With a record single-day increase of 66,999 cases, India's COVID-19 tally mounted to 23,96,637 on Thursday, while the number of patients who have recovered from the disease surged to 16,95,982.
The recovery rate in the country is now 70.77 percent, according to the Union health ministry.
The death toll due to COVID-19 climbed to 47,033 with 942 people succumbing to the disease in the last 24 hours, health ministry data updated at 8 am showed.
The case fatality rate in the country has declined to 1.96 percent.
There are 6,53,622 active COVID-19 cases in the country presently, which account for 27.27 percent of its total caseload.
India has registered a record high of 8,30,391 tests conducted for detection of the coronavirus infection in 24 hours on Wednesday, as a result of which the cumulative testing as on date has jumped to 2,68,45,688 crore.
Head of Ram temple trust tests positive for COVID-19
The head of the Ram temple trust, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das (80), has tested positive for COVID-19, officials said on Thursday.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has taken detailed information on the health condition of Das, a senior government official said.
On 5 August, Das shared the dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Adityanath, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Active cases at only 27.27 percent, says govt
According to health ministry, "record high" recoveries have led to a decline in the "actual caseload" of the country, which is the number of active cases, and currently is only 27.27 per cent of the total cases.
The number of recoveries from COVID-19 exceeded active cases by more than 10 lakh.
There are 6,53,622 active cases of the coronavirus infection in the country, according to the health ministry data updated at 8 am.
"With the increasing number of recoveries, the recovery rate has risen to 70.77 per cent, while the mortality among COVID-19 patients has further regressed to 1.96 per cent, and is steadily declining," the ministry said.
The focussed and collaborative efforts of the Centre, states and union territories along with the support of lakhs of frontline workers have ensured the successful implementation of testing aggressively, tracking comprehensively and treating efficiently through an array of measures, including supervised home isolation, and effective clinical management of severe and critical patients, it said.
Coronavirus curve 'frightening, not flattening': Rahul Gandhi
Notwithstanding the government's claims, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked the government over rising COVID-19 cases, saying the coronavirus curve is "frightening, not flattening".
His attack came on a day India recorded a record single-day increase of 66,999 cases, taking its COVID-19 tally to 23,96,637.
Gandhi also posted a graph of daily cases being recorded by the US, Brazil and India " the three worst hit nations in terms of caseload.
"Corona curve " Frightening not Flattening," Gandhi said.
Taking a swipe at the prime minister over his remarks that India is in a better position compared with other countries, the former Congress chief tweeted in Hindi, "If this is the prime minister's ''more stable situation'', then what would one call ''deteriorated situation''?"
Of the 942 fresh deaths, 344 were reported from Maharashtra, 119 from Tamil Nadu, 112 from Karnataka, 93 from Andhra Pradesh, 54 each from Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, 39 from Punjab, 18 from Gujarat, 15 from Madhya Pradesh, 14 from Delhi and 11 each from Telangana and Rajasthan.
Nine fatalities were reported from Odisha, eight from Jammu and Kashmir, six each from Assam and Kerala, five each from Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Puducherry, four from Uttarakhand, three each in Bihar, Goa and Haryana and one case was recorded in Tripura.
Of the total 47,033 deaths, Maharashtra has reported the highest number of 18,650, followed by Tamil Nadu (5,278), Delhi (4,153), Karnataka (3,510), Gujarat (2,713), Andhra Pradesh (2,296), Uttar Pradesh (2,230), West Bengal (2,203) and Madhya Pradesh (1,048).
So far, 822 people have died of COVID-19 in Rajasthan, 675 in Punjab, 665 in Telangana, 503 in Haryana, 498 in Jammu and Kashmir, 416 in Bihar, 305 in Odisha, 197 in Jharkhand, 161 in Assam, 140 in Uttarakhand and 126 in Kerala.
Chhattisgarh has registered 109 COVID-19 deaths, Puducherry 96, Goa 89, Tripura 44, Chandigarh 26, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands 21, Himachal Pradesh 18, Manipur 12, Ladakh nine, Nagaland eight, Meghalaya six, Arunachal Pradesh three, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu two and Sikkim one.
TB vaccination linked with significantly improved COVID-19 outcomes: Study
A tuberculosis vaccine administered during the past 15 years is associated with significantly improved COVID-19 outcomes, especially in young adults, according to a new study.
The researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, analysed the correlation between the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine for tuberculosis and COVID-19 outcomes.
The study, published in the journal Vaccines, found that BCG regimes are associated with better COVID-19 outcomes, both in reducing infection rates and death rates per million, especially for people aged 24 or younger who had received the vaccination in the last 15 years.
There was no effect among older adults who had received the BCG vaccine, the researchers said.
Many countries have stopped inoculating their entire population, but some still use BCG widely, they said.
"Our findings suggest exploring BCG vaccine protocols in the context of the current pandemic could be worthwhile," said Nadav Rappoport from BGU.
"A growing number of clinical trials for testing the efficacy of BCG vaccination have been initiated," Rappoport said.
The researchers analysed data from 55 countries with populations of more than three million people, which comprise some 63 percent of the world's population.
3-day old baby dies shortly after swab collection in Tripura
A three-day-old boy died shortly after a swab was inserted into his nostril for a COVID-19 test at a state-run hospital and he started bleeding, prompting the Tripura government to order an inquiry into the incident.
The baby was born to a coronavirus positive woman in Agartala Government Medical College Hospital and doctors decided to test him for COVID-19.
Director of Tripura Health Services, Subhashish Debbarma, said, "A departmental inquiry was ordered. A three-member team formed to probe the matter was asked to submit its report within three days."
The deceased's mother Papiya Pal Saha said that her son was healthy till swab samples were collected from his nose on Wednesday and he died shortly after that.
"I told the doctors that he was bleeding profusely. They assured me that he would be alright but my child died before my eyes," she said.
Additional Chief Secretary SK Rakesh, who is in-charge of the health department, said, "The infant's death may not be related to the collection of swab sample. We are waiting for autopsy reports."
Earlier, on 2 August, a two-day-old girl child succumbed to COVID-19 in the same hospital.
With inputs from PTI