India recorded 22,273 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, taking its total to 1,01,69,118. Of these, around 2.81 lakh are active cases, the health ministry said. A total of 1,47,343 people have died of the coronavirus in the country, with 251 of those deaths coming in the last 24 hours, the data showed.

The Centre will conduct a dry run of the Covid-19 vaccine in Punjab, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat on December 28 and 29. The dry run is expected to provide insights on any gaps or bottlenecks so that those could be addressed before the commencement of the vaccination drive.

On Friday, Mumbai’s Dharavi area for the first time since April did not report a single new case of coronavirus. Asia’s largest slum has so far recorded 3,788 infections. The area’s active cases have just been reduced to 12 as 3,464 people have recovered. Over 6 lakh people live in the Dharavi slum.

Meanwhile, France’s health ministry on Friday confirmed the first case of the new coronavirus variant that was detected in the United Kingdom, reported BBC. The patient, who arrived from London on December 19, is asymptomatic and self-isolating at home. The sample was tested in a hospital on December 21 and was found positive for the new strain.

Health authorities in France have carried out contact-tracing for the health professionals taking care of the patient. Any vulnerable contact would be isolated, said the health ministry.

The new coronavirus variant, spreading faster than other variants, in England has triggered travel curbs. India has suspended flight services from the UK till December 31.

Globally, Covid-19 has infected more than 7.98 crore people and killed over 17.50 lakh, according to the Johns Hopkins University. Over 4.49 crore people have recovered from the infection.