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India logs 247,000 new coronavirus cases, sharpest daily rise so far

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NEW DELHI: India recorded more than 247,000 coronavirus cases on Thursday, its biggest-day single-day rise since the beginning of the pandemic, according to officials and news reports.

The pandemic’s third wave in India has been fuelled by the highly infectious Omicron variant, which is spreading exponentially in bigger cities like New Delhi and Mumbai.

A total of 247,417 new infections were recorded in the last 24 hours, 52,697 more than the previous day, federal Health Ministry data showed. Although there have been larger increases in overall numbers in the past, it was the sharpest jump the country has seen yet.

India’s previous highest increase in coronavirus cases in a single day was a jump of 43,196 recorded on April 27, according to the Times of India daily.

This is also the first time since May 26 that the country’s daily infection tally crossed 200,000, the report said.

The daily positivity rate of Covid-19 - that is the percentage of tests that turn out positive – has increased manifold in recent weeks and is recorded at 13.11 per cent currently.

India faced a second wave of pandemic fuelled by the Delta variant between April and June that saw a peak of 400,000 daily cases overwhelm its health infrastructure.

The country of 1.3 billion has a caseload of Covid-19 so far of more than 35 million, second only to the United States.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will conduct a videoconference with state chief ministers about the Covid-19 situation later on Thursday.

Modi recently called for ensuring adequate health infrastructure and accelerating the vaccination drive to step up the fight against the pandemic.

As many as 380 people died of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, but the high fatalities are attributed to a revision of casualty figures from the Kerala state that added 199 backlog deaths from the last few months.

New Delhi, among the worst-hit regions, reported 27,561 fresh cases, which is a 29 per cent rise over the cases in last 24 hours. The positivity rate has touched 26 per cent which is the highest in seven months. -- dpa

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