Coronavirus: India's infections jump to 43K; over 600 deaths recorded
India on Wednesday reported over 43,000 new COVID-19 cases, marking a jump from a 132-day low observed the day before. The test positivity rate also jumped from 1.8% on Tuesday to 2.5% on Wednesday. Notably, Kerala—which is leading India's spike in infections—increased testing and detected nearly twice as many cases as it had the day before. Here are more details.
India's tally crosses 3.14 crore; 4.21 lakh dead
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Wednesday morning, India reported a total of 3,14,84,605 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 4,22,022. So far, 3,06,63,147 patients have recovered, while 3,99,436 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 43,654 new infections, 41,678 more discharges, and 640 fresh fatalities. 44,61,56,659 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.
50% of all new cases reported from Kerala
Maharashtra reported 6,258 new COVID-19 cases along with 12,645 more recoveries. Kerala, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 22,129 new cases and 13,415 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Karnataka added 1,501 new cases and 2,039 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 1,767 new cases and 2,312 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 1,540 new cases and 2,304 recoveries.
Kerala increases testing 163% from yesterday
Wednesday's surge in infections can be attributed to increased testing in Kerala. The state reported 22,129 new cases after conducting 1,79,130 tests, marking a test positivity rate of 12.35%. In comparison, 1,09,382 tests were conducted the day before (positivity rate: 10.6%).
Pfizer, AstraZeneca-generated antibodies fade after 6 weeks: Study
Meanwhile, a new study, published in The Lancet journal, has found that the levels of antibodies generated by Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines start weakening six weeks after the dose. The study was conducted by researchers from the University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom. The antibody levels may even drop to 50% over a period of 10 weeks, it said.
Over 57,000 viral genomes sequenced since December: Health Ministry
Separately, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortium (INSACOG) has sequenced 57,476 viral genomes since December. Out of them, nearly 44,334 samples have been analyzed. Few of the detected variants have contributed to surges in infections, he said. Genome sequencing helps detect mutations in the virus, which allows researchers to keep track of variants.