Over 56,000 cases in last 24 hours push India’s Covid-19 tally closer to 2 million

India saw another big jump of 56,282 new cases of the coronavirus disease on Thursday which pushed the nationwide tally closer to two million (1,964,536 to be exact).

According to Union heath ministry data, there are 5,95,501 active cases in the country and 13,28,336 patients have been discharged. The number of fatalities has reached 40,699 after 904 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, according to the health ministry.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), meanwhile, said that the total number of Covid-19 samples tested has reached 2.21 crore, out of which 6,64,949 samples were tested on Wednesday.

The tests per million has also seen a sharp increase to 15,568.

The country saw its recovery rate rise to 67.19 per cent on Wednesday after 51,706 patients recuperated from Covid-19. The case fatality rate further dropped to 2.09 per cent, the health ministry said.

The high recovery rate has also reduced the number of active cases, which are a little over 30 per cent of the total Covid-19 caseload.

The recovery rate has improved from 63 to 67 per cent in the last 14 days. The number of cured/discharged patients now exceed the active cases of Covid-19 by over seven lakh.

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila has said that it will start phase 2 clinical trials to establish the efficacy of its anti-coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine candidate from Thursday.

It further said that ZyCoV-D was found to be safe and well tolerated in the phase 1 clinical trial. It was able to elicit a high level of neutralising antibodies in animal studies.

The company received the central drugs controller’s approval for human trials on July 2.

Another drugmaker Cipla said that it is working with government agencies to develop a treatment for Covid-19. “Cipla is collaborating with the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Ministry of Health to develop medications for the treatment of COVID-19,” company’s chairman YK Hamied said.

The Mumbai-based drug firm is also ramping up manufacturing of essential drugs required in the fight against the pandemic, he added.