India registered 42,766 new cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s tally since the pandemic broke out in January 2020 to 3,07,95,716. This is marginally lower from the daily infections count recorded on Friday.
The country’s toll rose to 4,07,145 with more 1,206 deaths recorded in a span of 24 hours. The number of active cases in the country stood at 4,55,033. The recovery rate stood at 97.19% and the fatality rate at 1.32%.
So far, India has administered Covid-19 vaccine shots to 37,21,96,268 beneficiaries, of which 30,55,802 received them on Friday alone.
The Union health ministry on Friday said two states – Maharashtra and Kerala – reported more than half of India’s total Covid-19 case count last week. “In the terms of contribution of cases recorded last week, 21% has come from Maharashtra and 32% reported from Kerala,” said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary at the Union health ministry, at a press briefing on the Covid-19 situation in India.
Meanwhile, NITI Aayog member (Health) VK Paul warned citizens thronging tourism spots as state governments relaxed Covid norms. Paul urged citizens to follow Covid protocols and said that it was not yet time for such lax behaviour.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur also appealed to tourists to follow Covid-19 norms. “We are concerned about the number of tourists coming to the state, he told ANI. “Tourists are welcome here but I appeal to them to follow Covid-19 norms.”
He added that the tourism industry also needs to thrive. “I held a virtual meeting with districts officials and directed them to monitor and regulate the crowd,” said the chief minister. “Covid-19 is not over yet. Hotels are being asked to follow SOPs.”
The statements came as tourists have begun travelling to hill stations in huge numbers despite repeated warnings about the onset of the third wave of the pandemic.
The World Health Organization is likely to take a decision on including Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin in its list of vaccines approved for Emergency Use within four to six weeks, the global health agency’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said on Friday, The Hindu reported. The emergency use listing involves rigorous assessment of clinical trial data. An approval from the WHO will allow the company to export its vaccines. Additionally, it will facilitate easier international travel of Indian citizens who have been administered Covaxin.
Globally, the coronavirus disease has infected over 18.59 crore people and killed over 40.17 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.