Coronavirus India HIGHLIGHTS: India reported 22,890 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, taking the total number of infections to 99,79,447. The number has remained below 30,000 for the fifth consecutive day today. Also, with 338 deaths in the last 24 hours, the toll has mounted to 1,44,789. It’s the sixth day in a row that the toll has remained lower than 400.
More than 31,000 people were declared to have recovered on Thursday taking the total number of discharged cases to 95,20,827, while the number of active cases has fallen to 3.13 lakh. India’s COVID-19 recovery rate is amongst the highest in the world, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday, underlining that countries like the US, Brazil, Russia, and Italy are reporting lesser recovery rates.
The Supreme Court on Friday directed all states to carry out a fire safety audit of dedicated COVID-19 hospitals across the country. “Dedicated COVID-19 hospitals have to take fire NOC within four weeks failing which states will take punitive action,” the court said.
On Thursday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government has taken several measures to support the economy but no amount of intervention will be adequate to deal with the crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing the annual general meeting of the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Sitharaman said that while in early 2020 green shoots and revival signs of the economy were visible, it was upset with the pandemic setting in. The government has taken steps for interventions by consulting several chambers of commerce, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took feedback from the industry, she added.
On the vaccine front, the Election Commission (EC) is open to the prospect of offering assistance, if sought by the system, in administering the Covid-19 vaccine to the country’s population next year. Speaking Thursday at the Idea Exchange programme of The Indian Express, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said the ongoing pandemic is an unprecedented national crisis that requires “exceptional and extraordinary” response.