Over 69 percent of the 41,322 new COVID-19 cases reported in a span of 24 hours are from eight states and union territories with Maharashtra recording the highest number of new infections followed by Delhi and Kerala, the Union health ministry said on Saturday.
With 11,57,605 tests conducted in a span of 24 hours, India's cumulative tests have surged to 13.82 crore, while the number of tests per million population has crossed the 1-lakh mark and now stands at 1,00,1597, the ministry said.
The active COVID-19 caseload of the country is 4,54,940 and it comprises 4.87 percent of the total coronavirus infections.
The ministry issued a statement saying "69.04 percent of the daily new cases of COVID-19 are contributed by eight states/UT i.e. Maharashtra, Delhi, Kerala, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Chhattisgarh".
Maharashtra leads the tally with 6,185 new COVID cases. Delhi has recorded 5,482 cases, while Kerala follows with 3,966 infections.
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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
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Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Sustained and progressive expansion in testing infrastructure has played a crucial role in the steep rise of testing numbers. With 2,161 testing labs in the country, including 1,175 government laboratories and 986 private ones, the daily testing capacity has got a substantial boost, the ministry said.
Following the national pursuit, 23 states and UTs have better tests per million population than the national average.
Thirteen states and UTs have lower tests per million population than the national average, the ministry added.
Total COVID-19 recoveries have surged to 87,59,969 with 41,452 recoveries being registered in a day in the country, it said, adding 76.55 percent of the new recovered cases are observed to be concentrated in 10 states and UTs.
Delhi has reported the maximum number of single-day recoveries with 5,937 newly discharged cases. A total of 4,544 people recovered in Kerala followed by 4,089 in Maharashtra.
The ministry said 78.35 percent of the 485 case fatalities reported in a span of 24 hours are concentrated in 10 states and UTs.
With 98 deaths, Delhi reported the highest number of new fatalities. Maharashtra saw a fatality count of 85 followed by West Bengal with 46, the ministry said.
India's COVID-19 caseload stands at 93,51,109 and the death toll has climbed to 1,36,200, the data updated at 8 am showed.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.