India saw a single-day rise of 2,58,089 new coronavirus infections taking the tally of cases to 3,73,80,253, which included 8,209 cases of the Omicron variant detected so far, according to data updated by the Union Health Ministry on Monday.
A total of 8,209 cases of the Omicron variant have been detected across 29 states and union territories, out of which 3,109 have recovered or migrated.
Maharashtra recorded the maximum 1,738 cases of the Omicron variant, followed by West Bengal 1,672, Rajasthan 1,276, Delhi 549, Karnataka 548 and Kerala 536 cases.
According to experts, it is not possible to undertake genome sequencing of each and every sample but this current wave is largely being driven by Omicron.
The number of active COVID-19 cases have increased to 16,56,341, the highest in around 230 days, while the death toll has climbed to 4,86,451 with 385 daily fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.
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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The active cases account for 4.43 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has decreased to 94.27 per cent, the ministry said.
An increase of 1,05,964 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.
The daily positivity rate was recorded at 19.65 per cent, while the weekly positivity rate was 14.41 per cent, according to the ministry. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,52,37,461, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.30 per cent.
The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 157.20 crore.
India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020; 30 lakh on August 23; 40 lakh on September 5; and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28; 70 lakh on October 11; 80 lakh on October 29; 90 lakh on November 20; and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.
India crossed the grim milestone of two crore infections on May 4 and three crore cases on June 23. The 385 new fatalities included 158 from Kerala and 36 from West Bengal.
A total of 4,86,451 deaths have been reported so far in the country, including 1,41,808 from Maharashtra, 50,832 from Kerala, 38,431 from Karnataka, 36,989 from Tamil Nadu, 25,363 from Delhi, 22,963 from Uttar Pradesh and 20,088 from West Bengal.
The Health Ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities. “Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,” the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.
(With PTI inputs)
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