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India’s Covid-19 tally has been fast heading towards a million mark with spike in the number of cases every day. Maharashtra continues to be the worst-affected state and has reported a total of 2,75,640 Covid-19 cases and close to 11,000 fatalities.

The Central government announced on Wednesday that a record 20,572 patients recuperated from Covid-19 disease in the last 24 hours and the country’s recovery rate rose to 63.24 per cent. This is the highest rate of recovery so far, according to the health ministry. Aggressive testing, timely diagnosis and effective management of patients either through supervised home isolation or active medical attention in hospitals have led to a surge in recovered cases which exceed active Covid-19 cases, the ministry said.

It further said that the norms and standards for home isolation along with the use of oxymeters have helped to keep a check on the asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients without putting pressure on hospital infrastructure.

Medical infrastructure in India to treat Covid-19 patients includes 1,378 dedicated hospitals, 3,077 dedicated health centres, and 1,0351 care centres equipped with 21,738 ventilators, 46,487 ICU beds, and 1,65,361 oxygen beds, the health ministry said. Daily testing to detect Covid-19 increased significantly with more than 3.2 lakh samples tested on Tuesday, the highest so far on a single day. Overall, 1.24 crore samples have been tested for the viral infection so far, according to officials of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Amid the rise in cases, Bihar has imposed a lockdown from Thursday till July 31. Except essential services, everything else will be closed in the state during this period. Religious places and offices too will remain closed.

Of late, Karnataka has also witnessed rapid rise in cases. State Health minister B Sriramulu, who also heads the state’s Covid-19 task force, struck a note of despair on Wednesday over the surge of cases, saying “only God can save us”. He also appeared to be responding to criticism about the state’s handling of the pandemic, saying stopping the spread was “not in anybody’s hands”.

The state’s caseload is approaching 50,000 while the number of deaths is past 900. For days in a row, Karnataka has reported the third highest spike in infections and worryingly, has the second highest toll in the country.

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