Coronavirus: India reports 27K new cases; R-value drops below 1
India on Wednesday reported nearly 27,000 new COVID-19 cases, marking a daily test positivity rate of 1.69%. Active cases have also shrunk further to 0.9%, while the recovery rate rose marginally to 97.77%. Researchers said the R-value (reproductive number) for COVID-19 has declined from 1.17 in August-end to 0.92 in mid-September in India; indicating that the outbreak is slowing down.
India's tally crosses 3.35 crore; 4.45 lakh dead
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Wednesday morning, India reported a total of 3,35,04,534 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 4,45,768. So far, 3,27,83,741 patients have recovered, while 3,01,989 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 26,964 new infections, 34,167 more discharges, and 383 fresh fatalities. 82,65,15,754 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 2020. Although infections have declined since the second wave peaked, India crossed the 3 crore-mark on June 23. India had crossed the 1 crore-mark on December 19, and the 2 crore-mark on May 4.
Over 58% new cases concentrated in Kerala
Maharashtra reported 3,131 new COVID-19 cases along with 4,021 more recoveries. Kerala, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 15,768 new cases and 21,367 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Karnataka added 818 new cases and 1,414 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 1,647 new cases and 1,619 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 483 new cases and 1,651 recoveries.
Pfizer, Moderna arrival unlikely; J&J shots in October
Separately, India is unlikely to agree to the indemnity conditions presented by vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna to introduce their COVID-19 shots in the country, sources told India Today. However, India will get its first Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses starting October. A study showed that a second J&J shot administered after two months boosts the vaccine's efficacy from 70% to 94%.
UK approves Covishield; quarantine rules for Indians remain
On another note, the United Kingdom on Wednesday revised its travel advisory, listing Covishield as an approved COVID-19 vaccine after facing backlash from India. However, Indians vaccinated with Covishield would still need to quarantine at home for 14 days in the UK upon entry. Notably, a UK High Commission statement said on Tuesday that the government has an issue with vaccine certification, not Covishield.