India’s COVID-19 caseload surpassed the 80-lakh mark on Thursday, 18 days after it had gone past 70 lakh, with 49,881 new cases while the recoveries surged to 73.15 lakh pushing the national recovery rate to 90.99 percent, according to the Union Health Ministry data.
The total coronavirus cases mounted to 80,40,203 and the death toll climbed to 1,20,527 with the novel coronavirus virus claiming 517 lives in a span of 24 hours in the country, the data updated at 8 am showed.
The COVID-19 case fatality rate has further declined to 1.49 percent.
There are 603687 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which comprises 7.5 percent of the total caseload, the data stated.
According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 10,65,63,440 samples have been tested up to October 28 with 10,75,760 samples being tested on Wednesday.
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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.
India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23 and 40 lakh on September 5.
It went past 50 lakh on September 16, 60 lakh on September 28 and crossed 70 lakh on October 11.
The 517 new fatalities include 91 from Maharashtra, 60 from West Bengal, 55 each from Chhattisgarh and Karnataka, 40 from Delhi, 35 from Tamil Nadu and 27 from Kerala.
A total of 1,20,527 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 43,554 from Maharashtra followed by 11046 from Karnataka, 11,018 from Tamil Nadu, 6,958 from Uttar Pradesh, 6,643 from Andhra Pradesh, 6,664 from West Bengal, 6,396 from Delhi, 4,158 from Punjab and 3701 from Gujarat.
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,” the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.