India on Saturday recorded 3,26,098 new cases of the novel coronavirus, along with 3,890 deaths due to the infection. According to the data shared by the Union Health Ministry, the country saw a total of 3,53,299 discharges in the last 24 hours, taking the total recovery to 2,04,32,898. The total cases of COVID-19 in India have now mounted to 2,43,72,907, with 36,73,802 active cases, the data showed. The total death toll in the country is now at 2,66,207. A total of 18,04,57,579 people have so far been vaccinated against COVID-19 in India.
India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5, and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20, and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.
More than 18 crore vaccine doses have been administered in the country till Friday, according to the Health Ministry.
India made the soft launch of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, making it the first foreign-made shot to be used in the country. The single-dose variant Sputnik Light will cost ₹ 995.40 including tax for a shot, according to Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, which is manufacturing the vaccine in India.
Maharashtra on Friday reported under 40,000 cases for the first time since March 31. The 39,923 new COVID-19 cases reported yesterday have pushed the western state's caseload to 53.09 lakh. Nearly 80,000 people have died due to virus-related complications in the state since the pandemic began.
The situation in neighboring Goa, however, remains grim with reports of crematoriums being overwhelmed with bodies being reported from the coastal state. One of the oldest crematoriums in Goa, located in Margao city, had to construct four additional platforms and dedicate three of its existing ones to cater to people who died of COVID-19.
West Bengal on Friday registered its highest single-day spike of 20,846 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 10,94,802. The number of fatalities in the state rose to 12,993 after 136 more people, including five eminent doctors, died due to the infection, the state health bulletin said.
Sikkim has called a lockdown from Monday for a week amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the third state in the northeast, after Mizoram and Nagaland, to impose a lockdown.
Twelve states, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, and Uttar Pradesh, have more than one lakh active COVID-19 cases, according to the government.
The COVID-19 situation in India remains hugely concerning, with several states continuing to see a worrying number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday, warning that the pandemic's second year will be "far more deadly" than the first for the world.
India's Covid tally crossed the 10 million mark on December 19 and in under six months, it has doubled, surpassing the grim milestone of 20 million cases on May 4.