With 19,406 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, India's tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 4,41,26,994, while active cases declined to 1,34,793, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Saturday.
The death toll has climbed to 5,26,649 with 49 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.
The active cases comprise 0.31 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.50 per cent, the ministry said. A decrease of 571 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in 24 hours.
The daily positivity rate was recorded at 4.96 per cent and the weekly positivity rate was 4.63 per cent, it said. The number of recoveries surged to 4,34,65,552, while the case fatality rate 1.19 per cent.
Of the 49 new fatalities, five each were reported from Maharashtra and West Bengal, three from Chhattisgarh, two each from Delhi, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Tripura, and one each from Haryana, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
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.
Additionally, 11 deaths have been reconciled by Kerala as per Indian Council of Medical Research guidelines.
Of the 5,26,649 deaths reported so far, 1,48,129 are from Maharashtra, 70,548 from Kerala, 40,155 from Karnataka, 38,033 from Tamil Nadu, 26,327 from Delhi, 23,574 from Uttar Pradesh and 21,389 from West Bengal.
The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.
"Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)," the ministry said on its website, adding that statewise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.
According to the ministry, 205.92 crore doses against Covid have been administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive.
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. 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.India crossed the grim milestone of two crore cases on May 4, three crore on June 23 last year and four crore on January 25 this year.