Coronavirus: India is the second most affected country in the world due to COVID-19 after the US.
India recorded less than 40,000 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, government COVID-19 data shows. The number of fresh infections was 7 per cent lower than yesterday's, taking India's Covid tally past the 94-lakh mark.With a one-day jump of 38,772 fresh COVID-19 cases and 443 deaths, India's total cases of coronavirus shot to 94.31 lakh with 1,37,139 deaths, so far. In this period, 45,333 people also recovered from the highly infectious disease, taking the number of overall recoveries to 88.47 lakh. Total active cases now stand at around 4.46 lakh.
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Highest number of daily infections was reported from Kerala and Maharashtra, both with around 5,500 cases each, followed by Delhi with 4,900 cases. West Bengal continued to log around 3,500 daily cases followed by Rajasthan with about 2,500 cases. Together these states account for 57 per cent of all new infections in India.
Kerala - which saw 5,643 fresh infections - has the second highest number of active cases in India at 64,719, right behind Maharashtra's almost 92,000 cases and above Delhi's 35,091. Past its delayed peak, the state's Covid death rate is less than the national average of about 1.5 per cent.
Delhi reported less than 5,000 coronavirus cases for the second consecutive day on Sunday with relatively low at 68 -- the last time the national capital reported lower deaths was on November 7. The figures bring relief to the authorities that have been fighting an unprecedented surge in infections which shot past the 8,600-peak on November 10.
To retain the gains made, the government of Delhi, where 50 per cent hospitals beds for Covid patients are available, issued work-from-home orders for 50 per cent of its employees "till December 31 or till further orders, whichever is earlier". Private offices have been advised to stagger timings and follow work-from-home as far as possible.
The government in Rajasthan, which has seen a renewed rise in infections after Diwali fuelled by record weddings, has imposed a night curfew from 8 pm to 6 am within urban limits of 13 district headquarter towns of Kota, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Udaipur, Ajmer, Alwar, Bhilwara, Nagore, Pali, Tonk, Sikar and Ganganagar from December 1 to 31. All markets, workplaces and commercial complexes will be closed by 7 pm.
Covid infection surge is also being recorded in Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana with 1,000-1,500 daily infections.
Amid the race for a coronavirus vaccine and apprehensions about a stronger second wave, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with three teams - Gennova Biopharma, Biological E and Dr Reddy's - involved in developing COVID-19 vaccines via video conferencing today.
Ten COVID-19 vaccines could be available by the middle of next year if they win regulatory approval, but their inventors need patent protection, the head of the global pharmaceutical industry group said on Friday.
New York City in USA, which logged more than 40 lakh new COVID-19 infections and over 35,000 coronavirus-related deaths in November alone, said public schools will begin to reopen for in-person learning on December 7 with weekly testing. Decision was taken after people were frustrated to see schools close down again while gyms and restaurants were allowed to operate.
A Singaporean woman, who was infected with the novel coronavirus in March when she was pregnant, has given birth to a baby with antibodies against the virus, offering a new clue as to whether the infection can be transferred from mother to child. The World Health Organisation says it is not yet known whether a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus to her foetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery.