India's COVID-19 tally crossed the 18-lakh mark on Monday, just a day after it went past 17 lakh, with 52,972 cases reported in a day, while the number of recoveries surged to over 11.86 lakh, according to the Union Health Ministry data. The number of COVID-19 tests carried out in India has also crossed the 2 crore-mark, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The total coronavirus cases surged to 18,03,695, while the death toll due to COVID-19 climbed to 38,135 with 771 people succumbing to the disease in a day, the data updated at 8 am showed. However, according to a PTI tally compiled by the data provided by various governments, the COVID-19 case tally stands at 18,49,850 with 38,921 fatalities.
India's single-day spike of 52,972 reported Monday morning was more than the 24-hour case tally of the US and Brazil — the only two countries that have more cases than India, according to various global COVID-19 tracking websites. There are 5,79,357 active cases of coronavirus infection in India at present while the recoveries have increased to 11,86,203, according to health ministry data.
As many as 40,574 people recovered from COVID-19 in a day, according to the data. The COVID-19 recovery rate stands at 65.77 per cent, while the fatality rate is at 2.11 per cent, the data stated.
India has carried out over two crore tests for detection of COVID-19 pursuant to the key strategy of "test aggressively, track efficiently and isolate and treat promptly", the government said, hailing the milestone as a "landmark achievement". This is the fifth consecutive day that COVID-19 cases have increased by more than 50,000 in the country. India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 17-lakh mark on Sunday.
India continues to improve the Case Fatality Rate (CFR), and maintains its global position of having one of the lowest COVID fatalities rates, the health ministry said. "With a further fall, the current CFR touched 2.11 per cent today. This is the outcome of the well conceived and effectively implemented strategy of 'test, track and treat' which has guided the COVID management in the country," it said.
The management strategy of COVID-19 also focuses on early detection and isolation of cases with seamless patient management and prioritising care of the high-risk population using field health care workers leading to increase in recoveries across the country, the ministry said. Meanwhile, ahead of the reopening of yoga institutes and gymnasiums, the health ministry issued COVID-19-appropriate protocols to be followed at such facilities like allowing only asymptomatic people, maintaining social distancing, disinfecting equipment and wearing of visor while exercising as far as possible.
All yoga institutes and gymnasiums in containment zones shall remain closed and only those outside such zones will be allowed to open, the 'Guidelines on Preventive Measures to Contain Spread of COVID-19 in Yoga Institutes & Gymnasiums' stated. "Spas, sauna, steam bath and swimming pools (wherever applicable) shall remain closed," the document said.
The guidelines lay down the processes and premises redesigning, including proper placement of equipment, that need to be followed before reopening such establishments. Yoga institutes and gymnasiums have been asked to plan the floor area based on four metres squared per person.
Persons above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years are advised not to use gyms in closed spaces, the guidelines said. In another significant development, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given nod to the Serum Institute of India for conducting phase 2 and 3 human clinical trials of the Oxford University's COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the country.
Government officials told PTI that DCGI Dr V G Somani granted the approval late Sunday night after a thorough evaluation based on the recommendations of the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on COVID-19. "The firm has to submit safety data, evaluated by the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), to the CDSCO before proceeding to phase 3 clinical trials," a senior official said, referring to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
"As per the study design, each subject will be administered two doses four weeks apart (first dose on day one and second dose on day 29) following which the safety and immunogenicity will be assessed at predefined intervals," the official said. Of the 771 fresh deaths reported, 260 are from Maharashtra, 98 from Tamil Nadu, 84 from Karnataka, 67 from Andhra Pradesh, 53 from Uttar Pradesh, 49 from West Bengal, 22 from Gujarat, 20 from Bihar, 18 from Punjab, 15 from Delhi, 13 from Rajasthan, 10 each from Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, and eight from Jammu and Kashmir.
Five fatalities each have been reported from Haryana, Goa and Jharkhand, four each from Assam and Tripura, three each from Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh, one each from Chandigarh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Puducherry, Manipur and Kerala.