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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - NEW DELHI — India reported 58,419 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours on Sunday, the lowest daily number in nearly three months, data from the Health Ministry showed.
The total number of cases of COVID-19 in India have risen to 29.9 million and so far 386,713 people have died. Deaths rose by 1,576 overnight — the lowest in 63 days.
India's COVID chart continued to show improvement Sunday, with the country hitting the lowest number of cases in 81 days. Active cases now comprise 2.44% of the total infections.
Active cases have decreased by 30,776 in the last 24 hours to take the tally to 7,29,243. The daily recoveries have been outnumbering the fresh infections for 38 consecutive days now. About 87,619 patients recovered in the last 24 hours.
Over 27 crores people have been administered doses under the massive inoculation drive which began in January, the government said. More than 5.5 crores vaccine doses have been administered in the age group 18-44, so far, it said.
COVID victims cannot be paid a compensation of ₹ 4 lakhs as it applies to natural disasters only, the government has told the Supreme Court. In a 183-page affidavit filed late last night, the center also added that denying compensation for diseases other than COVID would be "unfair".
In Bihar, the High Court pulled up Nitish Kumar government on Saturday over what it called the state's reluctance to publish the number of fatalities during the COVID pandemic period.
Many states have begun easing COVID-related lockdown norms amid the receding second COVID wave. The Telangana government on Saturday announced reopening of all educational institutions from July 1.
The Center, however, has warned states to ensure the "extremely important" five-fold strategy of COVID-appropriate behavior, test-track-treat and vaccination to prevent the spread of the disease. Vaccination against COVID-19, in the present scenario, is critical to break the chain of transmission, it said.
A third COVID wave in India is "inevitable", and it could hit the country in the next six to eight weeks, AIIMS chief Dr. Randeep Guleria told NDTV on Saturday amid unlocking in parts of the country after weeks of strict restrictions. The country's main challenge is vaccinating a huge population, he said.
As part of its unlocking, Delhi government on Sunday announced reopening of bars, public parks, gardens and golf clubs. Bars will become operational from Monday with 50 percent capacity from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Outdoor yoga activities will also be permitted from now on. The national capital on June 14 allowed restaurants to open with 50 percent capacity, and allowing markets and shopping malls to operate at full capacity.
On the other hand, Tamil Nadu government on Sunday extended its COVID lockdown for another week. Based on caseload, some relaxations have been announced for 38 districts in the state. Inter and Intra-district public transportation with 50 percent capacity will be allowed in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpet.
With states unlocking across the country and the Delta variant still around, health experts and Health Ministry are stressing on the need to reopen with a robust vaccination strategy and COVID appropriate behavior. Any laxity could see India entering a third COVID wave in 3 to 4 months. — Agencies
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