India has added over 54,000 cases making it the second day where cases have been above the 50,000 mark. Active cases have fallen by over 16,000 in the 24 hour period, while almost 69,000 people have recovered. During this time 1,321 people have died. Daily testing remains below the 20 lakh mark at 18.59 lakh tests.
Maharashtra has reported over 10,000 fresh COVID cases in the last 24 hours. That is a sharp rise from the 6,000 cases reported the previous day. The latest data takes the number of daily cases to levels seen a week ago.
On the vaccination front, around 65 lakh vaccine doses were administered in a 24 hour period taking the total number of doses administered so far beyond thirty crores. The three-day average now stands at 68.43 lakh doses while 18.6 percent of the population has now received the first dose. Just a little over 4.1 percent of the country's population has been fully vaccinated with two doses so far.
Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra form nearly 40 percent of the total doses administered on Wednesday. Madhya Pradesh has inoculated 11 lakh beneficiaries in 24 hours and Uttar Pradesh & Maharashtra have administered 8 lakh and 6 lakh each.
Meanwhile, at least 41 cases from the delta plus variant have been confirmed in India, taking the number of states or union territories to report such cases to 6 from 3 earlier. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and J&K are the latest to report cases from the new variant.
The Centre has already classified delta plus as a 'variant of concern' and advised MP, Kerala and Maharashtra to take immediate containment measures. However, a member of India’s genome mapping group Doctor Anurag Agarwal told us that there was no need for panic yet, he added that delta plus is a "variant of concern" under investigation.
To discuss this in detail, CNBC-TV18 spoke with Dr. V Ravi, member, Karnataka Covid TAC, International Scientific Advisory Board Sputnik V vaccine; Dr. Rahul Pandit, member, Maharashtra Covid Task Force, Director - Critical Care Fortis Hospitals Mumbai; Dr.V Anil Kumar Prof & Head - Microbiology Department Amrita Hospitals, Kochi
For the entire discussion, watch video