India’s Covid chart continued to show improvement today, with the country recording 80,834 cases, a marginal drop from yesterday’s figure that was reported to be the lowest in 71 days. India, the second-worst hit country, now has 2.94 crore cases.
India’s test positivity rate (positive cases identified for every 100 tests) continues to decline. For the fifth straight day it is below the 5 per cent-mark at 4.25 per cent.
Active cases have decreased by 54,531 in the last 24 hours to take the tally to 10,26,159. Recoveries have been outnumbering the daily new cases for the 31st consecutive day now.The country witnessed 3,303 virus-related deaths during the period, taking the total number of fatalities to 3.70 lakh.
Tamil Nadu contributed 15,108 cases to the country’s daily numbers. It was followed by neighbouring Kerala (13,832 cases) and Maharashtra (10,697 cases).
The government at GST Council Meeting reduced the tax rates on major COVID-related essential items, including medicines, some hospital equipment and other items needed in the fight against COVID-19. Covid vaccines continue to be charged a GST of 5 per cent.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday sought G7’s support for a proposal led by India for a TRIPS waiver on Covid-related technologies. Speaking virtually at the first Outreach Session of the G7 Summit on Saturday, he expressed appreciation for its support during the second Covid wave in India, a government release said.
Over 2 lakh people died in India of Covid between January and May, during which the country faced an unprecedented crisis of resource shortage. However, there have been reports of underreporting in some states.
A data from the Civil Registration System has indicated that the number of reported deaths in Madhya Pradesh was over three times more than the average number of deaths reported during these months in pre-Covid times. The official figures for Covid deaths are only a fraction of these excess deaths reported.
Earlier this week, Bihar’s massive revision in its Covid deaths figure to over 9,000 became controversial with a 72 per cent jump, raising more questions. Because of Bihar’s update, India reported 6,148 new deaths that day, the highest single-day spike.
On Saturday, the Health Ministryrefuted a report that claimed that India’s Covid deaths could be “five-to-seven times” higher than the official number, saying the assessment is based on extrapolation of data without any epidemiological evidence.
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.