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India's COVID-19 caseload breaches 68 lakh-mark; 1,05,526 dead so far

New Delhi: India saw a single-day rise of 78,524 COVID-19 cases on Thursday taking the virus caseload to over 68 lakh, while the death toll climbed to 1,05,526 with 971 people succumbing to the disease in a span of 24 hours, the data updated by Union Health Ministry at 8 am showed.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 58,27,704. The COVID-19 recovery rate now stands at 85.25 per cent.

The total Coronavirus cases mounted to 68,35,655, while there are 9,02,425 active cases of infection in the country which comprises 13.20 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated. The COVID-19 case fatality rate has dropped to 1.54 per cent.

According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 8,34,65,975 samples have been tested up to October 7 with 11,94,321 samples being tested on Wednesday.

Thirty-five states and Union territories in the country are performing more than 140 COVID-19 tests per day per million population, while 22 states and UTs have COVID-19 positivity rate less than the national average, the health ministry said. The cumulative positivity rate stands at 8.19 per cent, it said.

Meanwhile, with the likelihood of a vaccine against coronavirus being available within months, the government has begun a massive exercise to map out cold chain storage facilities to ensure the vaccine is delivered quickly across the country.

A national expert group is talking to the public and private sector entities in the pharmaceutical sector, food processing industry and agro-businesses as well as food delivery start-ups such as Swiggy and Zomato to identify cold storages or fridges at the taluka level that can stock and distribute the vaccine, sources with direct knowledge of the discussions said. A draft scheme for the vaccine distribution is likely to be released around the middle of next week, they said.

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