India on Saturday recorded 44,111 fresh cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and 738 related fatalities, taking the country's cumulative tally past 30.5 million and the death toll to 401,050, the Union health ministry's data showed. India's active cases plunged further by 14,104 in the last 24 hours and settled at 495,533, accounting for 1.67% of total infections. The country's recovery rate settled at 97.01% on Saturday, as recoveries continue to outnumber daily new cases for 51 days in a row.
After the decline of the second wave, Covid-19 cases in India dipped below 50,000 for the first time on June 21 and have since remained stagnant in the bracket of 30,000-50,000. The country saw a sharp free fall of Covid-19 cases in the second wave after they peaked with 414,188 fresh infections on May 6.
Since the decline, experts have cautioned against lowering the guard. NITI Aayog member (health) VK Paul said close monitoring is crucial at this stage and the country "cannot lower its guard". "As we are seeing in Europe right now, the disease transmission has started growing again, with cases having dropped to 50 per million at one point, which is now almost double... It is in our control to ensure India doesn't see the third wave," he said.