Municipal workers wearing protective suits before burning the body of a COVID-infected person in Karad. PTI photo
With a record single-day surge of 27,094 coronavirus infections and 676 fatalities, India’s Covid-19 count zoomed past 6.97,358 lakhs, while the death toll rose to 19,963 on Sunday.
Recording over 20,000 infections for the third consecutive day, India overtook Russia, which has so far registered 681,251 Covid-19 cases. India is reportedly the third worst-hit nation in terms of pandemic infections after the United States and Brazil, and is the eighth worst-hit in terms of deaths. India now overtakes Russia which was at No.3.
According to Worldometer, which compiles the Covid-19 data from around the globe, only the US and Brazil are now ahead of India in terms of total coronavirus infections. Brazil has 15,78,376 infections and the US 29,54,999 cases
In a bid to cut the chain of transmission and to minimise the potential of its spread, Kerala became the first state to amend its Epidemic Diseases Ordinance by extending Covid-19 control regulations for the next year.
With cases gradually increasing in Kerala, the state government issued new guidelines which will be in force till July 2021, or till further orders. This means people must wear masks, keep social distancing and avoid large gatherings for a year, or else will face penalties under the law.
In a significant development on the Covid-19 vaccine, the ministry of science and technology on Sunday edited a press release issued earlier by the Press Information Bureau that "a vaccine is unlikely to be ready for mass use before 2021". The release had earlier said that along with two Indian vaccines — Covaxin and ZyCov-D — 11 of 140 vaccine candidates had entered human trials across the world, but none of them was "likely to be ready for mass use before 2021". This phrase was later removed.
India’s apex medical body ICMR had said Friday it aims to launch the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine, the indigenous Covaxin, by August 15, and told select medical institutions to fast-track its clinical trials. But experts said such a timeline may not be realistic.
As far as the spread of the coronavirus is concerned, Maharashtra crossed the grim milestone of two lakh Covid-19 cases by recording a single-day increase of 7,074 infections.
While Tamil Nadu registered 4,280 fresh cases, Delhi, Telan-gana, Karnataka, Assam and Bihar added a total of about 10,000 cases in a day.
These seven states have contributed to about 78 per cent of the singe-day spike.
Of the total 19,331 deaths reported so far, Maha-rashtra also accounted for the highest 8,671 fatalities.