New Delhi/Geneva: India logged 14,623 new coronavirus infections, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,41,08,996, while the active cases declined to 1,78,098, the lowest in 229 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.
The death toll climbed to 4,52,651 with 197 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.
The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been below 30,000 for 26 straight days and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 115 consecutive days now.
The active cases comprise 0.52 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.15 per cent, the highest since March 2020, the ministry said.
A decrease of 5,020 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.
As many as 13,23,702 tests were conducted on Tuesday taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far for detection of COVID-19 in the country to 59,44,29,890.
The daily positivity rate was recorded at 1.10 per cent. It has been less than three per cent for last 51 days. The weekly positivity rate was also recorded at 1.34 per cent. It has been below three per cent for the last 117 days, according to the ministry.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,34,78,247, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.33 per cent.
The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 99.12 crore.
India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 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 two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23.
The 197 new fatalities include 77 from Kerala and 49 from Maharashtra.
A total of 4,52,651 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 1,39,865 from Maharashtra, 37,967 from Karnataka, 35,928 from Tamil Nadu, 27,002 from Kerala, 25,090 from Delhi, 22,898 from Uttar Pradesh and 18,998 from West Bengal.
The ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.
“Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,” the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.
Meanwhile, India reported an 18 per cent decrease in the new COVID-19 cases along with a 13 per cent decline in the number of deaths during the week of October 11 to 17, the WHO has said, highlighting that all the regions globally, except the European Region, reported a fall in new weekly cases of the deadly virus.
The COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update, released by the World Health Organisation on Tuesday, said that with just over 2.7 million new cases and over 46,000 new deaths reported during the week of October 11 to 17, the global number of new cases and deaths remained similar to that of the previous week.
Apart from the European Region, which reported a 7 per cent increase in the number of new weekly cases when compared to the previous week, all the other regions reported declines in new weekly cases.
The update said that the largest decrease in new weekly cases was reported from the African Region (18 per cent), followed by the Western Pacific Region (16 per cent). The African Region also reported the largest decline in weekly deaths (25 per cent) followed by the South-East Asia and Eastern Mediterranean Regions with 19 per cent and 8 per cent declines, respectively.
The cumulative number of confirmed cases reported globally is now over 240 million and the cumulative number of deaths is just under 4.9 million.
The highest numbers of new cases were reported from the United States of America (582,707 new cases; 11 per cent decrease), the United Kingdom (283,756 new cases; 14 per cent increase), Russia (217,322 new cases; 15 per cent increase), Turkey (213,981 new cases; similar to the number reported in the previous week) and India (114,244 new cases; 18 per cent decrease).
The update said that declining trends continued in the South-East Asia Region, with just under 215,000 new cases and over 2,900 new deaths reported, a decrease of 13 per cent and 19 per cent respectively as compared to the previous week.
All countries in the region reported a decline in new cases and deaths this week, apart from Thailand that reported a similar number of cases as compared to the previous week.
While India reported the highest numbers of new cases at 114,244, they were still an 18 per cent decrease over the previous week. Thailand (72,817 new cases) and Myanmar (9202 new cases) also reported high numbers of new cases in the South-East Asia Region.
In the region, the highest numbers of new deaths were reported from India (1,535 new deaths; a 13 per cent decrease), Thailand (582 new deaths; a 14 per cent decrease), and Indonesia (301 new deaths; a 37 per cent decrease).
The regions reporting the highest weekly case incidence rates per 100,000 population were the European Region and the Region of the Americas and the same two regions reported the highest weekly incidence in deaths, of 1.9 and 1.8 per 100 000 population, respectively.
The update noted that globally, three additional countries, territories or areas reported cases with Variants of Concern in the past week. As of October 19, cases of Alpha variant have been reported from 196 countries, Beta variant from 145 countries, Gamma variant from 99 countries, and Delta variant from 193 countries across all six WHO regions.
The current global genetic epidemiology is characterised by a predominance of Delta variant, with declining prevalence of other variants among SARS-CoV-2 sequences submitted to publicly available datasets.
Given its higher transmissibility, Delta has outcompeted other variants, including other VOCs, in many countries. Important sub-regional and country-level variation, nevertheless, continues to be observed; most notably within some South American countries, where the progression of the Delta variant has been more gradual than that observed in other regions, and other variants (e.g. Gamma, Mu) still contribute a large proportion of sequence samples, the update said.