India on Thursday recorded 31,923 new coronavirus cases, taking the infection tally to 3,35,63,421 since the pandemic first broke out in January last year. The new cases were 18.39% higher than Wednesday’s count of 26,964 infections.

The country’s Covid-19 toll rose to 4,46,050 after 282 people died in the last 24 hours. The number of active cases declined to 3,01,640. As many as 3,28,15,731 patients have recovered from the infection in the country so far.

India has administered 83,39,90,049 Covid-19 vaccine doses since the immunisation drive began in January. On Wednesday, 71,38,205 shots were administered.

Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

State updates

Amid a controversy on the United Kingdom government’s decision to enforce quarantine rules for fully vaccinated Indian passengers, Britain’s High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis said that the problem was not with the Covishield vaccine. Ellis said that India was not in the country’s “green-listed countries”, reported NDTV.

“On our list 17 countries are mainly ‘green-listed’ countries because they have very low levels of Covid... India still has some Covid as we know,” he told NDTV. “That’s why it is on the ‘amber’ [travel] list.”

Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court directed the police to protect healthcare workers in the state, reported The New Indian Express. The comment came after a medical professional returning from Covid-19 duty was attacked in Alappuzha district on Monday.

Global updates

The United States authorised the use of booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for high-risk adults and those aged 65 and above. The third shot will be administered at least six months after the second dose, the Food and Drug Administration said.

US President Joe Biden said that the Quad partnership was on track to produce at least a billion Covid-19 vaccine doses in India by 2022, reported NDTV. India, Japan, Australia and the US are members of Quad.

The coronavirus has infected over 23 crore people in the world and caused more than 47 lakh deaths globally since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.