The single day rise in coronavirus cases was recorded at 1,73,790, the lowest in last 45 days, taking India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,77,29,247, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Saturday.
The daily positivity further declined to 8.36 percent, remaining below 10 percent for five consecutive days, while the weekly positivity rate dropped to 9.84 percent, it said.
The death toll climbed to 3,22,512 with 3,617 daily deaths, the data updated by the ministry at 8 am showed.
Also, 20,80,048 tests were conducted on Friday taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far for detection of COVID-19 in the country to 34,11,19,909.
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.
The active cases have further reduced to 22,28,724 with a decline of 1,14,428 cases being recorded in the active caseload.
It now comprises 8.04 percent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 90.80 percent.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 2,51,78,011 while the case fatality rate stands at 1.16 percent, the data stated.
The daily recoveries outnumbered the daily new cases for the 16th consecutive day.
The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country exceeded 20.89 crore on Saturday under the nationwide vaccination drive, the ministry said.
India is the second country after the US to achieve the vaccination landmark of 20 crore, it added.
A total of 20,89,02,445 vaccine doses have been administered through 29,72,971 sessions, according to the provisional report till 7 am on Saturday.
India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 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.
India crossed the grim milestone of 2 crore on May 4.
The 3,617 new fatalities include 973 from Maharashtra, 486 from Tamil Nadu, 401 from Karnataka, 194 from Kerala, 176 from Punjab, 154 from Uttar Pradesh, 145 from West Bengal, 139 from Delhi and 103 from Andhra Pradesh.
A total of 3,22,512 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 93,198 from Maharashtra, 27,806 from Karnataka, 23,951 from Delhi, 22,775 from Tamil Nadu, 20,053 from Uttar Pradesh, 15,120 from West Bengal, 14,180 from Punjab and 12,915 from Chhattisgarh.
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 state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.