- The number of deaths in India is now the sixth-biggest in the world
- In the last 24 hours, there have been 740 coronavirus-linked deaths
- The country's COVID-19 tally touched the 10 lakh-mark last Friday
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In the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry recorded 740 coronavirus-linked deaths. This is the second consecutive day that the country reported a record surge in the number of patients. Yesterday morning, the government said that 45,720 fresh infections and 1,129 deaths were registered in the previous 24 hours.
The number of coronavirus cases in India have doubled in nearly three weeks since July 2 when the country crossed the six lakh-mark. The country's Covid tally touched the 10 lakh-mark last Friday. Since then, around three lakh new infections have been reported.
In Telangana, a top health official has hinted at community transmission. "The next four to five weeks are going to be very crucial and people must exercise utmost care and not neglect symptoms," Dr G Srinivasa Rao, Telangana's Director of Public Health, said. Telangana Health Minister Etala Rajender, however, has denied it.
At 864 cases and less than 21 deaths per million population, India has one of the world's lowest COVID-19 infection and death rate, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said today, underlining that the recovery rate among coronavirus-infected patients in the country is 63.45 per cent and mortality is 2.3 per cent.
"The consecutive lockdowns provided India with much required time and opportunity to build up on technical knowhow, laboratory capacities, hospital infrastructure and also to build up its pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions," Harsh Vardhan said at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Health Ministers' online meeting.
The first phase of human clinical trial of India's homemade vaccine against coronavirus, Covaxin, began at AIIMS in Delhi today, with the first dose of the injection given to a man in his 30s, news agency PTI reported.
Already, over 3,500 volunteers have registered themselves for the trial at AIIMS since last Saturday, of whom the screening of at least 22 people is underway, said Dr Sanjay Rai, Professor at the Centre for Community Medicine at AIIMS and the principal investigator of the study.
In the second phase, 750 people will be recruited between 12 and 65 years old, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria had said.
"The first volunteer, a resident of Delhi, was screened two days ago and all his health parameters were found to be within the normal range. He also does not have any co-morbid conditions. The first dose of 0.5 ml intramuscular injection was given to him around 1.30 pm. No immediate side-effects have been observed so far. He was under observation for two hours and will be monitored for the next seven days," Dr Rai said.
Worldwide, over 1.54 crore people have been affected by coronavirus so far; 6.32 lakh have died. The United States - epicentre of the pandemic - has logged over 40 lakh cases so far. Of these, 26.56 lakh are active cases. 1.44 lakh people have died.