India records nearly 45,000 new cases, 520 fatalities; tally over 87.73 lakh

India recorded 44,684 new cases of Covid-19 in the 24 hours ending 9 am Saturday. The country’s total tally currently stands at over 87.73 lakh cases. With 520 people succumbing to the virus Friday the death toll stands at 1,29,188. Out of the total cases, 4.80 lakh cases are active while 81.63 lakh people have recovered after testing positive.

With over 7,800 cases, Delhi continues to the biggest contributor in the country’s total caseload. Haryana is in the midst of a surge and has become the fastest growing state after Delhi and Kerala. The state recorded nearly 2,700 cases on Friday.

With Arvind Kejriwal Friday expressing concerns about the coronavirus surge in the national capital, the Delhi government is likely to put several Covid-19 prevention measures in place after Diwali to ensure the strict implementation of social distancing and use of face coverings. On account of the winter season and the large influx of patients from festive gatherings, Delhi could experience about 15,000 cases in a day soon, a report by National Centre for Disease Control noted.

The second worst affected state, Maharashtra is anticipating a second COVID-19 wave in January-February. The state government has asked the authorities to ensure there is no complacency in testing and said labs should efficiently function in all districts.

On the vaccine front, Serum Institute of India (SII) said that as many as 40 million doses of the Covishield vaccine have already been manufactured. The promising results of the trials so far give confidence that Covishield could be a realistic solution to the deadly pandemic, the institute’s statement read. The SII also announced completion of the enrolment of phase 3 clinical trials for the Covishield vaccine in the country.

In other news, the covid-19 pandemic has threatened India’s progress in protecting children under the age of 5 against Pneumonia and diarrhoea, according to the annual Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report.