India records nearly 1,600 daily COVID-19 cases—highest in 5 months
India reported nearly 1,600 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest in 146 days, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry said on Saturday. This is for the first time India logged over 1,500 coronavirus cases in 2023, triggering fresh concerns among people. While active cases went up to 8,601, the death toll rose to 5,30,824, with six fatalities in the last 24 hours.
Why does this story matter?
- India's daily coronavirus tally has consistently risen over the past few days. Experts attributed the spike in COVID-19 cases to the XBB 1.16 subvariant of Omicron.
- The rise in infections comes at a time when different parts of the country are also reporting a substantial rise in H3N2 influenza cases prompting the Health Ministry to issue an advisory to states and union territories earlier.
India's active COVID-19 cases rose to 8,601
India now has 8,601 active COVID-19 cases, representing 0.02% of total cases, with a mortality rate of 1.19%. According to the Health Ministry data, the country's daily positivity rate is at 1.33%, while the weekly positivity rate stood at 1.23%. With the 1,590 new cases added on Friday, India's total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 4,47,02,257.
910 fresh recoveries reported, recovery rate at 98.79%
Meanwhile, 910 people recovered from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours bringing the total tally to 4,41,62,832 and the national recovery rate to 98.70%. The death toll reached 5,30,824 with six fresh fatalities, including three in Maharashtra and one each in Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand. Data revealed that 92.08 crore COVID-19 tests have been conducted so far, including 1,19,560 in the past 24 hours.
Pandemic scenario in the country
COVID-19 cases are reportedly increasing gradually across the country. Karnataka has 635 active cases, whereas Kerala has 2,186. There are 1,763 current cases in Maharashtra and 1,291 in Gujarat. There are 424 active cases in Delhi, 549 in Tamil Nadu, and 145 in Telangana.
New COVID-19 subvariant XBB 1.16 blamed for fresh spike
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 subvariant XBB 1.16 was blamed for the recent surge in cases by both specialists and the Health Ministry, too. The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) previously disclosed that 76 samples of the XBB 1.16 subvariant were found in India. The country also has reported the most XBB 1.16 cases in the world so far, closely followed by the United States (US).