Three of the hardest hit states in India reported significantly fewer coronavirus cases on Monday in a brief moment of relief that helped the country pare down a daily tally creeping towards 50,000 over the last week.
Delhi reported a 42 per cent drop in coronavirus cases over the previous day - from 1,075 to 613, Andhra Pradesh 20 per cent - from 7,627 to 6,051 and Maharashtra 16 per cent - from 9,431 to 7,924, data showed. The trend, however, reversed on Tuesday in Delhi and Andhra Pradesh which reported 1,056 and 7,948 new patients respectively as the country crossed 15 lakh coronavirus cases.
But on Monday, the numbers helped India bring down its single-day increase in COVID-19 cases to 47,703, according to the Union Health Ministry.
The ministry also noted that India's COVID-19 fatality rate has been progressively falling from 3.33 per cent on June 18 to 2.25 per cent currently.
"India continues its march as a country with one of the lowest fatality rates in the world," it said while underlining that the achievement was a result of effective implementation of containment strategy combined with house-to-house surveys, aggressive testing and standardised clinical management protocols based on holistic standard of care approach.
For the fifth day in a row, India has seen more than 30,000 recoveries per day, the ministry said.
However, despite the encouraging numbers, the rate at which the infection is spreading in the country remained far higher than US and Brazil - the two worst-hit nations in the world and the only ones currently above India in total cases.
A seven-day moving average of the daily rise in coronavirus cases showed India increasing its tally at 3.6 per cent on Tuesday, significantly higher than US at 1.7 per cent and Brazil at 2.4 per cent.
If the rate is not brought down, India risks crossing the US as the country with the highest number of cases in little over two months.