The Health Ministry also said that the number of Covid-19 tests across the country has crossed the 40 lakh-mark, while the daily testing capacity has been ramped up to 1.4 lakh.
India’s tally of confirmed Covid-19 infections neared 2.1 lakh on Wednesday with a record number of nearly 9,000 new cases getting detected across states and union territories, while the death toll neared the 6,000-mark. The government, however, said recoveries have also crossed the one-lakh mark and the testing infrastructure has been ramped up considerably.
Badly-hit states and union territories such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Delhi continued to report rising tallies, while new cases continued to surface in several eastern and north-eastern states including Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram and Sikkim.
Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala also figured among the states where more people tested positive for Covid-19.
In its morning update, the Union Health Ministry said the total number of cases has risen to 2,07,615 across the country, following an increase of 8,909 cases in the 24 hours since Tuesday 8 AM, while the death toll rose by 217 in this period to 5,815.
The number of active cases has also risen to more than 1.01 lakh, while at least 1,00,302 Covid-19 patients have recovered already giving an overall recovery rate of over 48 per cent, the ministry said.
It also showed a higher number of recoveries at more than 1.03 lakh.
India is the seventh worst-hit nation by the Covid-19 pandemic after the US, Brazil, Russia, the UK, Spain and Italy. India's tally had crossed the 2-lakh mark on Tuesday night with nearly 1 lakh new cases having emerged in a span of 15 days. The first COVID-19 case in India was detected on January 30.
The Health Ministry also said that the number of Covid-19 tests across the country has crossed the 40 lakh-mark, while the daily testing capacity has been ramped up to 1.4 lakh through 480 government and 208 private laboratories. Sources said attempts are underway to further increase the capacity to two lakh tests per day.
In the national capital itself, a record number of 1,513 new cases emerged, taking its tally past the 23,000-mark, while the death toll climbed to 606.
The Delhi government, however, reduced the 14-day mandatory home quarantine period to seven days for all asymptomatic travellers arriving in the national capital.
Last week, the Karnataka government had also reduced the mandatory quarantine period to seven days for asymptomatic travellers coming to the state, except for those coming from Maharashtra.
However, the Uttarakhand government increased this mandatory quaratine period to 21 days, from 14 days earlier, for those returning from the country's 75 worst coronavirus-hit cities, including Delhi,Noida, Agra, Lucknow, Meerut, Varanasi, Chennai and Hyderabad.
In the meantime, scientists at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad have identified a distinct trait in the coronavirus found in the people infected in the country, mostly in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
They have named this unique cluster of virus population as 'Clade A3i' found in 41 per cent of the genome sequenced in India.
"Here is a fresh preprint on genome analysis of SARS-CoV2 spread in India. The results show a distinct cluster of virus population, uncharacterised thus far, which is prevalent in India - called the Clade A3i," the CCMB tweeted.
"This cluster seems to have originated from an outbreak in February 2020, and spread through India. This comprises 41 per cent of all SARS-CoV2 genomes from Indian samples, and 3.5 of global genomes submitted into public domain," it said.
The CCMB is a laboratory under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Among southern states, Kerala reported its highest single-day spike of 86 cases, taking its tally to 1,494. Those having tested positive included a doctor and four health workers. More than 1.6 lakh people are under observation in the state.
Among the new cases, 53 people had come from abroad and 19 from other states, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters after a Covid-19 evaluation meeting.
Tamil Nadu also reported its highest single-day increase of 1,286 cases, taking its tally of confirmed cases to 25,872. The state also recorded 11 more fatalities, taking the death toll to 208.
In Telangana, four doctors at a Hyderabad government hospital tested positive.
In North, Himachal Pradesh's remote Kinnaur district reported its first two cases after a couple tested positive after returning from Delhi.
Barring Lahaul-Spiti, now 11 of the 12 districts in the state have Covid-19 cases.
Uttarakhand also saw 23 more people testing positive, taking its tally to 1,066. According to the state government bulletin, the people who tested positive had travelled to Delhi, Aligarh, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
Source: India Today