India's Covid-19 tally rose marginally on Saturday after at least 39,097 fresh cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, the Union ministry of health and family welfare data showed. The country also recorded 546 fatalities on Saturday, taking the total death toll to 420,016, the data updated on the health ministry's website at 8am showed. India has reported 31,332,159 cases of coronavirus disease so far, according to government data.
Active cases of Covid-19 in the country stood at 408,977 after 3,464 new infections were added to the caseload, accounting for 1.3 per cent of the total cases India has seen since the start of the pandemic.
At least 35,087 people recovered from the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total recovered count of people to 30,503,166. The recovery rate in the country was logged at 97.36 per cent, the data showed.
Barely two months after the second wave has shown signs of receding significantly, health experts and authorities are on guard for any possible surges. At its peak on May 6, India saw at least 414,188 Covid-19 cases in a span of just 24 hours. However, the cases have dipped from then to settled at one-seventh of what the peak witnessed. Covid-19 cases in the country have now plateaued as India continues to record cases between 30,000 to 50,000 infections for more than 30 days.
Experts have criticised people for not following Covid-19 safety protocols, prompting authorities to speculate the arrival of a third wave of infection by the end of next month or by September. Director of India's top hospital All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Dr Randeep Guleria, said on Friday while the coronavirus will not mutate "dramatically" in the forthcoming months, "we cannot predict how it will behave."
"Third wave's arrival is a lot dependent on how we behave. Covid-19 appropriate behaviour like preventing crowds, and other measures can delay the third wave and severity of the third wave. Thus, it is dependent on human behaviour. We cannot predict that how the virus will behave," the pulmonologist said.
A total of 4,27,882,261 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in India so far, of which 4,267,799 were given in the last 24 hours, the health ministry data showed.