Coronavirus: India reports nearly 46K new cases, 800+ deaths
India on Thursday reported nearly 46,000 new COVID-19 cases, along with 817 fresh fatalities. The daily test positivity rate rose slightly from 2.3% the day before to 2.4% The global death toll in the pandemic, meanwhile, has now crossed four million with India reporting the third-highest number of deaths for any country after the United States (6.06 lakh) and Brazil (4.05 lakh).
India's tally reaches 3.07 crore; 4.05 lakh dead
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Thursday morning, India reported a total of 3,07,09,557 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 4,05,028.
So far, 2,98,43,825 patients have recovered, while 4,60,704 cases involve active infections.
In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 45,892 new infections, 44,291 more discharges, and 817 fresh fatalities.
36,48,47,549 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
Cases dipped after second wave peaked in May
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. Notably, India had crossed the one crore-mark on December 19, 2020, and the two crore-mark on May 4, 2021.
75% new cases concentrated in 5 states
Maharashtra reported 9,558 new COVID-19 cases along with 8,899 more recoveries. Kerala, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 15,600 new cases and 11,629 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Karnataka added 2,743 new cases and 3,081 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 3,367 new cases and 3,704 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 3,166 new cases and 4,019 recoveries.
All about the Lambda variant
Separately, the Health Ministry of the United Kingdom has said that the Lambda variant of SARS-CoV-2 could be even more dangerous than the Delta variant, blamed for India's brutal second wave of COVID-19. The Ministry said the strain emerged from Peru, which has the world's highest COVID-19 mortality rate. Lambda has been identified in 30 countries so far; India is not one of them.
Health Minister replaced, reportedly over COVID-19 management
On a related note, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet expansion, Mansukh L Mandaviya was given charge of the Union Health Ministry. Dr. Harsh Vardhan was reportedly removed as Health Minister in the reshuffling due to India's poor handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Study linking Giloy to liver damage flawed: AYUSH Ministry
Further, the Union Ministry of AYUSH on Wednesday said that a study linking the consumption of the Giloy herb and liver damage was flawed. The Ministry claimed the contents of the herb were not analyzed correctly. The study—conducted by doctors in Mumbai—had found that Giloy may trigger an auto-immune response against liver cells if taken in excess or in a "subset of patients."