New Delhi:

India added 90,797 cases of coronavirus in two days with 46,951 new infections being recorded in a span of 24 hours, the highest so far this year, taking the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 1,16,46,081, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

A year ago, India had observed what Prime Minister Narendra Modi called a people's curfew, marking the start of a chaotic nationwide lockdown in a bid to contain the virus. With 11.6 million cases, India is now the worst-affected country after the United States and Brazil.

Registering an increase for the 12th day in a row, the total active caseload has increased to 3,34,646, which now comprises 2.87 per cent of the total infections. The recovery rate has further dropped to 95.75 per cent, the data stated. 

The 212 new fatalities include 99 from Maharashtra, 44 from Punjab, 13 from Kerala and 10 from Chhattisgarh.The  number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,11,51,468Â and the case fatality rate has further dropped to 1.37 per cent, the data stated.

The daily rise in infections was the highest recorded in 130 days, while the death toll increased to 1,59,967Â with 212 daily new fatalities, the highest in 72 days, the data updated at 8 am showed.

According to the ICMR, 23,44,45,774 samples have been tested up to March 21  with 8,80,655  samples being tested on Sunday. 

However, as a sign of relief, the total COVID vaccination count has touched more than 4.5 crores (4,50,65,998), as per the Union Ministry today till 8 AM.

"Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh account for 77.7 per cent of the new cases in the last 24 hours," read the press release by the Ministry yesterday.

India's richest state, Maharashtra, reported 30,535 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, which could send the country's overall cases to a multi-month high when national data is released later on Monday.

Maharashtra, India's most industrialised state and home to its financial capital Mumbai, has been accounting for more than 60% of the country's total cases after a full-scale reopening of its economy unleashed a second wave of infections late last month. The state recorded 99 COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, a case fatality rate of 2.15%, which is higher than the national figure of around 1.5%

"Seventeen States/UTs have not reported any COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours. These are Rajasthan, Assam, Goa, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Jharkhand, Lakshadweep, Sikkim, Puducherry, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Nagaland, Tripura, Ladakh (UT), Manipur, Mizoram, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Arunachal Pradesh," informed Ministry yesterday. Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Friday, while speaking in Lok Sabha, said no one should have any doubts about the COVID-19 vaccines. He also urged everyone to take the vaccine doses without fear.

"No one should have any doubts about the COVID-19 vaccines. I urge all to take the vaccine shots," said the Union Minister.

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.A total of 1,59,967 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 53,399 from Maharashtra, 12,599 from Tamil Nadu, 12,434 from Karnataka, 10,956 from Delhi, 10,306 from West Bengal, 8,759 from Uttar Pradesh and 7,189 from Andhra Pradesh.

The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent 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.