Coronavirus: India reports 37K+ cases; daily infections surpass recoveries again
India on Wednesday reported roughly 37,600 new COVID-19 cases, surpassing the number of daily recoveries (over 34,000). This caused the number of active infections to rise for the first time in several weeks, while the recovery rate dipped marginally to 97.67% from 97.68% the day before. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 2.10%, up from 1.94% on Tuesday. Here are more details.
India's tally crosses 3.25 crore; 4.36 lakh dead
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Wednesday morning, India reported a total of 3,25,12,366 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 4,35,758. So far, 3,17,54,281 patients have recovered, while 3,22,327 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 37,593 new infections, 34,169 more discharges, and 648 fresh fatalities. 59,55,04,593 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.
Over 64% new cases concentrated in Kerala
Maharashtra reported 4,355 new COVID-19 cases along with 4,240 more recoveries. Kerala, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 24,296 new cases and 19,349 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Karnataka added 1,259 new cases and 1,701 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 1,585 new cases and 1,842 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 1,248 new cases and 1,715 recoveries.
COVID-19 in India could've reached endemic stage: WHO chief scientist
Meanwhile, World Health Organization (WHO) chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan told The Wire, "India could have reached some sort of stage of endemicity...That's what seems to be happening." "It's very feasible we may continue like this, with a few local ups and downs," said Dr. Swaminathan, adding that such spikes may not be severe, certainly not as severe as the second wave.
WHO's nod to COVAXIN expected by mid-September
Further, Dr. Swaminathan said that she expects the WHO to grant authorization to COVAXIN by mid-September. Asked about the delay in the approval to COVAXIN, she said Bharat Biotech, the vaccine's maker, submitted its dossier in late July and responded to further queries only recently.
Book COVID-19 vaccination slots through WhatsApp
Separately, WhatsApp users can now book COVID-19 vaccination slots through the MyGov Corona Helpdesk bot (9013151515) on the messaging app. Users can text 'Book Slot' to the bot via WhatsApp. They will then receive a six-digit OTP. After entering the OTP, users will be asked to choose the name of the vaccine recipient, the preferred date, time, location et al.