India on Saturday morning recorded 29,616 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the infection tally to 3,36,24,419 since the pandemic broke out in January last year.

The number of new cases was 5.6% fewer than Friday’s infection count of 31,382.

The country’s Covid-19 toll rose to 4,46,658 as 290 patients died in the last 24 hours. The number of active cases increased by 1,280 to 3,00,162.

(Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare)

Other updates

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research on Friday said that the third wave of the coronavirus would have low intensity in its impact on the population as a large section has been inoculated with either the first or second dose, according to ANI.

The research body’s Director General Dr Shekhar C Mande said that continued vaccinations would ensure that the disease is largely prevented.

“If [a person] tested positive after being jabbed, the severity of Covid-19 is also reduced,” he told ANI. “Even if the third wave comes, then the intensity will be low and much less than compared to the second wave.”

As of Saturday moring, India had vaccinated 84.89 crore people.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka government on Friday decided to allow 100% occupancy at cinema halls from October 1 at districts that have less than 1% positivity rate, PTI reported.

At the Quad meeting on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India will facilitate export of 80 lakh Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccines for the Indo-Pacific region by the end of October, Reuters reported. The Quad will pay for the majority of the doses.

Global updates

The United States on Friday started rolling out Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots to its vulnerable population, including senior citizens and those who work in high-risk environments, The New York Times reported.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization on Friday, in the peer-reviewed medical journal The BMJ, recommended treating severe Covid-19 patients with a combination of two antibody treatments. The WHO Guideline Development Group suggested combining casirivimab and imdevimab for Covid-19 patients.

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