 0.90 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March last year, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.77 per cent, the highest since March 2020, the Union Health Ministry said.
The daily positivity rate - number of positive cases identified per 100 - stands at 2.09 per cent. It has been less than three per cent for last 23 days.
83.39 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far under nationwide vaccination drive.
The families of those who die of Covid will receive ₹ 50,000 ex gratia from the state governments, the Centre has told the Supreme Court. Significantly, compensation will be paid against not only for deaths that have already occurred but for future ones, too, the top court was told.
India has recorded over 4.45 lakh Covid-related deaths since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. Some states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Delhi have already announced compensation for families who have lost members to Covid.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called for international travel to be made easier, through "mutual recognition of vaccine certificates", amid a row with the UK over fully-vaccinated Indians still having to quarantine. Even though Covishield is now an approved vaccine on the UK's revised guidelines for travel, because of "vaccination certification issues", Indians are still required to quarantine.
The United States on Wednesday authorized the use of boosters of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine for people aged over 65, as well as adults at high risk of severe disease and those in high-exposure jobs. The announcement means a significant part of the population -- amounting to tens of millions of Americans -- are now eligible for a third shot six months after their second.
The coronavirus has killed at least 4,705,691 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019. The US is the worst-affected country with 678,420 deaths, followed by Brazil with 591,540, India with 4,46,050, Mexico with 272,580 and Russia with 200,625.
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