India's Covid Tally Crosses 67 Lakh; 72,049 Cases, 986 Deaths In 24 Hours

New Delhi: India recorded 72,049 new cases of coronavirus, almost 10,000 more than Monday's one-day cases, and 986 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking India's COVID-19 tally past the 67-lakh mark, shows the Health Ministry data released this morning. A total of 82,203 people also successfully fought off the viral disease in the last 24 hours, bringing down the overall active cases to around 13 per cent of the total caseload. According to the government figures, total Covid cases in India now stand at 67,57,131, including 9,07,883 active cases, 57,44,693 recoveries and 1,04,555 deaths.

The highest number of cases in the last 24 hours was reported from five states. Maharashtra accounted for 17 per cent of all new cases (12,258), followed by almost 10,000 new cases in Karnataka, then Kerala with almost 7,800 cases, with Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, both, reporting about 5,000 cases each.

Maharashtra also reported the most deaths in the 24-hour period, followed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. Together these states account for 656 deaths, or 66.5 per cent of all Covid fatalities in the country.

Chief Minister of West Bengal, which has 2.7 lakh Covid cases, has cautioned people about the rising number of infections in the state ahead of Durga Puja, saying "pandemic protocol should not be violated". "People should go shopping. Shops will remain open. Otherwise, how will they do business? But while shopping people should not forget about the protocol," Mamata Banerjee said.

India's recovery rate increased marginally to 85 per cent, death rate stood steady at 1.5 per cent and daily positivity rate remained 5.6 per cent as almost 12 lakh tests were conducted in the last 24 hours.

More than 8.2 crore tests have been conducted in India till now, as per the government's "test, track and treat" policy, the Health Ministry tweeted.

Prolonged consumption of "kadha", recommended as a preventive health measure for boosting immunity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, "does not damage the liver, the AYUSH ministry has said adding that ingredients used for preparing it (cinnamon, basil and black pepper) have a positive effect on the respiratory system.

As the world battles coronavirus, the head of the World Health Organization said on Tuesday a vaccine against COVID-19 may be ready by year-end. Nine experimental vaccines are in the line-up of the WHO-led COVAX global vaccine facility that aims to distribute 2 billion doses by the end of 2021.

After more than a million deaths, "this calamity is far from over. All countries are now facing what I would call 'The Long Ascent' -- a difficult climb that will be long, uneven, and uncertain," the International Monetary Fund chief said, warning that though the economic "picture today is less dire, the outlook for next year is mixed and rife with uncertainties and risks".

New US research shows that about 4 out of 5 patients hospitalized with Covid-19 suffer neurologic symptoms such as muscle pain, headaches, confusion, dizziness and the loss of smell or taste, with the most severe condition listed was encephalopathy, "characterised by altered mental function ranging from mild confusion to coma".

Facebook Inc and Twitter took action on posts from US President Donald Trump for violating rules against coronavirus misinformation by suggesting that COVID-19 was "just like the flu". "We remove incorrect information about the severity of COVID-19," Facebook spokesman told Reuters.