India saw a record single-day spike of 49,310 COVID-19 cases taking the country's virus tally to 12,87,945 on Friday, while the recoveries surged to 8,17,208, according to the Union Health Ministry data.
The death toll mounted to 30,601 with 740 new fatalities reported in a span of 24 hours, the data updated at 8 am showed.
There are 4,40,135 active cases of coronavirus infection presently in the country.
Thus,around 63.45 per cent people have recovered so far.The total number of confirmed cases includes foreigners.
Of the 740 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, 298 are from Maharashtra, 97 from Karnataka, 88 are from Tamil Nadu, 61 from Andhra Pradesh, 34 from West Bengal, 28 from Gujarat, 26 each from Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, 11 from Rajasthan,10 from Madhya Pradesh and nine each from Jammu and Kashmir and Telangana.
Punjab has reported eight fatalities followed by Assam, Odisha and Haryana with six deaths each, Kerala five, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Puducherry three each, while Chhattisgarh, Tripura and Goa have registered a fatality each.
As the number of cases neared 1.3 million in India, local authorities scrambled to procure generic versions of remdesivir, the drug that has shown promise in clinical trials in treating severely-ill patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
“Demand is huge as cases are rising rapidly in the state,” said a senior drug regulatory official in the western state of Maharashtra. “Supplies of the drug are limited, but companies have assured us they will provide more in a week.”
Remdesivir, made by the U.S. drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc, has been in high demand globally amid the pandemic, and Gilead in May and June authorized six Indian companies, and three foreign ones, to make and sell generic versions of the drug in 127 developing nations.
Only three of these firms with operations in India – Hetero Labs Ltd, Cipla and Mylan NV have so far been able to start supplying. Others are either awaiting regulatory approvals or still setting up production.
Several hospitals have struggled to get the drug as patient numbers increased in a county whose public health system is one of the world’s most poorly-funded.
Drug industry and government officials in the country said that they are doing their best.
“These things cannot be done in a hurry,” said P.D. Vaghela, an official at India’s Department of Pharmaceuticals, adding the drug regulator was working on granting approvals to companies for generic remdesivir at the earliest.
“Some people were engaging in black marketing but we have taken strict action against them,” Vaghela said.