India records 18K fresh Covid cases, 234 deaths

With 18,139 new coronavirus infections and 234 deaths in the last 24 hours, India’s overall tally stood at 1,04,13,417, while the death toll touched 1,50,570, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday.

India continued its streak of low daily new cases. Till now, 1,00,37,398 have recovered. Currently, there are 2,25,449 active cases. The recovery rate stands at 96.36 per cent while the fatality rate is 1.45 as per cent.

The total number of samples tested up to January 7 is 17,93,36,364 including 9,35,369 samples tested on Thursday, the Indian Council of Medical Research said.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state till date.

Over 79 per cent of the daily new cases are being reported by 10 states and union territory — Kerala, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.

On Wednesday, the government deployed a high level Central team to Kerala to review the public health interventions in management of Covid-19 by the state government and support the health authorities in these measures.

Meanwhile, the most-awaited mass vaccination drive is slated to begin soon, with approval of two vaccines. The Central government plans to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people in the first phase of drive.

It will be offered to one crore healthcare workers, along with 2 crore frontline and essential workers, 26 crore people above the age of 50 and one crore below 50 with comorbidities.