With 22,771 people testing positive for the novel coronavirus in a day, the highest so far, India's COVID-19 tally climbed to 6,48,315 on Saturday, while the death toll rose to 18,655 with 442 new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry's data.
With a steady rise, the number of recoveries stands at 3,94,226 with 14,335 COVID-19 patients having been cured in the last 24 hours, according to the updated data at 8 am. The number of recovered patients exceeded the active cases by 1,58,793 as of Saturday. There are 2,35,433 active cases of COVID-19 presently in the country, the data showed.
Here are the key coronavirus-related developments of the day:
> As experts cautioned against rushing the process for developing a COVID-19 vaccine after the ICMR stated it plans to launch one by August 15, the apex health research body on Saturday stressed that it is acting in accordance with the globally accepted norms to fast-track vaccine development for diseases of pandemic potential.
> India's recovery rate increased to 60.81 percent.
> Delhi recorded 2,505 fresh coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the tally in the city to over 97,000, while the death toll from the disease mounted to 3,004.
> Tamil Nadu on Saturday reported over 4,000 new coronavirus cases and the tally touched 1.07 lakh cases. The number of cumulative samples tested in Tamil Nadu crossed the 13 lakh mark and as on date 13,06,884 specimens have been examined.
> Kerala's COVID-19 tally breached the 5,000-mark on Saturday with 240 fresh cases being reported, the highest single-day surge so far. Of the positive cases, 152 had come from abroad and 52 from other states.
> The Odisha government on Saturday announced a ban on "Kanwar Yatra" by devotees of Lord Shiva during Shravan month this year, amid the rising number of novel coronavirus cases in the state.
> The Mizoram government has postponed the opening of schools for the 2020-21 academic session for an indefinite period as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease. The government had earlier decided to open educational institutions for the current academic session from July 15.
> Andhra Pradesh reported 765 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday taking the overall tally of infections in the state to 17,699.
> The death toll due to COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh reached 773 on Saturday with 24 more fatalities, while the total number of cases in the state mounted to 26,554 as 757 fresh infections were reported in the last 24 hours.
> The Arunachal Pradesh government on Saturday announced that a week-long total lockdown will be imposed in the Capital Complex, comprising Itanagar and Nagarlagun, from July 6 in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases.