Coronavirus: India reports 39K new cases; deaths hit 167-day low
India on Monday reported nearly 39,000 new COVID-19 cases along with a 167-day low of 219 fresh deaths. The number of active cases also declined for the first time in weeks as the number of new recoveries exceeded new infections. Active cases account for 1.23% of total cases, declining marginally from 1.24% Sunday. The daily positivity rate also stood at 2.76%.
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Monday morning, India reported a total of 3,30,27,621 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 4,40,752. So far, 3,21,81,995 patients have recovered, while 4,04,874 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 38,948 new infections, 43,903 more discharges, and 219 fresh fatalities. 68,75,41,762 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
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, 2020, and the 2 crore-mark on May 4, 2021.
Maharashtra reported 4,057 new COVID-19 cases along with 5,916 more recoveries. Kerala, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 26,701 new cases and 28,900 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Karnataka added 1,117 new cases and 1,354 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 1,592 new cases and 1,607 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 1,623 new cases and 1,340 recoveries.
Weekly infections in Kerala hit a 16-week high in the week ended Sunday as it recorded 2,00,430 infections, which is nearly 70% of the total cases reported nationwide during the period. The last time weekly infections crossed the 2 lakh mark for any Indian state was 14 weeks ago between May 24-30, when Tamil Nadu had recorded 2.26 lakh infections.
A new study has shown that the most recent ancestor of sarbecoronaviruses—the family of coronaviruses that SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) belongs to—existed 21,000 years ago, making it nearly 30 times older than previously believed. The study, published in the journal Current Biology, suggested that humans may have been exposed to sarbecoronaviruses between roughly 2.5 million years ago to 10,000 BC.