New Delhi: India’s daily Covid cases have dropped below the 19,000-mark for the first time in six months.
A statement by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) Sunday said as many as 18,732 cases of Covid-19 were recorded across the country in the last 24 hours. This is the lowest the daily case count has been in six months since 1 July when 18,653 cases were recorded.
The statement added that India’s total active caseload has also fallen to 2.78 lakh — “lowest after 170 days”.
The development comes even as the government remains concerned over the new Covid-19 strain that was recently detected in the UK.
On Saturday, the National Task Force (NTF) on Covid-19 convened by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had decided that it will not need to change the existing treatment protocols for the new strain but discussed a new strategy to increase surveillance.
The strategy involves genome sequencing the samples of patients who had tested positive upon their arrival in India from the UK between 21 and 23 December. Currently, 50 samples are being sequenced in six labs.
States in focus
According to the health ministry statement, just 10 states and union territories made up 76.52 per cent of the new cases.
“Kerala reported the highest daily new cases at 3,527. It is followed by Maharashtra with 2,854 new cases,” it added.
Delhi, which had seen a drastic increase in cases in November, recorded just 655 new cases in the past 24 hours — the lowest single-day increase since mid-August.
Similarly, 75.27 per cent of the 279 deaths, reported in the last 24 hours, have occurred in just ten states and UTs. Maharashtra recorded the highest number of fatalities at 60, while West Bengal saw 33 deaths and Delhi reported 23 deaths.
During a press briefing Tuesday, Niti Aayog Member (Health) V.K. Paul had said the new mutation is likely to increase the transmissibility of the virus but won’t affect the case fatality rate.
“This mutation is not affecting the severity of disease as we understand today… the case fatality rate is [also] not affected by this mutation, hospitalisation is not affected by this mutation, the seriousness of this disease is not affected by this mutation,” he had said, but added that the increased transmissibility “itself is a cause for concern”.