India's COVID-19 active caseload rises to 3,45,377

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New Delhi, Mar 23 (PTI) India recorded 40,715 coronavirus cases in a day, taking the nationwide infection tally to 1,16,86,796, while the active caseload at 3,45,377 registered an increase for the 13th day in a row, the Union health ministry said on Tuesday.

The active caseload now comprises 2.96 per cent of the total infections, while the recovery rate has further dropped to 95.67 per cent, the ministry data updated at 8 am stated. The COVID-19 death toll of the country increased to 1,60,166, with 199 daily new fatalities, it said. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,11,81,253, while the case fatality rate has further dropped to 1.37 per cent, the data stated.

India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20 lakh-mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on -November 20 and surpassed the one crore-mark on December 19.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 23,54,13,233 samples have been tested till March 22, with 9,67,459 samples tested on Monday. Out of the 199 fresh fatalities, 58 each were reported from Maharashtra and Punjab, 12 each from Kerala and Chhattisgarh, and 10 each from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

A total of 1,60,166 deaths due to the disease have been reported so far in the country, including 53,457 from Maharashtra, 12,609 from Tamil Nadu, 12,444 from Karnataka, 10,963 from Delhi, 10,308 from West Bengal, 8,759 from Uttar Pradesh and 7,191 from Andhra Pradesh, the ministry said.

The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

'Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,' the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.