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With 9,765 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, India's total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,46,06,541, while the active cases increased to 99,763, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

The death toll climbed to 4,69,724 with 477 fresh fatalities including, 403 from Kerala, according to the data updated at 8 am.

Of the 403 deaths in Kerlaa, 96 were reported over the last few days and 307 were designated as Covid deaths after receiving appeals based on the new guidelines of the Centre and the directions of the Supreme Court, a Kerala state government release said.

The ministry said the daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been less than 50,000 for 158 consecutive days now.

The active cases comprise 0.29 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.35 per cent, the ministry said.

An increase of 740 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours

The daily positivity rate was recorded at 0.89 per cent. It has been less than two per cent for last 59 days. The weekly positivity rate was also recorded at 0.85 per cent. It has been below one per cent for the last 18 days, according to the ministry.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,40,37,054, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.36 per cent.

The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 124.96 crore.

India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 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.

India crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23.

The 477 new fatalities include 28 from Maharashtra.

A total of 4,69,724 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 1,41,025 from Maharashtra, 40,535 from Kerala, 38,213 from Karnataka, 36,492 from Tamil Nadu, 25,098 from Delhi, 22,911 from Uttar Pradesh and 19,498 from West Bengal.

The 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.

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