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India’s Covid-19 tally surges past 10.38 lakh, death toll at 26,273

India recorded more than 34,000 cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) for two days in a row as the country’s infection tally mounted to 1,038,716, Union health ministry data showed on Saturday.

There were 34,884 fresh Covid-19 cases and 671 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the Union health ministry’s dashboard. On Friday, the country recorded 34,956 cases of the coronavirus disease.

There are 358,692 active cases of the viral disease and 26,273 people have succumbed to Covid-19 to date.

The number of people who have recovered from the coronavirus disease crossed the 650,000-mark after 17,994 patients were cured between Friday and Saturday morning. The recovery rate was at 62.93%, down from Friday’s 63.33%, as 653,750 patients were cured in a single day.

The government has said that India, the second-most populous country in the world, has 727.4 cases per million. Globally, the cases per million population in India are four to eight times less than some European countries, it added.

The case fatality rate (CFR) at 18.6 deaths per million of the country is one of the lowest in the world.

“It is also notable that less than 1.94% of the cases are in ICUs, 0.35% cases are on ventilators and 2.81% cases are on oxygen beds,” it said.

Even as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi are reporting thousands of Covid-19 cases every day, four eastern states have emerged as the biggest concerns for the Centre in tackling the coronavirus crisis.

West Bengal, Odisha, Assam and Bihar have shown high case positivity rates despite low levels of testing and the emergence of new virus clusters and several new cases within containment zones have underlined gaps in a containment strategy.

While all four states have a lower death rate than the national average, officials feel the four states need to do much more. These four states have been asked to plan a better containment and surveillance strategy, among other steps.

The central government also wants other states to appoint senior government officials to keep an eye on each large hospital treating Covid-19 patients, public and private.

It wants them to follow the Mumbai and Delhi approach to dealing with issues related to difficulties in hospital admission for Covid-19 patients, grievances with how hospitals treat patients and other such issues.

Zydus Cadila is looking to complete clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, ZyCoV-D, in seven months, the company’s chairman said on Friday. The drug firm had on Wednesday started the clinical trials of its vaccine candidate with the first human dosing.

Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL), which developed India’s first potential indigenous coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine, has said the first phase of testing has begun on 375 people.

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