India on Wednesday reported 2,82,970 new Covid cases in the past 24 hours, a rise of 18 per cent from yesterday's case count and the highest from third-wave so far, as per the Union Health Ministry's latest database.
With fresh cases, the country's overall caseload has now mounted to 3,79,01,241.
Top five states which have registered maximum cases are Karnataka with 41,457 cases, followed by Maharashtra with 39,207 cases, Kerala with 28,481 cases, Tamil Nadu with 23,888 cases and Gujarat with 17,119 cases.
53.07 per cent of the new cases are reported from these five states, with Karnataka alone responsible for 14.65 per cent of the new cases.
The positivity rate, which is an indicator of the spread of the infection, has climbed marginally from 14.43 per cent to 15.13 per cent.
The country has so far reported 8,961 cases of the fast-spreading Omicron variant, which is driving the third wave of the pandemic. The Omicron count rose by 0.79 per cent since yesterday.
A total of 441 deaths due to the infection were reported in the past 24 hours -- significantly higher than yesterday's count of 310.
The country's active caseload currently stands at 18.31 lakh, the Health Ministry said in its bulletin.
Over 1.88 lakh patients have recovered from Covid over the past 24 hours and the country's recovery rate is now 93.88 per cent.
A total of 70.74 crore samples have been tested so far. Over 18.69 lakh tests were conducted in the past 24 hours -- over 2 lakh more than yesterday.
Over 158 crore doses of vaccines have been administered under the nationwide drive as the government pushes hard to expand coverage amid the third wave of infections.
A week after listing conditions that do not require testing, the government yesterday said testing numbers were falling and states need to ramp up.
India has seen over 17 lakh fresh cases over the past week, but the hospitalisation rate has so far been significantly lower than during the second wave which had pushed the healthcare system to a brink of collapse.
With the third wave pushing up daily case counts in major cities, governments have been forced to bring back curbs on public movement that had been eased after the second wave.