India recorded 276,110 new cases of the coronavius disease (Covid-19) in a 24-hour span, the Union health ministry data showed on Thursday morning. The total tally of the viral infection now stands at 25,772,440. Thursday's numbers show India continues to maintain a downward trend in daily Covid-19 cases after the number of cases hovered above 300,000 in the deadly second wave of the infection.
In a positive development, the number of single-day fatalities dipped with 3,874 people succumbing to the disease. This comes days after the country has been witnessing a surge in daily fatalities. On Wednesday, 4,529 people died of Covid-19 in a highest single-day spike so far.
While the daily number of Covid-19 cases are falling steadily, health officials are still concerned about a spike in related fatalities. In ANI report, a public health expert Dr VK Monga said, the trend may continue to rise for another week at least, before it begins to settle down in proportion to the number of daily cases.
Dr Monga attributed prolonged hospitalisation and Covid-19 complications as the reason behind the surge in deaths. "A large number of patients are still admitted in ICU in various hospitals... and because of the complications of Covid-19 and prolonged stay in hospitals, they may lose the battle, thus resulting in increased figures of death," Dr Monga said.
Later in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to hold a meeting with district magistrates of 10 states with a high Covid-19 caseload to review the situation. During the meeting, the 54 district magistrates are expected to apprise the Prime Minister on the ground management of the infection in their respective states. The chief ministers of these states are also expected to be part of the interaction.
This is the second meeting PM Modi will hold with the district officials on the Covid-19 situation. The first meeting took place on May 18, when PM Modi met held a virtual meeting with 46 district magistrates from nine states
Earlier, the Union health ministry listed 10 states that are contributing the most - as much as 74.46 per cent - to India's daily tally. According to the ministry, these states are Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana.
On the vaccination front, the cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has reached 18.58 crore. A total of 18,58,09,302 vaccine doses have been administered through 27,10,934 sessions, as per the provisional report by the health minist on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Centre approved the first home test for Covid-19 on Wednesday, allowing people to buy a kit that costs ₹250 and gives results within 15 minutes. The kit has been manufactured by Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions Ltd and it is a rapid antigen test (RAT).
According to the guidelines by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the kit should be used only by those who have Covid-19 symptoms or had close contact with an infected person.