With more than 16,968 new infection positives reported in the last 24 hours, India’s total number of COVID-19 cases reached 4,73 lakh so far. The death toll touched 14,894, including 465 new fatalities reported on Wednesday. About 2.72 lakh patients have so far recovered, according to government data.
With a total confirmed cases of 1,42,900 till Wednesday, Maharashtra remained the worst affected state in the country followed by Delhi (70,390) and Tamil Nadu (67468).
Amid increasing numbers of infections, the lockdown in West Bengal which was to end on June 31 is now extended to July 31, announced the state’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday. The total confirmed cases in the state are at 15,173 and the death toll is at 591, the health department officials said.
To step up surveillance across the country on the spread of COVID infections the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has expanded its testing strategy and advised use of rapid antibody tests beyond containment zones to cover all hospitals, offices and public sector units. The rapid antigen tests were recently validated by the ICMR and deployed in Delhi to improve the testing which only required about 30 minutes to provide the results. About 75,60,782 samples have been tested till June 24, said the ICMR.
The overall number of global COVID-19 cases has crossed 94 lakhs to reach 9,405,800, while the deaths have surged to more than 482,000 as on Thursday, according to the Johns Hopkins University. With 2,380,452 cases and 121,969 deaths, the US continues to be the worst-hit country. Brazil comes in second place with 1,188,631 infections and 53,830 deaths.