Here are the top 10 updates on coronavirus:
India's Covid fatalities now stand at 4,00,312 with the addition of 853 deaths in the last 24 hours. The last 1,00,000 deaths were reported in just 39 days, according to a Reuters tally. India, however, has the lowest deaths per million population among the top 10 countries.
India's Covid chart continued to show improvement today, with the country recording 46,617 cases, a marginal drop of four per cent from yesterday. The country's test positivity rate (positive cases identified for every 100 tests) has been below the five per cent-mark for the 25th straight day now.
Active cases have decreased by 13,620 in the last 24 hours to take the tally to 5.09 lakh, comprising 1.67 per cent of the infections. Recoveries have been outnumbering the daily new cases for the 50th consecutive day now. The national recovery rate has crossed 97 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry.
Kerala contributed 12,868 cases to the country's daily numbers. It was followed by Maharashtra (9,195 cases) and Tamil Nadu (4,481 cases). Delhi recorded 91 new cases on Thursday with a positivity rate of 0.12 per cent.
Despite the population pressure, India's per lakh population rate of infection and death rate has still been manageable compared with more developed countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing doctors on the occasion of National Doctors' Day on Thursday. This was possible because the government gave paramount importance to healthcare infrastructure to combat the pandemic, he said.
While India is seeing a downward curve in Covid cases, reports of Delta Plus variant in at least 12 states has led to fresh concerns among health officials. Delta strain was classified as a "variant of concern" by the government last month as it warned states to be on guard.
Globally, more than 12 countries have detected Delta Plus cases. In the US, the Delta variant is the second most prevalent coronavirus mutation and is predicted to become the predominant one in the coming weeks, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky.
The World Health Organisation, however, said that the Delta Plus variant is not presently a "variant of concern" for the World Health Body. WHO Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan told NDTV that Delta Plus variant is not of concern as its infection numbers are still low.
Scientists and vaccine makers have been crafting updated versions of their anti-Covid shots to directly target emerging variants like Delta variants, which have been significantly more transmissible than the original virus that first emerged in China in late 2019.
Johnson & Johnson said on Thursday that its single-shot coronavirus vaccine was effective against the fast-spreading delta variant. The company said in a statement that recipients of its vaccine neutralised the delts variant within 29 days of a first dose.