India on Friday morning recorded 44,230 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the infection tally to 3,15,72,344 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. The number of new infections was the highest in three weeks, NDTV reported.

With 555 deaths, the toll climbed to 4,23,217. The number of active cases dropped by 1,315 to 4,05,155. There are 3,07,43,972 patients who have recovered from the coronavirus infection.

Source: Ministry of Family Health and Welfare

Kerala and the Northeastern states have been recording a steady increase in the R-number, which is an indicator of the speed of the spread of infection, PTI reported on Thursday.

R-number measures how many people are being infected by one Covid-positive person on an average. For instance, a value between 0.7 and 0.9 means that every 10 Covid-positive people will pass on the infection to seven to nine others.

The number of infections keeps rising if the R value is more than 1. If the value declines, the infection will eventually stop spreading because there will not be enough new cases for the outbreak to continue.

Kerala, the top contributor to India’s new Covid cases, has an R-value of around 1.11, showed an analysis by the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, according to PTI. In the North East, Tripura is the only state with an R-value much lower than one. The number in Manipur is marginally below one.

“So looks like it [Kerala] will remain in the top spot [in terms of Covid cases] for the next couple of weeks,” Sitabhra Sinha from the Institute of Mathematical Sciences told PTI. “The North East continues to have a very bad situation, with most states having R-value more than 1.”

So far, India has administered 45,60,33,754 vaccine doses, giving 51,83,180 doses on Thursday alone.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Kerala government said it will impose a complete lockdown in the state on July 31 and August 1 in view of the sharp increase in Covid-19 cases. The state has reported over 22,000 daily Covid-19 cases for the third consecutive day up till Thursday.

The fourth countrywide serological survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research showed that Madhya Pradesh has the highest Covid-19 seroprevalence among the states at 79%, while Kerala has the lowest.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom said that fully vaccinated travellers from the United States and most of Europe will not need to undergo quarantine for Covid-19 in England. However, India remained on the red list.

Globally, Covid-19 has infected 19.65 crore people and caused 41.98 lakh deaths since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.