The Reportage

India: 54,366 test positive, 690 die in past 24 hours

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New Delhi: India recorded 54,366 fresh cases of COVID-19 during the past 24 hours, pushing the country’s overall caseload to 77.61 lakh while the death toll soared to 1,17,306 with 690 fresh fatalities.

According to the Union Health Ministry, the active cases saw a drop of 20,303 and currently stood at 6,95,509.

Of the fresh fatalities, maximum 198 were reported from Maharashtra, 74 from Karnataka, 64 from West Bengal, 52 from Chhattisgarh, 45 from Tamil Nadu, 35 each from Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, 23 from Kerala, 16 from Andhra Pradesh and 14 from Haryana.

The front-line medics were able to save 73,979 more lives, taking the total recovery count till now to 69,48,497 which is 89.53 per cent of the caseload. The fatality rate stands at 1.51 per cent.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the country achieved a remarkable milestone of 10 crore tests for Covid19. As many as 14,42,722 samples were tested on Thursday, taking the total cumulative samples tested since the beginning of the pandemic to 10,01,13,085.

On Thursday, India’s Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI’s) Subject Expert Committee (SEC) granted permission to conduct Phase III clinical trials for Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin.

Meanwhile, DCGI also granted permission to pharmaceutical giant Dr Reddy’s Laboratories for conducting tests of Russian Sputnik V vaccine. The vaccine will be tested in India on 100 volunteers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been constantly urging the citizens to strictly follow the COVID-19 guidelines. In a televised address to the nation on Tuesday, Mr Modi appealed to all the countrymen to wear masks while out of homes, regularly wash hands and maintain social distancing as, according to him, the lockdown was over but the virus was not over yet.

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