Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India officially crossed the 15 lakh-mark on July 29, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. According to the data last updated on the Ministry’s website at 8.00 am on July 29, the total known cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, reached 15,31,669. The death toll in the country due to the pandemic reached 34,193.
While 9,88,029 patients had recovered, 5,09,447 cases were still categorised as ‘active’. India had reported its first case of COVID-19 on January 30.
India is the third country to register 15 lakh or more COVID-19 cases, according to the Reuters tracker.
Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have reported the highest number of cases so far.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
The recovery rate is gradually improving and now stands at around 64 percent.
While news reports earlier indicated that India had crossed the 15 lakh-mark on the evening of July 28 itself, the figure had not been corroborated with data from the Union Health Ministry.
Globally, there have been over 1.6 crore confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of these, at least 6.5 lakh people have died so far. The United States, Brazil, India, Russia and South Africa are the other most-affected countries.
India has been under a nationwide lockdown since March 25. This phase of lockdown, termed ‘Unlock 2.0’, will remain in place till July 31. The Centre is expected to issue guidelines for 'Unlock 3.0' soon.Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic