India sees lowest daily Covid rise in 70 days
India - witnessing a downward trend in Covid cases on Saturday reported its lowest infections in 70 days with the country adding 84,332 new cases to take its overall caseload to 2.93 crore.
Active cases account for 3.68 per cent of the total infection.
India's test positivity rate (positive cases identified for every 100 tests) continues to decline. It stands at 4.39 per cent, the fifth straight day that it is below the 5 per cent-mark.
Active cases have decreased by 40,981 in the last 24 hours to take the tally to less than 11 lakhs (10,80,690) after 63 days. The national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 95.07 per cent, according to the government.
The country, however, continues to report high number of virus-related deaths with 4,002 fatalities being reported in the last 24 hours. The rise has been attributed to the backlog of cases from states like Maharashtra, which alone has reported 2,213 deaths.
Tamil Nadu contributed 15,759 cases to the country's daily numbers. It was followed by neighbouring Kerala (14,233 cases) and Karnataka (8,249 cases).
Maharashtra, the worst-hit state by the pandemic, reported 11,766 cases, taking its overall tally to 58.87 lakh. The western state reported 2,617 virus-related deaths (including 2,213 backlog cases) in the last 24 hours.
The state government is considering introducing some relaxations in Pune, which has seen a drop in positivity rate, reports said. The city is currently placed in the level 2 category.
Delhi on Friday reported 238 new cases of COVID-19 and 504 recoveries, taking the total number of active cases in the city below 4,000. The national capital also recorded 24 deaths - the lowest since April 8. The positivity rate also saw a significant decline and stood at 0.31%, the lowest in over three months (after March 7).
Dr Anthony Fauci, the medical advisor to the US President, has claimed that extending intervals between vaccine doses could leave people vulnerable to infection by one of the Covid variants in circulation. "The problem with extending intervals is that you become vulnerable to variants. We've seen that in the UK, where they extended that interval, in that period you can get infected by the variants," Dr Fauci told NDTV.
The government on Friday said there is no need to panic on the need for an immediate change in the dosage interval of Covishield vaccine. The statement came after some media reports quoting recent studies said that it would be better to shorten the gap between two doses of Covishield vaccine.
India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19. India crossed the grim milestone of 2 crore on May 4.