India’s tally on Sunday rose to 74,94,551 with 61,871 new cases in 24 hours. The country’s toll rose by 1,033 to 1,14,031. India’s active cases stood at 7,83,311, a decline from Saturday, while the recoveries reached 65,97,209. The recovery rate stood at 87.78% and the mortality rate was 1.52%.

India tested a total of 9,70,173 samples on Saturday, said the Indian Council of Medical Research. “India has exponentially scaled up its testing capacity from one in January to more than 9.32 crore at present,” said the Ministry of Health. “The very high testing has resulted in the continuous falling positivity rate. It has now fallen below 8%.”

The Maharashtra government on Saturday allowed gymnasiums in the state to operate from October 25 amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, activities such as steam bath, zumba, yoga and sauna will not be allowed at gyms and fitness centres. Use of sanitisers and masks has been made compulsory, as has physical distancing and sanitisation of the premises every hour. There will also be mandatory health check-ups for both trainers and employees.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday chaired a meeting on the coronavirus situation and arrangements for the delivery and distribution of a vaccine. Modi called for “speedy access” to the vaccine when it is ready, while also directing officials to keep in mind the “geographical span and diversity” of India in planning the logistics and delivery.

The prime minister’s office, citing two pan-India studies on the Covid-19 virus genome, said that it is genetically stable and there is no major mutation.

Pharma major Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and the Russian Direct Investment Fund on Saturday announced that have received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India to conduct an adaptive Phase II and III human clinical trials in the country to evaluate the Sputnik-V coronavirus vaccine, PTI reported.

Dr Reddy’s said the late-stage clinical trials will be a multi-centre and randomised controlled study, including safety and immunogenicity study. In October, Indian regulators declined a proposal from Dr Reddy’s Laboratories to conduct a large study on the Russian vaccine.

On October 4, Harsh Vardhan had said that the government’s target was to receive and utilise 40 to 50 crore coronavirus vaccines, covering approximately 20 to 25 crore of the country’s population, by July 2021. Vardhan said that frontline workers will be given priority during vaccinations. The government believes a vaccine will be ready by early 2021.

Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 3.96 crore people and killed 11,08,607, according to Johns Hopkins University. The worldwide recoveries have crossed 2.72 crore.