India’s weekly Covid-19 tally remains below 110,000 for second straight week

India recorded 136,115 cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and 1,813 related deaths between Monday and Sunday, data from the Union ministry of health and family welfare shows. India recorded less than 19,500 cases over the past week and its weekly death toll due to Covid-19 remained below 260, on average, as its case fatality rate remained unchanged at 1.45%. Its coronavirus disease tally climbed to 10,305,788 and its death toll stood at 149,218 on Sunday morning, according to the health ministry’s data.

India has also seen a drop in the number of daily deaths over the past week as the daily toll remained below 300. India recorded the highest number of cases on September 12, 2020, when more than 97,000 infections were recorded in a period of 24 hours. And, the last time the country’s death toll was below 300 was during early June last year.

India recorded 20,021 new cases on Monday within 279 casualties. The number of recovered patients in India also reached 97,82,669 pushing the national recovery rate of 95.83%. The recovery rate rose to 95.92% on Tuesday when India recorded 98,07,569 recoveries along with 16,432 new infections and 252 deaths.

India reported 20,549 new infections on Wednesday with 286 deaths. India’s Covid-19 caseload continued to remain below 300,000. The national recovery rate rose to 96.04% on the last day of the year when recoveries surged to 98,60,280. India recorded 21,822 new infections on December 31 with 299 fatalities.

On New Year’s Day, India reported 20,035 new infections and 256 new deaths. India’s daily cases tally remained below 30,000 for 22 days in a row when the health ministry reported on Saturday that India recorded 19,079 cases. The death toll touched 149,218 with 224 new fatalities. On Sunday, India maintained a similar trend as it recorded 18,177 fresh cases of Covid-19 and 217 deaths. The recovery rate reached 96.15% as 9,927,310 patients of the coronavirus disease were cured so far.

The government has instructed state governments and local authorities to keep a strict vigil as the new mutated variant of the Sars-Cov-2, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, entered India. According to the government, 29 individuals have been diagnosed with the UK variant of Covid-19, described as ‘more infectious’ compared to the non-mutated variant. The discovery of the new variant also led to the imposition of strict curfews during New Year’s celebrations in major Indian cities.

India had also banned flights to and from the United Kingdom in the last month of 2020 after the cases of the new mutated variant were discovered. Flight operations between both nations will now resume in a graded manner from January 8.

The government this week took firm steps to ensure that every citizen receives the coronavirus vaccine as it conducted dry runs in several states. Mock vaccination drives in all state capitals were held to assess the central and state governments’ readiness for inoculation drive, which is slated to begin soon.

India’s drugs regulator on Sunday gave final approval for the emergency-use of two coronavirus vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and the other by Bharat Biotech. The overall efficacy of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was 70.42%, while Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin was “safe and provides a robust immune response”, Drugs Controller General of India VG Somani said.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca shot is being made locally by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and will be branded Covishield and Bharat Biotech has teamed up with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). India, the world’s second-most populous country is now expected to start a massive immunisation programme within weeks.

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