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Nearly 22 lakh new Covid cases have been recorded from across the country so far this month. In that same time around 19.8 lakh people have been declared cured - leading to a net increase of around 2.2 lakh cases in September. Around 27,800 people have died this month alone.
Overall India has 58.18 lakh coronavirus cases so far, of which 92,290 are deaths and 9.7 lakh are active cases. Only the United States, with around 40.6 lakh, has more active Covid infections than India.
India does, however, lead the world in Covid recoveries, with 47.56 lakh people discharged after treatment. Brazil is second on the list with around 41 lakh recoveries. The US, the worst-affected country, is third with 27.1 lakh recoveries.
The national recovery rate is 81.74 per cent, according to government data. The mortality rate remains below 1.6 per cent (1.58 per cent compared to 1.59 per cent on Thursday) and the positivity rate (or the percentage of tests that are positive) is 5.76 per cent. This is a significant drop from 8.02 per cent on Wednesday and 7.47 per cent on Thursday.
This morning the Union Health Ministry said that 75 per cent of all new cases in India were concentrated in 10 states or union territories. In a tweet the ministry said Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu were among those 10 states.
Maharashtra remains the worst-affected state with close to 13 lakh confirmed cases. Of these around 2.75 lakh are active cases and 34,345 are deaths linked to the virus. The number of Covid cases recorded over the past 24 hours in Maharashtra is 19,164.
Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu - worst-hit after Maharashtra - all saw over 5,000 new cases each in the past 24 hours. Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka recorded more than 7,000 each. The total number of cases in each state are 6.54 lakh (Karnataka), 5.64 lakh (Tamil Nadu) and 5.49 lakh (Andhra Pradesh). Of these states Karnataka has the highest active caseload with more than 95,000 cases. Andhra Pradesh is next with around 69,000 and Tamil Nadu third with 46,405.
On Thursday Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal declared that the national capital had seen off a second wave of Covid infections. Mr Kejriwal said "experts" feel Covid infections in Delhi had peaked. Delhi, which was at one time the second worst-affected region in the country, now has only 31,125 active cases of a total of 2.6 lakh infections.
On Wednesday scientists in the US released a study of more than 5,000 genetic sequences of the novel coronavirus, which reveals the virus's continual accumulation of mutations; one of these mutations may have made it more contagious. The study, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, did not, however, conclude that these mutations had made the virus deadlier.
The United Kingdom is planning to host clinical trials where volunteers are deliberately infected with the coronavirus to test the effectiveness of vaccine candidates, the Financial Times reported Wednesday, citing people involved in the project. The so-called "challenge trials" are expected to begin in January at a quarantine facility in London, with about 2,000 participants having signed up so far.
With inputs from Reuters