India's novel coronavirus tally rose to 32.34 lakh on Wednesday with 67,151 more people testing positive for the infection, while the recoveries have surged to 24,67,758, the Health Ministry said.
The death toll from the pathogen climbed to 59,449 with 1,059 more fatalities. The recovery rate rose to 76.30 percent with 63,173 more people having recuperated, while the case fatality rate has declined to 1.84 percent, the ministry said.
There are 7,07,267 active cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), comprising 21.87 percent of the total 32,34,474 infections, the ministry data stated.
According to the ICMR, 3,76,51,512 tests have been conducted so far, including 8,23,992 samples on Tuesday.
Of the 1,059 more deaths, 329 are from Maharashtra, 148 from Karnataka, 107 from Tamil Nadu, 92 from Andhra Pradesh and 72 from Uttar Pradesh. Fifty-eight people succumbed to the infection in West Bengal, 49 in Punjab, 20 in Gujarat, 19 in Madhya Pradesh, and 17 each in Delhi and Jharkhand.
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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.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
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.
There were 15 more fatalities in Chhattisgarh, 14 in Jammu and Kashmir and 13 in Rajasthan, while 10 people each died due to the contagion in Telangana, Kerala and Haryana.
Goa and Odisha registered nine deaths each, followed by eight each in Assam and Puducherry, six in Uttarakhand, and five each from Tripura and Bihar. There were three more deaths in Chandigarh, two each in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Manipur, and one each in Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh.
Of the total 59,449 deaths, Maharashtra has reported the maximum of 22,794 followed by 6,721 in Tamil Nadu, 4,958 in Karnataka, 4,330 in Delhi, 3,460 in Andhra Pradesh and 3,059 in Uttar Pradesh.
Gujarat registered 2,928 fatalities, followed by 2,909 in West Bengal, 1,265 in Madhya Pradesh. A total of 1,178 people have died in Punjab, 980 in Rajasthan, 780 in Telangana, 638 in Jammu and Kashmir and 623 in Haryana.
There were 519 coronavirus deaths in Bihar, 428 in Odisha, 347 in Jharkhand, 260 in Assam and 244 in Kerala. Chhattisgarh reported 221 fatalities, followed by 213 in Uttarakhand, 172 in Puducherry, 157 in Goa and 83 in Tripura.
Forty people died from the pathogen in Chandigarh, 37 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 30 in Himachal Pradesh, 24 each in Ladakh and Manipur. Nagaland registered nine deaths, followed by eight in Meghalaya, five in Arunachal Pradesh, three in Sikkim and two in Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
The ministry stressed that more than 70 percent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities."Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research," the ministry said, adding that statewise distribution of figures was subject to further verification and reconciliation.