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Coronavirus Updates : India records 44,111 Covid-19 cases, 738 deaths in last 24 hours.

Cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) dipped again on Saturday as India recorded 44,111 fresh infections, taking the country’s cumulative tally past 30.5 million, the Union health ministry’s data showed. And 738 related fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours, lower than 853 on Friday, pushing India’s death toll to 401,050 so far. India’s active cases of Covid-19 also dropped further by 14,104 in the last 24 hours and settled at 495,533, accounting for 1.67% of total infections. The country’s recovery rate stood at 97.01% on Saturday, as more people were cured of the coronavirus disease and outnumbered the daily new cases for nearly two months.

The health ministry data showed that 34,46,11,291 people have been vaccinated in the country so far, out of which 4,399,298 were vaccinated in the last 24 hours.

Covid-19 cases in India dipped below 50,000 for the first time on June 21 and have since remained stagnant in the bracket of 30,000-50,000. The country has seen a sharp fall of Covid-19 cases in the second wave after they peaked with 414,188 fresh infections on May 6.

However, experts have cautioned people saying they need to follow Covid appropriate norms. NITI Aayog member (health) VK Paul said close monitoring is crucial at this stage and the country ‘cannot lower its guard’. ‘As we are seeing in Europe right now, the disease transmission has started growing again, with cases having dropped to 50 per million at one point, which is now almost double… It is in our control to ensure India doesn’t see the third wave,’ he said.

Officials on Friday said India is vaccinating on average 5 million individuals daily since June 21. This is equivalent to inoculating the entire population of Norway every day and asserted that the process is like a ‘marathon and not a 100-metre race’.

To date, 340 million people or equivalent to the entire population of the US have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine since the nationwide inoculation drive began on January 16, health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal said on Friday in a press briefing.

Responding to the de-acceleration in the rate of inoculation, Agarwal said, “We are in a marathon and not a 100-metre sprint.”

Even as the second wave has declined to 1/7th of its peak, officials have abstained from announcing its end. “The second wave of Covid-19 is not over yet,” Agarwal said.

The central government underlined the need for vaccination and following Covid-19 protocols, noting that the second wave of the pandemic is not over yet and people should not lower their guard.

Though daily new Covid-19 cases continue to show a declining trend, 71 districts reported a case positivity rate of more than 10% from June 23 to 29, Agarwal said.

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