New Delhi:

India's COVID-19 tally rose to 1,11,92,088 with over 18,000 fresh cases being reported in a span of 24 hours in the country after 36 days, while active cases registered an increase for the fourth consecutive day on Saturday and were recorded at 1,80,304, according to the Union Health Ministry.

The death toll reached 1,57,656 with 108 more fatalities, while a total of 18,327 new cases were registered in a day, the ministry's data showed.

On January 29, 18,855 new infections were recorded in a span of 24 hours after which the daily rise in fresh cases remained below 18,000.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,08,54,128 which translates to a national COVID-19 recovery rate of 96.98 percent, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.41 percent.

The COVID-19 active caseload has increased to 1,80,304 which now comprises 1.61 percent of the total infections.

Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu have reported a high number of COVID-19 daily new cases, cumulatively accounting for 82 percent of the new cases reported in a span of 24 hours, the ministry said.

A total of 1,57,656 deaths have been reported so far in the country, including 52,393 from Maharashtra followed by 12,513 from Tamil Nadu, 12,354 from Karnataka, 10,918 from Delhi, 10,275 from West Bengal, 8,729 from Uttar Pradesh, and 7,172 from Andhra Pradesh.

According to the ICMR, 22,06,92,677 samples have been tested up to March 5 with 7,51,935 samples being tested on Friday.

The 108 new fatalities include 53 from Maharashtra, 16 from Kerala, and 11 from Punjab.

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

''Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,'' the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.

Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu added 82 per cent of the total new cases which were reported in the last 24 hours in the country, the union health ministry informed on Saturday. According to the health ministry, 18,327 new COVID-19 cases were registered in the last 24 hours, out of which Maharashtra added 10,216, followed by Kerala with 2,776 while Punjab reported 808 new cases.

Meanwhile, eight states are displaying an upward trajectory in daily new cases. "India's total active caseload has reached 1,80,304 today. India's present active caseload now stands at 1.61 per cent of India's total positive cases," the ministry said.

On the other hand, 21 states and union territories have less than 1,000 active cases. Arunachal Pradesh has only three active cases. Kerala, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu have shown a reduction in the active cases in the last 24 hours whereas Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana displayed a rise in the active cases during the same period.

108 deaths were reported in the country in the last 24 hours. "Six states account for 85.2 per cent of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (53). Kerala follows with 16 daily deaths and Punjab reported 11 deaths in the last 24 hours," it said.

Gujarat, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Uttarakhand, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Assam, Sikkim, Manipur, Ladakh (UT), Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Nagaland, Mizoram, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli have not reported any COVID-19 death in the last 24 hours. (ANI)

15 lakh people inoculated

Nearly 15 lakh people were inoculated against coronavirus on March 5, the highest in a day so far, taking the total number of vaccine doses administered in the country to over 1.94 crores, official sources said on Saturday.

The countrywide COVID-19 vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated. The vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) had started on February 2.

Administering of the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine started on February 13 for those beneficiaries who had completed 28 days after receipt of the first dose.

The next phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive commenced on March 1 for those above 60 years of age and people aged 45 years and above with specified co-morbid conditions.

As of Day 49 (March 5) of the vaccination drive, a total of 14,92,201 COVID-19 vaccine doses were given. Out of which, 11,99,848 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 18,333 sessions for the first dose (HCWs and FLWs), and 2,92,353 HCWs and FLWs received the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, the health ministry said.

These beneficiaries (11,99,848) include 1,10,857 individuals, aged between 45-60 years, having specified comorbidities, and 7,61,355 people aged above 60 years.

More than 1.94 crores (1,94,97,704) vaccine doses have been administered through 3,57,478 sessions, as per the provisional report till Saturday at 7 is.

These include 69,15,661 HCWs (first dose), 33,56,830 HCWs (second dose), 63,55,989 FLWs (first dose) and 1,44,191 FLWs (second dose), 3,46,758 beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific co-morbidities (first dose) and 23,78,275 beneficiaries aged more than 60 years, it said.