India tests record 4.2 lakh COVID-19 samples in 24 hrs as cases pile

Current tally shows an increase of 37,203 cases and 549 deaths, as of 8.15 pm, since morning update

Covid-19
A health worker arranges tubes containing swab samples in a tray for Covid-19 test | Photo: PTI

India conducted a record number of 4.2 lakh COVID-19 tests on Saturday (July 25) as the infection count mounted to over 13.74 lakh, according to the latest figures.

The current figures, including those of individual states announced after the Union health ministry’s morning update, stand at 13,74,224 cases and 31,952 fatalities. This shows an increase of 37,203 cases and 549 deaths, as of 8.15 pm, since the morning update.

On the infection count, globally, India is on the third spot, behind the US and Brazil. Five counties – US, Brazil, UK, Mexico and Italy – lead the death tally, followed by India on the sixth spot. Currently, there are 4,63,458 active cases in India.

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The Union health ministry on Saturday said the country has gradually ramped-up its testing capacity for Covid-19 and conducted over 4.20 lakh tests in a day, the highest ever. It also credited the increase in number of testing laboratories for the achievement.

India had only one lab for testing samples for the disease in January but it has increased to 1,301, including private ones. The health ministry said that revised guidelines by the ICMR and all-round efforts by states also aided in widespread testing.

Till Friday, 1,58,49,068 tests for COVID-19 had been done in India. It did 3.50 lakh tests every day over the last one week, the ministry said. With 4,20,898 tests in the past 24 hours, the Tests Per Million (TPM) has increased to 11,485, it added.

Related news: Covid-19 surge: One lakh cases reported in India in just two days

With increased testing of samples for Covid-19, the fatality rate has significantly dropped to 2.35 per cent on Saturday and recovery rate has surged to 63.54 per cent. “India has one of the lowest fatality rates in the world,” the health ministry said. Over 8.78 lakh patients have recovered from the disease, as per the latest figures.

The downward trend in fatality rate means the collective efforts of the Centre and state and UT governments have checked the mortality due to COVID-19, it stated. With 48,916 fresh cases, India’s Covid-19 tally zoomed past 13 lakh on Saturday morning, just two days after it crossed the 12-lakh mark, while the death toll mounted to 31,358, the ministry said.

Statewise, Maharashtra remained the worst-affected Indian state with 3,66,368 cases and 13,388 deaths being reported so far. Tamil Nadu, second on the list, crossed two lakh cases on Saturday with nearly 7,000 fresh infections. Its death count has mounted to 3,409.

Related news: Covid positivity rate increased in Pune during lockdown, shows PMC data

Delhi’s tally, with 1,142 fresh infections and 29 new deaths, stands at 1,29,531 cases and 3,806 deaths. The recovery rate of the region has improved and crossed 87 per cent while the active cases count plunged to a seven-day low of 12,657.

Notably, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tested positive for Covid-19 today. The reported 716 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, 153 of them from Indore, taking the infection count in the state to 26,926, health officials said.

Meanwhile, sources said that the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) has sought the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI)’s nod for conducting phase 2 and 3 human clinical trials of the Oxford vaccine candidate.

(With inputs from agencies)

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