New Delhi: For a third day in a row, India's Covid-9 tally crossed the 18,000 mark. The figure reported on Monday of new coronavirus cases was 18,599. The overall total has now reached 1,12,29,398, according to data released by the Union Health Ministry.
Meanwhile, 97 deaths were also reported in the last 24 hours, which took the total fatality to 1,57,853.
On Sunday, 18,711 new cases were reported, while 18,327 infections were registered a day earlier.
The last time India reported more than 18,000 single-day cases was in the latter half of January.
However, the active cases are on a gradual increase, raising concerns.
The increase in the last four days was by 1.3 per cent, pushing the current rate to 1.68 per cent.
The rate of active cases recorded on March 4 was 1.55 per cent.
The Ministry's data gives the number of currently active cases as 1,88,747.
Besides, 14,278 patients were discharged in a day. A total 1,08,82,798 persons have been discharged so far.
The recovery rate has reduced by over 1.07 per cent in the last two days. It now stands at 96.91 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 different factors, such as the spike in cases in the state of Maharashtra and the sudden spurt in Punjab.
Over 90,000 cases are active in Maharashtra, according to Union Health Ministry. Just within a week (February 28-March 5), the state had added 51,612 new cases.
In view of this, the Central government had rushed high level multi-disciplinary public health teams to Maharashtra and Punjab on Saturday.
Experts also cite as possible reasons of the surge the lax attitude of people towards adherence to the Covid protocols and the likelihood of "mutations and new strains".
On Sunday, according to the Ministry, 5,37,764 samples were tested. The cumulative tests done by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) so far stands at 22,19,68,271.
Till date, 2,09,89,010 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.
(With IANS inputs)