India logged 20,409 new coronavirus infections pushing the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 4,39,79,730, while the active cases declined to 1,43,988, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.
The death toll climbed to 5,26,258 with 32 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated. The active cases comprise 0.33 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.48 per cent, the ministry said.
A decrease of 2,335 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 5.12 per cent and the weekly positivity rate at 4.82 per cent, according to the ministry.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 4,33,09,484, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.20 per cent.
According to the ministry, 203.60 crore doses of Covid vaccine have been administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive.
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.
India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 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 on May 4 and three crore on June 23 last year. It crossed the four-crore mark on January 25 this year. The 32 new fatalities include seven from West Bengal, three each from Karnataka and Maharashtra, two each from Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Uttarakhand and one each from Chandigarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.(With PTI inputs)