A single-day rise of 48,698 COVID-19 infections took India's case tally to 3,01,83,143 while the weekly positivity rate declined to 2.97 percent, according to Union Health Ministry data on Saturday.
The death toll climbed to 3,94,493 with 1,183 more people succumbing to the viral disease in a day.
The number of active cases has further declined to 5,95,565 and now accounts for 1.97 percent of the total infections, the data updated at 8 am showed.
Recoveries outnumbered daily new cases of COVID-19 for the 44th consecutive day with the number of people who have recuperated from the disease surging to 2,91,93,085. The case fatality rate stood at 1.31 percent.
While the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 96.72 percent, the weekly case positivity rate has come down to 2.97 percent.
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.
According to the Health Ministry data, the daily positivity rate was recorded at 2.79 percent. It has been less than 5 percent for 19 consecutive days.
India administered 61.19 lakh vaccine doses in a day taking the cumulative number of jabs given so far under the nationwide inoculation drive to 31.50 crore, according to immunisation data published at 7 am.
Also, 17,35,781 tests were conducted on Friday for the detection of COVID-19, taking the total number of tests conducted so far in the country to 39,95,68,448.
India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7 last year, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.
The country crossed the grim milestone of two crore total COVID-19 cases on May 4 this year and three crore on June 23.
(With PTI inputs)