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Almost 39,000 people recovered from the viral disease over the past day. There are now 3,96,729 active cases of coronavirus. More than 91,39,901 people have recovered from COVID-19 in India till now.
The daily Covid case count was 8% lower than yesterday's as the testing dipped on Sunday against the 11 lakh samples tested on Saturday.
Despite low testing, the daily national positivity rose to 4.1 per cent. This comes amid continued strict containment measures across states in the winter months, when the COVID-19 infection spreads more easily. Experts have also urged caution against laxity warning of a surge more acute than September's when daily cases touched about 90,000 and active cases shot to 10.17 lakh on September 18.
Many smaller states where infection rate spiked in the run up to festivals in November have imposed night curfews for most part of December. These states are: Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.
In the last 24 hours, highest number of cases - around 4,700 - were logged in Kerala and Maharashtra, followed by West Bengal with almost 3,100 cases, Delhi and Rajasthan at about 2,000 cases each.
Delhi, where the daily cases have started to decline after its peak of 8,600 in mid-November, recorded highest deaths with 69 fatalities. Next was West Bengal with 46 deaths, followed by Maharashtra (40), Kerala (28), and Uttar Pradesh and Haryana with 24 deaths each.
World's largest vaccine maker - the Serum Institute of India - has sought approval for emergency use of its coronavirus vaccine that it is developing with the University of Oxford and British drugmaker AstraZeneca.
Punjab, where the Covid-linked death rate has remained higher than rest of India for months, has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure priority allocation of COVID-19 vaccine to the state. The state also has high levels of co-morbidities in its population.
Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine was administered to 17 volunteers at a Pune hospital as part of the human clinical trials. Sputnik V vaccine has been developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology and Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). According to reports, India has purchased 100 million doses of the candidate.
The United Nations has warned that the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has affected more than 6.7 crore people since it broke out in China last December, could push an additional 207 million people into extreme poverty by 2030 due to the severe long-term impact.