India added the fewest coronavirus cases in nearly six months, defying concerns about an influx during the festivities and a new mutant strain in the U.K.

India added 18,732 fresh cases in the last 24 hours—the lowest since July 1—taking the total tally to 1,01,87,850 in the world’s second-worst infected country, according to the Health Ministry’s update as of 8 a.m. on Dec. 27. This includes 147622 deaths and 97,61,538 patients who have recovered.

Key figures:

  • Total confirmed cases: 1,01,87,850

  • Total number of active cases: 2,78,690

  • Total patients cured/discharged/migrated: 97,61,538

  • Total deaths: 1,47,622

  • Number of fresh cases in last 24 hours: 18,732

  • One-day recoveries: 21,430

  • One-day deaths: 279

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, a total of 16,81,02,657 samples have been tested as of Dec. 26, 2020. Of these, 9,43,368 were screened on Dec. 26 alone.

The nation with 1.3 billion people is only behind the U.S. in the number of confirmed infections. New cases remained below 25,000 for the seventh straight day. Daily recoveries have stayed ahead of fresh additions since Nov. 28. India also reported one-day fatalities of less than 300 for the second consecutive day.

The slower pace of daily infections and an improved recovery rate have kept active cases in India below the 3-lakh-mark for the sixth day in a row. That’s just 2.7% of the total caseload. India’s active cases had crossed 10 lakh in mid-September.

That comes as several states and cities have re-imposed some lockdown restrictions amid year-end festivities to ensure that infections remain in check. Besides, a new, more infectious mutant of coronavirus, detected in the U.K., has renewed fears about another wave in India. The nation has already cancelled all flights to and from the U.K. till at least Dec. 31.

Maharashtra has imposed a night curfew across all civic corporations from restricting movement between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Karnataka imposed a night curfew but has now withdrawn that order. Punjab, too, lifted its night curfew on Thursday night for Christmas eve. States have also started putting in institutional quarantine for travellers who may have returned from the U.K.

Global Update

Globally, confirmed coronavirus cases passed 80.3 million, including 1.76 million deaths.

The U.S. recorded 106,188 new Covid-19 cases on Dec. 25, an increase of just 0.6% from the day before and the smallest daily gain since Nov. 4, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and Johns Hopkins University.

Sweden has identified its first case of the new coronavirus mutation after a person from the U.K. visited the Nordic nation to celebrate Christmas in the Sormland region.

The U.K. reported more than 30,000 cases for the seventh consecutive day. Saturday’s tally of 34,693 cases is in line with the average over the previous seven days. Deaths were significantly lower at 210, compared to a daily average of 522 for the past week. Oxford and Astrazeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine will be rolled out across the U.K. starting Jan. 4, the Telegraph reports, citing plans that ministers are drawing up.

Beijing government is calling for stricter Covid-19 control and prevention during the holidays as the Chinese capital city reported five local cases on Saturday.

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