India added 8,954 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,45,96,776, while the active cases were recorded at less than a lakh after 547 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.
The death toll climbed to 4,69,247 with 267 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.
The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been below 20,000 for 54 straight days and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 156 consecutive days now.
The active cases have declined to 99,023 comprising 0.29 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 98.36 per cent, the highest since March 2020, the ministry said.
A decrease of 1,520 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.
The daily positivity rate was recorded at 0.81 per cent. It has been less than two per cent for last 58 days. The weekly positivity rate was also recorded at 0.84 per cent. It has been below one per cent for the last 17 days, according to the ministry.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,40,28,506, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.36 per cent.
The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 124.10 crore.
India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19. India crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23.
The 267 new fatalities include 177 from Kerala and 35 from Maharashtra.
Of the 177 deaths in Kerala, 19 were reported over the last few days and 158 were designated as COVID-19 deaths after receiving appeals based on the new guidelines of the Centre and the directions of the Supreme Court, a Kerala state government release said on Tuesday.
A total of 4,69,247 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 1,40,997 from Maharashtra, 40,132 from Kerala, 38,211 from Karnataka, 36,481 from Tamil Nadu, 25,098 from Delhi, 22,911 from Uttar Pradesh and 19,486 from West Bengal.
The ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.
"Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research," the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.