India’s COVID tally crosses 16L mark, over 10K cases in Maharashtra, AP

Union Health Ministry says that herd immunity 'cannot be a strategic choice or option' in the country

A total of 10,39,153 people have been cured of the disease, while 5,41,822 cases are active in the country. Photo: PTI

As many as 32,167 fresh cases of COVID-19 were reported across the country as of 8 pm on Thursday (July 30), increasing the tally to 16,16,767. The death toll too rose to 35,374 with 371 new fatalities. A total of 10,39,153 people have been cured of the disease, while 5,41,822 cases are active in the country.

With the highest single-day spike of 11,147 cases in Maharashtra, the infection count in the state surged to 4,11,798. As the virus claimed 266 lives during the day, the number of victims in the state rose to 14,729. A total of 8,860 patients were discharged on Thursday, which took the count of recovered persons to 2,48,615,

The exponential growth of COVID-19 cases continued in Andhra Pradesh as it recorded 10,000 plus cases for the second straight day, taking the cumulative figure to 1,30,557. The state, only the second in the country after Maharashtra to post daily cases in excess of 10,000, recorded a new single-day high of 10,167 cases.

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Karnataka too reported the biggest single-day spike of 6,128 new cases and 83 fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 1,18,632 and the death toll to 2,230. The day also saw a record 3,793 patients getting discharged after recovery. Of the fresh cases, a whopping 2,233 cases were from Bengaluru urban alone.

In a dip in fresh COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu, a total of 5,864 people tested positive on Thursday compared to around 7,000 in the last few days. The total infection count rose to 2,39,978., while the toll shot up to 3,838 with 97 more deaths. The state recorded 5,295 recoveries, taking the cumulative number of those discharged to 1,78,178.

Uttar Pradesh on Thursday reported the biggest single-day spike of 3,705 COVID-19 cases and a record 57 deaths due to the disease, taking the infection tally to more than 81,000 and death toll to 1,587 in the state. While there are 32,649 active COVID-19 cases in the state, 46,803 patients have been discharged after treatment.

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With yet another highest single-day spike of 1,159, the tally of COVID cases in Gujarat reached 60,285 and the death toll rose to 2,418, it added. A total of 879 patients were discharged from different hospitals in the state in the last 24 hours, taking the total recovered cases to 44,074.

Delhi recorded 1,093 fresh coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the tally to 1,34,403, while the death toll climbed to 3,936. As many as 29 fatalities have been recorded in the last 24 hours. The number of active cases in the city on Thursday was 10,743, down from 10,770 the previous day.

Kerala reported 506 positive cases and 794 recoveries on Thursday as the death toll climbed to 70 with two more fatalities. The infection tally has now touched 22,297. Also, the state has decided to implement home care isolation on an experimental basis for health workers who test positive but are asymptomatic.

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Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry said herd immunity “could not be a strategic choice or option”, urging people to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour till a vaccine is developed. Officer on Special Duty in the Health Ministry Rajesh Bhushan sais herd immunity was a kind of indirect protection from an infectious disease like COVID-19.

“In a country with the size of the population like India, herd immunity cannot be a strategic choice or option. It can only be an outcome, and that too at a very high cost as it means lakhs of people will have to be infected, get hospitalised and many will die in the process,” Bhushan said. He said herd immunity can be achieved through immunisation.

A COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by the University of Oxford in the UK elicits an immune response and reduces the viral load in monkeys exposed to SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a study published in the journal, Nature. Preliminary results were used to facilitate the start of clinical trials of the vaccine in humans, the researchers noted.

With economic activities resuming gradually, corporate houses are increasingly opting for rapid antigen and antibody tests to screen and protect their employees from coronavirus, several diagnostics labs and hospitals in the NCR have said. The Rapid Antigen Test is a quicker and cheaper alternative to the “gold standard” RT-PCR test.

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