Some relief as daily infections drop below 175,000 in India, lowest in 45 days

Srinagar, India, May 29 (EFE).- The devastating second wave of the coronavirus in India appears to be ebbing, with the country adding fewer than 175,000 new infections on Saturday, the lowest in about a month and a half.

The country, which battled a devastating second wave of the virus outbreak that crippled its healthcare system, added 173,790 Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours from Friday, taking the overall caseload of the infections to 27.7 million, the second-highest after the United States (34 million).

The number of new Covid-19 cases is the lowest since Apr.12, when health officials detected nearly 160,700 infections.

The ministry noted that 3,617 people succumbed to the disease in India over the past day, raising the toll to 322,512 since the pandemic began last year.

The daily infections have constantly declined in the last few days to fewer than 200,000, compared to a grim world record of over 400,000 cases earlier this month.

The health ministry said the number of patients who recovered in the last 24 hours exceeded the new cases by over 110,000.

“Daily recoveries continue to outnumber the daily new cases for the 16th consecutive day,” the ministry said.

The active cases have also declined to 2.2 million, marking a drop of more than 100,000 over the past day, indicating nearly a 91 percent recovery rate.

The ministry said health workers carried out 2.08 million coronavirus tests in the last 24 hours in the country.

“The weekly (test) positivity rate is currently at 9.84 percent while the daily (test) positivity rate reduced (to) 8.36 percent today,” the ministry said in a statement.

The test positivity rate remained less than 10 percent for the fifth day in a row, which, a month ago, was nearly 21 percent.

It is still way above the threshold set by the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the pandemic under control.

The UN health agency considers the virus outbreak under control if the test positivity rate is below 5 percent.

New Delhi, which was among the worst-hit region due to the second wave of the outbreak, has shown significant improvement in its health situation for weeks now.

The national capital region would ease Covid-19 restrictions from Monday, following a significant decline in daily infections and fatalities, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.

Among the Indian regions that have not yet managed to bend the curve is Tamil Nadu.

The southern state recorded more than 31,000 cases and 486 deaths over the past day.

In the western state of Maharashtra, the worst hit by the deadly second wave, daily cases have dropped from almost 70,000 in April to about 20,000 in the last 24 hours.

The region, home to the Indian financial capital of Mumbai, continues to record nearly 1,000 deaths a day. Some 973 people lost their lives to the virus over the past day.

The state extended Covid-19 curbs until June 15.

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