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India records lowest daily Covid-19 cases in 154 days; Delta variant continues to worry

The declining tally of daily Covid-19 cases has, however, failed to dull the apprehension of a third wave even as states like Maharashtra have gone forward with relaxations in curbs

After weathering a brutal onslaught of the second wave of coronavirus pandemic, India on Tuesday reported its lowest single-day rise in Covid-19 cases in 154 days. The country reported 25,166 new infections in the last 24 hours, the Union ministry of health and family welfare said. The national recovery rate, which as of Tuesday stands at 97.51 per cent, is also the highest since March 2020. India’s Covid-19 tally now stands at 32,250,679, according to the Union health ministry.

This new record comes days after Dr Randeep Guleria, director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, said on August 14 that a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic will not be as brutal as the second one, cautioning that his prediction was dependent on the general population abiding by Covid-appropriate behaviour.

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The country’s Covid-19 positivity rate, which has remained below 3 per cent for the last 53 days, was recorded at a low of 1.98 per cent, after 1,563,985 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours. The World Health Organization (WHO) mandates a positivity rate of 5 per cent for an outbreak to be considered under control.

The declining tally of daily Covid-19 cases has, however, failed to dull the apprehension of a third wave even as states like Maharashtra have gone forward with relaxations in curbs. The rise in cases of the Delta and Delta Plus variants of the coronavirus and shortage of vaccines has been a continuous cause of concern for the state. Maharashtra has also sent over 80,000 samples for genome sequencing since the second wave started and about 80 per cent of the samples tested positive for the Delta variant.

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