Picture used for illustrative purposes only.
India reported 247,417 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the cumulative nationwide tally to 36,317,927, the Union health ministry's data, updated at 8am on Thursday.
According to data from the health ministry this latest single-day rise is 27 per cent higher than that a day ago, when 194,720 people tested positive.
Major contributors included Maharashtra (46,723), Delhi (27,561), West Bengal (22,155), Karnataka (21,390), among others.
As many as 84,825 more people were discharged after recovering from the viral illness.
Daily fatalities, meanwhile, witnessed a fall, as 380 more patients succumbed due to the infection, taking the cumulative toll to 485,035.
Also, the number of active patients crossed the 1 million-mark once again, rising by a massive 162,212 cases to 1,117,531, the bulletin showed.
On the other hand, as many as 84,825 more people were discharged after recovering from the viral illness, taking total recoveries to 34,715,361.
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In a sign of growing anxiety, Indian Railways, one of the world's biggest networks, cancelled all services except suburban and goods trains until March 31. The move will affect more than 20 million passengers a day and comes after several people tested positive for the virus after trips.
Parents wanted names to be 'memorable and unique' after boy and girl born during lockdown in India that began on March 24.
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The dispute has led to the grounding of 21 planes out of 53 A350s operated by Qatar Airways and cast a pall over the airline's preparations for the World Cup later this year.
Authorities in Tonga, hit by a massive volcanic eruption and a tsunami on Jan. 15, have asked for aid to be delivered without human contact amid concerns a COVID outbreak would be devastating for the tiny Pacific island nation.
The World Bank ranks the crisis as among the most severe globally since the mid-19th century, devastating a country once seen as a wealthy and liberal outpost in the Middle East before civil war broke out from 1975 to 1990.