India has disclosed that it recorded no fewer than 25,152 new coronavirus infections and 347 fatalities in the last 24 hours, saying the recorded cases have pushed the country’s pandemic cases to 10 million since the outbreak.
With the new daily records, the virus has so far killed 145,136 people in the country which also meant that India took 30 days to add the last million cases, the second slowest since the start of the pandemic, according to available data from the nation’s Health Ministry.
After hitting a peak of nearly 98,000 daily cases in mid-September, daily infections have averaged around 30,000 this month, helping India widen its gap with the United States, the world’s worst-affected country with more than 16 million cases.
The Ministry said that the country would soon roll out vaccines and was considering emergency-use requests for three types, developed by Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and local company Bharat Biotech.
But some health experts say the fall in cases suggests many Indians may have already developed virus antibodies through natural infection.
A Senior Health Official in India’s worst-hit state of Maharashtra, home to Mumbai, Pradeep Awate, attributed herd immunity to resistance being recorded in the spread of the virus.
“Herd immunity is a huge part of it … which is helping us to break the transmission,” he said.
India’s richest state was in dire straits back in September when its daily cases averaged 20,000 and hospitals ran out of beds and oxygen. It was now reporting fewer than 5,000 cases.
The national capital territory of Delhi said on Saturday that its third and the worst surge in cases has now ended. It reported 1,418 new infections and 37 deaths on Friday.
“If infections were surging, we would have seen the number of patients in hospitals go up, especially after the festival season. That has not happened,” said Raman Gangakhedkar, who until recently headed epidemiology at the Indian Council Of Medical Research.