New Delhi: Amid a worrying gradual but consistent increase in the number of single-day infections, India registered 18,711 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, similar to the level during mid-January, according to data shared by the Union Health Ministry on Sunday.
Sunday's figure was an increase of 1,873 cases reported two days ago.
The last time India reported more than 18,000 single-day cases was in the later half of January.
As of Sunday, the country's cumulative caseload has increased to 1,12,10,799.
However, a slight drop was recorded in number of deaths from previous day
At least 100 fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours against 108 reported a day before.
The death toll currently stands at 1,57,756.
However, active cases are on a gradual increase, becoming a cause of concern.
In the last three days, it increased by 0.1 per cent, pushing the current rate to 1.65 per cent.
As per the Ministry's data, there are 1,84,523 active cases presently.
Besides, 14,392 patients of Covid-19 were discharged in a day. A total 1,08,68,520 persons have been discharged so far.
The recovery rate has reduced by over 1 per cent in the last 24 hours. It stands now at 96.95 against 97.98 per cent recorded on Saturday.
The drop in recovery rate and the increase in new and corresponding active cases have been attributed to various factors, including the continued spike in infections in Maharashtra and the sudden spurt in Punjab. Between February 28 and March 5, Maharashtra added 51,612 new cases.
Punjab is emerging as another Covid-19 hotspot. The state recorded 1,071 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, the highest since November 2020.
In view of this, the Central government had rushed high level multi-disciplinary public health teams to the two states on Saturday.
Experts have expressed a number of possibilities which could be owed to the surge, ranging from the lax attitude of people towards following the Covid protocols to likeability of "mutations and new strains".
The Ministry also informed that 7,37,830 samples were tested on Saturday.
The cumulative tests done by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) so far stands at 22,14,30,507.
Till date, 2,09,22,344 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the country since the mass drive began on January 16.
The third phase of vaccination began on Monday covering 27 crore of people above 60 and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities at 10,000 government and over 20,000 private vaccination centres.