India added 31,923 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,35,63,421, while the active cases declined to 3,01,640, the lowest in 187 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.
The death count climbed to 4,46,050 with 282 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.
The active cases comprise 0.90 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.77 per cent, the highest since March 2020, the ministry said.
There aren’t many places left for the COVID-19 virus to mutate and evade immunity as it will only get weaker with time, said the creator of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the most widely distributed jab in the world.
“The virus cannot completely mutate because its spike protein has to interact with the ACE2 receptor on the surface of the human cell, in order to get inside it,” Dame Sarah Gilbert, the lead scientist from Oxford University, and the brain behind the vaccine manufactured in India as Covishield, said during a webinar titled: ‘Vaccines, variants, and infection: The position this winter” for the Royal Society of Medicine on Wednesday.
“If it changes its spike protein so much that it can’t interact with that receptor, then it’s not going to be able to get inside the cell. So, there aren’t many places for the virus to go to have something that will evade immunity but still remain infectious,” she explained.
The Congress on Thursday demanded a financial aid of ₹ 5 lakh for every coronavirus victim after a fresh survey and said the amount of ₹ 50,000 promised by the Centre is a “cruel joke” as the crisis in the country is clearly “man-made”.
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate alleged that the Centre has been dragging its feet on compensation from day one and said her party leadership has stated that there needs to be proper and adequate compensation for coronavirus deaths.
“We demand a compensation of ₹ 5 lakh for every life lost during Covid because coronavirus in India is a man-made crisis,” she told reporters.
“The doublespeak and hypocrisy of the Modi government are out for everyone to see,” Ms Shrinate said, asserting that the Centre cannot get away with this “cruel joke” of ₹ 50,000.