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India's COVID-19 caseload rose to 1,02,66,674 with 21,821 new infections being reported in a day, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 98.60 lakh pushing the national recovery rate to 96.04 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday

The death toll increased to 1, 48,738 with 299 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to98,60,280 pushing the national recovery rate to 96.04 per cent, while the COVID-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.45 per cent.

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"A total of 17,20,49,274 samples tested for covid-19 up to December 30. Of these, 11,27,244 samples were tested yesterday", said Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The COVID-19 active caseload remained below 3 lakh for the tenth consecutive day.

There are 2,57,656 active coronavirus infections in the country which comprises 2.51 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.

India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.

The 299 new fatalities include 90 from Maharashtra, 28 each from West Bengal and Kerala, and 21 from Delhi.

A total of 1,48,738 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 49,463 from Maharashtra followed by 12,109 from Tamil Nadu, 12,081 from Karnataka,10,523 from Delhi, 9,683 from West Bengal, 8,352 from Uttar Pradesh, 7,104 from Andhra Pradesh and 5,331 from Punjab.

The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

The COVID-19 tally in Maharashtra rose to 19,28,603 on Wednesday with the addition of 3,537 fresh cases, the state health department said.

With 70 more people succumbing to the viral disease, the overall death toll in the state went up to 49,463, it said.

As many as 29 people who recently returned to Kerala from the UK have tested positive, Health Minister K K Shailaja said on Wednesday, as the State recorded over 6,268 new COVID-19 cases and 5,707 recoveries.

The samples of the UK returnees have been sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune to ascertain if it is the new variant, the minister said in a press release.

Delhi recorded 677 fresh COVID-19 cases and 21 fatalities on Wednesday, even as the positivity rate dropped to 0.8 per cent, authorities said.

The infection tally in the city mounted to over 6.24 lakh and the death toll rose to 10,523 on Wednesday, they said, adding that over 84,000 tests were conducted on the previous day.

The COVID-19 death toll in West Bengal rose to 9,683 after 28 more succumbed to the virus on Wednesday, a health department bulletin said.

The tally mounted to 5,50,893 with 1,178 fresh cases, it added.

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