India on Wednesday morning recorded 26,964 new coronavirus cases, taking the overall count of infections to 3,35,31,498 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. The new cases were 3.25% higher than Tuesday’s count of 26,115 infections.

The country’s Covid-19 toll rose to 4,45,768 after 383 people died in the last 24 hours. The number of active cases reduced to 3,01,989. As many as 3,27,83,741 patients have recovered from the infection in the country so far.

Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

India’s reproduction rate, or R value, of Covid-19 has reduced from 1.17 around the end of August to 0.92 in mid-September, said researchers from the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai.

R value indicates the number of people one Covid-19 patient can infect on an average.

Over 82 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the country since the beginning of the inoculation drive in January. A total of 75,57,529 shots were administered in the country on Tuesday.

State updates

The Tamil Nadu government urged the Centre to defer resuming the exports of Covid-19 vaccines after the Centre on Monday announced that the process will resume, reported PTI. The exports had been halted in view of the second wave of the pandemic in India and will restart from October.

Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian, citing data, said that only one-third of eligible adults in India had got their first dose, The Hindu reported.

He added: “India is yet to plan vaccination of persons 12 to 18 years. At the national-level, 115 crore doses are required, and we need to expand vaccination for 12 to 18 years. In such a situation, how will it be appropriate to export vaccines?”

Experts in Maharashtra have issued a warning about a potential rise in Covid-19 cases in the next two weeks, the Hindustan times reported on Tuesday. The state has been seeing fewer cases over the last 10 days but there are concerns that crowding during the Ganesh festival, that ended on Monday, could lead to a surge in cases.

Global updates

The World Health Organization on Tuesday said that the Delta variant of Covid-19 is the predominant strain around the globe, according to AFP. WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19 Maria Van Kerkhove said the Delta variant has been identified in 185 countries so far.

“Delta has become more fit, it is more transmissible and it is out-competing, it is replacing the other viruses that are circulating,” she said.

The World Health Organization also thanked India for its decision to resume the exports of Covid-19 vaccines. “This is an important development in support of reaching the 40% vaccination target in all countries by the end of the year,” the global health agency’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

Canada is likely to allow direct flights from India from September 27. As the first step in this direction, three direct flights from India will land in Canada on September 22 and all the passengers will be tested for Covid-19.

Globally, the coronavirus has infected over 22.95 crore people and caused more than 47 lakh deaths since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.