India on Friday registered a record one-day jump of 13,856 COVID-19 cases in a grim trend that has continued for most of this month as Chennai was back into lockdown after a sharp rise in the infections.
In some positive news, the number of recoveries crossed the two lakh mark and now stands at 2,04,710, while there are 1,63,248 total COVID-19 active cases, according to the Union Health ministry data. This showed that around 53.79 per cent of the patients have recovered so far.
The jump of 13,586 COVID-19 cases pushed the countrywide tally to 3,80,532, while the death toll stood at 12,573 with 336 new fatalities, the data showed.
A total of 1,89,997 cases–around half of the overall tally–was reported this month alone largely due to the rise in the infections in the worst affected states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
UP, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh were among the states which registered a record daily spike on Friday.
Kerala recorded a rise in cases by over 100 for the second time so far. The first coronavirus case in the country was reported in this state on January 30.
As states focused on rigorous testing, the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) said 1,76,959 samples were tested on Thursday, the highest for a day so far to take the cumulative total to 64,26,627 samples.
India's Drug Regulator, meanwhile, has approved anti-viral drug favipiravir for "restricted emergency use" in mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 in view of the crisis posed by the pandemic, official sources said.
Considering the emergency and unmet medical need in COVID-19, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) under the fast-tracked approval process granted domestic firm Glenmark Pharmaceuticals the permission to manufacture and market favipiravir (200 mg) tablet.
"The drug has been approved for restricted emergency use in the country for the treatment of mild to moderate cases of COVID-19," a source in the know of developments told PTI.
Chennai wore a deserted look as the 12-day lockdown without previous relaxations came into force in the Tamil Nadu capital and in a string of other localities in nearby three districts—Chengalpet, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur with police deploying drones and intensifying patrols to check violations.
Tamil Nadu reported 2,115 new COVID-19 cases taking the tally to 54,449. Chennai accounted for 70 per cent of these cases.