India’s COVID-19 tally rose to 87.28 lakh on Friday with a single-day increase of 44,879 cases, while the recoveries surged to 81,15,580, pushing the national recovery rate to 92.97 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry.
The death count reached 1,28,668 after 547 more fatalities were reported in the country in a span of 24 hours and the total coronavirus cases mounted to 87,28,795, the data updated at 8 am showed.
The COVID-19 case fatality rate has further declined to 1.47 per cent.
There are 4,84,547 active cases in the country which comprise 5.55 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.
According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 12,31,01,739 samples have been tested so far with 11,39,230 samples being tested on Thursday.
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The world’s largest vaccine maker is ramping up production of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 shot, aiming to have 100 million doses ready by December for an inoculation drive that could begin across India that same month.
If final-stage trial data show AstraZeneca’s candidate gives effective protection from the virus, the Serum Institute of India — which is partnered to produce at least one billion doses — may get emergency authorization from New Delhi by December, said Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer of the family-owned firm based in Pune.
That initial amount will go to India, Poonawalla said in an interview on Thursday. Full approval early next year will allow distribution on a 50-50 basis with the South Asian nation and Covax, the World Health Organization-backed body that’s purchasing shots for poor nations.
Serum, which has tied up with five developers, has so far made 40 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine in the past two months and aims to start manufacturing Novavax’s contender soon.
“We were a bit concerned it was a big risk,” said 39-year-old Poonawalla. But both AstraZeneca and Novavax’s shots “are looking pretty good.”