Coronavirus: India reports over 41K new cases; 57% in Kerala
India on Thursday reported over 41,000 new COVID-19 cases, up by 7.41% compared to the previous day. The seven-day rolling average of infections has dropped under 40,000 again. The nationwide death toll also neared 4.3 lakh with almost 500 fresh fatalities being confirmed on Thursday. India's COVID-19 outbreak has largely stagnated in what experts have forecasted could be the onset of a third wave.
India's tally crosses 3.2 crore; 4.29 lakh dead
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Thursday morning, India reported a total of 3,20,77,706 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 4,29,669. So far, 3,12,60,050 patients have recovered, while 3,87,987 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 41,195 new infections, 39,069 more discharges, and 490 fresh fatalities. 52,36,71,019 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
India's second wave peaked on May 7
To recall, India's second wave peaked on May 7, when 4.14 lakh single-day cases were reported, over four times the number of cases reported during the first wave in mid-September. Although infections have declined since the second wave peaked, India crossed the three crore-mark on June 23. India had crossed the one crore-mark on December 19, 2020, and the two crore-mark on May 4.
57% new cases concentrated in Kerala
Maharashtra reported 5,560 new COVID-19 cases along with 6,944 more recoveries. Kerala, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 23,500 new cases and 19,411 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Karnataka added 1,826 new cases and 1,618 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 1,964 new cases and 1,917 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 1,869 new cases and 2,316 recoveries.
Concerns raised over possible new variant in Kerala
Worryingly, concerns have been raised about the possible emergence of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 that could be driving Kerala's COVID-19 surge. The state has reported over 40,000 breakthrough cases. The Kerala High Court also observed on Wednesday that infections were rising in the state because of the improper enforcement of protocols. The court suggested preventing crowding or imposing a full lockdown.
WHO nod for COVAXIN likely next month
Separately, the World Health Organization will decide on granting emergency authorization to Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine COVAXIN next month, a top official told the Associated Press. Meanwhile, Russia's Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Wednesday that the Sputnik V vaccine (available in India) is around 83% effective against the Delta variant. Earlier, the vaccine's developers had claimed that it is 90% effective against Delta.