India’s health ministry data showed on Thursday that 20,139 new cases of COVID-19 were reported during the past 24 hours, taking the total tally to 43,689,989 in the country.
Indian capital Delhi logged 490 new cases in the last 24 hours, and the active caseload currently stands at 136,076.
The country also logged 38 related deaths during the period, which has pushed the overall death toll to 525,557, the ministry said.
The daily positivity rate has risen to 5.10 percent and the weekly positivity rate has increased to 4.37 percent, the ministry data showed.
Meanwhile, the government announced Wednesday evening that all adults will be able to get free booster (precaution) doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at government centers under a special drive over the next 75 days. The drive will start on Friday.
Health officials said the new move has been taken to increase vaccination coverage among the population in wake of the detection of new variants.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed the hope that the decision for free COVID-19 precaution dose for all citizens above 18 years of age will further India’s vaccination coverage and create a healthier nation.
Reports said so far less than 1 percent of the 18-59 age group have been administered the booster dose.
The detection of super contagious Omicron mutant BA.2.75 that has begun to gain ground in India has worried health officials. There are fears that the new mutant may be able to spread rapidly and get around immunity from vaccines and previous infections.