The devastating second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic that has swept across India appears to be receding with 1.20 lakh new cases being recorded nationwide in the last 24 hours, the lowest level in the last 58 days, according to health ministry figures compiled till 11 am on Saturday.
This is the ninth consecutive day on which the count for fresh coronavirus cases has been less than 2 lakh, down from the peak level of over 4 lakh new infections a day in early May.
Another sign of the abating wave is that the country has recorded a positive rate below 10 per cent amongst the number of people tested for Covid-19 for the twelfth straight day. The figure had touched 22.7 per cent on May 9. The Health Ministry has stated that 377 districts have been reporting a less than 5 per cent positivity rate currently.
India's active caseload dropped to 15.55 lakh as the total number of cases decreased by 80,745 in the last 24 hours with the number of patients recovering from the disease exceeding the fresh cases.
Maharashtra which was the worst hit state in May has started to unlock in a phased manner. The state recorded 14,152 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. It has announced a five-step plan to allow economic activity to limp back from Monday.
After Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have the highest number of infections.
Karnataka recorded 16,068 new cases and the state's shutdown has been extended for another week, until the morning of June 14. The state still has over 2.80 lakh active Covid cases.
Kerala, which saw a worrying rise in daily COVID-19 cases in the second wave of the pandemic, logged 16,229 fresh infections in the last 24 hours. The death count was at 135.
In neighbouring Tamil Nadu daily fresh cases stood at 22,651. However, among the southern states, it saw the most number of daily deaths at 463.
As many as 22.79 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far in India under the vaccination drive which began on Jan 16 with 36.5 lakh shots being administered on Friday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday reviewed the inoculation campaign and found the wastage figures for Covid vaccines continue to be high. He asked the concerned authorities to take steps to bring down this figure.
Member Health NITI Aayog Dr VK Paul said yesterday that India has overtaken the United States in terms of the absolute number of people who have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. However, in terms of the proportion of the total population covered, the US is ahead.