The Union Ministry of Health on Monday morning confirmed that the coronavirus COVID-19 cases in India reached 6,97,413 with 24,248 new positive cases and 425 deaths in the last 24 hours.
With this, India has surpassed Russia as the third worst-hit country and several states recording their highest single-day spike. Currently, India has 253287 active cases, 424433 cured cases and 19,693 deaths.
Russia has 6,81,251 infections while Brazil has 15,78,376 and the US has 29,54,999 cases, according to Worldometer which compiles the COVID-19 data from around the globe.
The ministry data showed a record single-day surge of 24,850 coronavirus. The country has reported over 20,000 COVID-19 cases for the third day in a row. The states of Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh. Karnataka and West Bengal recorded their highest single-day jump in cases on Sunday.
The worst affected Maharashtra crossed the grim milestone of two lakh COVID-19 cases, Tamil Nadu’s tally reached 1.11 lakh and Delhi too was nearing the one lakh mark.
Assam announced a two-week lockdown in Dima Hasao district from Monday the second district in the state after Kamrup Metropolitan, which primarily comprises Guwahati city, where it has been imposed. A two-week lockdown from June 28 to July 12 has been imposed in Kamrup Metropolitan.
State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the COVID-19 situation in Guwahati, where 2,741 fresh cases were reported in the last 10 days, is alarming and may worsen if the restrictions imposed are not followed seriously by the people.
Karnataka has announced a full shutdown barring essential services on Sundays till August 2. Roads wore a deserted look, people stayed indoors and all commercial activities came to a grinding halt on the first such weekly shutdown. The state recorded 1,925 new cases and an aggregate of 23,474.
Amid the surge, the country is working to fast-track development of a vaccine, though experts have advised caution against racing through the process.
The nod to conduct human trials for Indian COVID-19 vaccine candidates COVAXIN and ZyCov-D mark the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic, according to T V Venkateswaran, who is a scientist with Vigyan Prasar.
“Now the nod given by the Drug Controller General of India, CDSCO (the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation) for the conduct of the human trial for the vaccines, marks the beginning of the end,” an article by him published on the websites of the Press Information Bureau (PIB) stated.
In the past years, India has emerged as a significant vaccine manufacturing hub and Indian manufacturers account for 60 per cent of vaccine supplies made to UNICEF.
“The vaccine for the novel coronavirus may be developed anywhere in the world, but without Indian manufacturers involved the production of required quantities is not going to be feasible,” the article said.
In the national capital, the 10,000-bed Sardar Patel COVID care centre, touted as “one of the largest” facilities in the world, was inaugurated.
Also, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh along with Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited a newly-created temporary hospital with 1,000 beds, including 250 in the ICU, for COVID-19 patients.
The facility has been constructed in just 12 days near the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport on a piece of land belonging to the Ministry of Defence.
The home minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is fully committed to helping the people of Delhi in these challenging times and this COVID hospital, yet again, highlights that resolve.
According to authorities, the national capital recorded 2,505 fresh coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking the tally to 99, 444 in the city, while the death toll from the disease mounted to 3,067.
Maharashtra’s COVID-19 tally rose to 2,06,619 after a single-day spike of 6,555. With the death of 151 more patients, the state’s fatality count rose to 8,822, according to state authorities.