New Delhi:

India recorded 24,492 new COVID-19 cases, registering more than 20,000 cases for the sixth day in a row, taking the infection tally past 1.14 crore, the Union health ministry said on Tuesday.

The total cases in the country rose to 1,14,09,831, while the death toll increased to 1,58,856 with 131 fresh fatalities, the ministry data updated at 8 am showed. 

Registering a spike in cases for the sixth day in a row, the active caseload has increased to 2,23,432, which now comprises 1.96 per cent of the total infections. The recovery rate has further dropped to 96.65 per cent, it said.

As many as 26,624 new infections were recorded in a span of 24 hours on December 20.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,10,27,543, while the case fatality rate dropped to 1.39 per cent, the data stated.

India''s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20 lakh-mark on August 7 last year, 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, 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one crore-mark on December 19.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR),  22,82,80,763 samples have been tested till March 15, with 8,73,350 samples tested on Monday.

Meanwhile with an aim to speed up the COVID-19 vaccination drive, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has set a target of inoculating one lakh people in the city every day, BMC officials said on Tuesday.

Currently, 40,000 to 45,000 people are being given vaccine shots here in a day at around 85 immunisation centres, including 54 private hospitals, they said.

On Monday, 44,683 people received vaccine shots in Mumbai, according to the civic body.

During a review meeting last week, BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal set the target of immunising one lakh people per day, specially after the government permitted round-the-clock vaccination in private hospitals, civic officials said.

With the addition of new vaccination centres and increasing the number of hours of the immunisation drive every day, the target can be achieved, they said.

Highlighting the reasons for speeding up the inoculation process, the civic body in a release last week said there are around 30 lakh senior citizens in Mumbai.

Hence, if the target one lakh vaccinations per day is achieved, the entire population of senior citizens could be covered in a month, it said.

BMC's Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said to achieve the target, they have planned to increase the civic-run vaccination facilities, apart from adding 29 centres in private hospitals.

''With the existing centres, we have vaccinated up to 48,000 people in a day. By adding more centres, we can easily cross 75,000 vaccinations per day. Hence, the target of one lakh vac