A health worker collects a nasal sample from a woman for COVID-19 test, in Jammu (PTI)
NEW DELHI: Daily deaths from Covid-19 in India dipped to a seven-month low as 216 fatalities were recorded in the country on Saturday, the lowest since June 1.
The tally of fresh cases also fell to 18,153, nearly 1,000 less than the previous day’s count but this was partly on account of a sharp drop in testing on New Year Day. Less than 8.3 lakh tests were done across the country on Friday, down 2.3 lakh from the previous day.
Along with a steady decline in new cases, India has been reporting fewer deaths from the virus since the daily toll peaked on September 18, when 1,244 fatalities were recorded.
On Friday, the number of deaths fell to 224, the first time since June 2 that the daily toll had dropped below the 250 mark. Maharashtra continued to record the highest number of deaths in the country, with 51 reported on Saturday.
Bengal had the second highest toll at 28, followed by Kerala (21) and Punjab (15). The daily toll continued to fall in Delhi, with 14 deaths reported on Saturday. On the 300th day since the first Covid cases were reported in Maharashtra, both the state and its capital Mumbai reported a marginal dip in fresh cases and deaths.
A total of 3,218 new cases were reported in the state on Saturday, taking the total cases to 19,38,854. The total death toll rose to 49,631.
On Saturday, the state update said 593 cases were added to Mumbai’s tally. For the fourth consecutive day, Delhi’s count of new cases was below that of Mumbai. The national capital recorded 494 cases, which was the first time in more than seven months that the daily count has fallen below 500, as per Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain.
Uttar Pradesh recorded 728 fresh cases and eight deaths, the lowest in the last six months. Health officials said out of total deaths reported in UP, nearly 45% patients were over 60 years old and more than 50% had at least one comorbid condition.
Andhra Pradesh tested 48,518 Covid-19 samples to detect the 238 new cases, translating to a case positivity rate of less than 0.5%. This is the lowest single-day case positivity rate in the last seven months.