India Reports Less Than 30,000 Daily COVID-19 Cases After 132 Days

Coronavirus India Update: There are currently 3.98 lakh active COVID-19 cases in India - the lowest since March 25, when there were 3.95 lakh cases

India Coronavirus Cases: India has reported over 3.1 crore Covid cases since the pandemic began (File)

New Delhi: 29,689 new COVID-19 cases and 415 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours. This is the first time in 132 days that daily cases have dipped below 30,000, and it is 9,672 fewer than was reported on Monday. 17.2 lakh samples were tested on July 26.

Here are the top 10 points in this big story:

  1. Active cases have dropped below the four lakh-mark for the first time in 124 days. There are 3.98 lakh active cases - the lowest since March 25, when there were 3.95 lakh. These fell by 13,089 today - after 42,263 people recovered from the infection.

  2. The weekly positivity rate is 2.33 per cent and the daily rate is 1.73 per cent. Both remain well below the established danger mark of five per cent. The overall (seven-day moving) average since April 23, however, remains worryingly high at 6.9 per cent.

  3. The 'R' value is also worryingly high. The latest data indicates it is 0.99 - nearly at the danger mark of 1.0. Equally worrying is the steady increase over the past few weeks - from 0.85 four weeks to 0.95 last week. An 'R' of 1.0 means one person will, on average, infect one other person. It needs to be below that mark to slow a pandemic.

  4. Kerala reported 11,586 new cases and 135 virus-linked deaths - the most among all states and UTs in the past 24 hours. The southern state is now India's worst affected with 1.37 lakh active cases. Earlier this month scientists from Chennai red-flagged Kerala's increasing 'R' value, which briefly crossed the 1.0 mark and remains close to that level.

  5. The increase in cases in Kerala takes place after the government relaxed lockdown for three days to allow people to celebrate Eid. The decision was criticised by the Supreme Court, which declined to overturn the order because two days had already passed. Earlier the court said Uttar Pradesh could not hold the Kanwar Yatra.

  6. Maharashtra - which was the epicentre of the pandemic in India - reported fewer than 5,000 cases and only 53 deaths in 24 hours. Active cases in the state are now 92,088 - a steady decline from the seven lakh in end-April and the lowest since early March.

  7. There is an increase in cases in the northeast - fuelled by the 'delta' variant. Assam reported 1,528 new cases, Manipur 989, Meghalaya 569, Arunachal Pradesh 490 and Tripura 458. Several states have issued fresh lockdown orders to contain infections.

  8. 44.19 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far; over 66 lakh were given on Monday. Of these, around 19.78 lakh were second doses. The daily numbers are still a long way shy of those needed to inoculate all Indian adults by end-2021. There is hope, though - the seven-day average has risen from 20.98 lakh on July 15 to 27.67 today.

  9. Vaccine stocks, unfortunately, remain a problematic issue. On Monday Kerala Health Minister Veena George said officials had to stop vaccination in several districts because of a lack of doses. Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha had zero Covishield doses, and supplies are not expected before July 29.

  10. A report by Reuters identified the 'delta' variant as the "fastest, fittest and most formidable" version of the coronavirus so far. The major worry is that it spreads far more easily and increases need for hospitalisation among the unvaccinated. Evidence is also mounting that it is capable of infecting fully vaccinated people, experts have said.

With input from Reuters