23,067 Fresh COVID-19 Cases In India, 6.6 Per Cent Lower Than Yesterday

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India continued to log more coronavirus recoveries than fresh COVID-19 infections, which rose by 23,067 in the last 24 hours, government data shows. Some 24,661 people fought off Covid in this period while 336 people died of the illnesses. With this, the country’s total coronavirus cases shot to one crore, one lakh and 46 thousand with 1,47,092 deaths, so far. Country’s active coronavirus cases – or those still receiving medical attention – dropped further to 2.81 lakh.

  1. Kerala, the country’s worst-hit state with more than 63,000 active Covid cases, has moved the Supreme Court against the High Court’s order which increased the number of devotees allowed to enter Sabarimala temple to 5,000 per day. The state has quoted central government guidelines and possible spread of UK’s coronavirus mutation to restrict daily visitors to 2,000 during pilgrimage season. In the last 24 hours, the state recorded 5,177 new infections with 22 deaths.
  2. In the past day, most Covid-related deaths were seen in Maharashtra – 89 – with 3,580 new cases, second highest in the country. The state has maximum overall Covid cases (19 lakh) and fatalities (49,058) in India.
  3. Other states with highest daily infections were West Bengal (1,590), Chhattisgarh (1,232) and Karnataka (1,143), which also removed an 11-5 night curfew within a day of announcing it citing “public feedback”.
  4. Despite logging high numbers, the positivity rate has been on a decline in Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal over the past month, a Health Ministry tweet shows. Though the tweet does not mention Delhi, the city-state’s positivity rate has also dropped from over 15 per cent in November to around 1 per cent now. 
  5. According to the ministry, over the past 12 days, India’s daily Covid infections have not exceeded 30,000, and recoveries have been higher than infections for at least 28 days.
  6. New and more aggressive strains of coronavirus, detected separately, in UK and South Africa have threatened to undo the advancements made in containing the pandemic in India, which along with a host of nations – latest being China – has banned all flights from Britain, including Vande Bharat repatriation flights.
  7. Coronavirus mutations identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa have provoked alarm, but infectious-disease experts are optimistic the new variants are still vulnerable to the newly authorized vaccines. Even if the virus were to mutate further, a tweaking of the vaccines could be done “in minutes,” said Drew Weissman, a professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and one of the inventors of the messenger RNA technology that powers the vaccines.
  8. Amid announcements of India possibly starting vaccination by January, the Centre has chosen Punjab to conduct a dry run of COVID-19 vaccine on December 28 and 29, state Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said on Thursday. He said the drive is proposed to be conducted in four states– Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat and Punjab.
  9. So far, highest number of vaccines have been administered in the US – worst hit by the pandemic with 3.37 lakh deaths and 1.9 crore cases, followed by China and then UK, shows official data collated by Our World Data.
  10. So far, the UK mutated virus strain has been detected in countries including Australia, Denmark and Singapore, but not in India, where authorities are working round-the-clock to trace all passengers who landed from the country in the past month and test them.