NEW DELHI, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- India's daily COVID-19 caseload Friday again surpassed the 20,000 mark after remaining below it for the past five days, officials said.
According to federal health ministry data released on Friday morning, 20,551 new cases of COVID-19 were reported during the past 24 hours, taking the total tally to 44,107,588 in the country.
The cases reported on Friday mark an increase in comparison to 19,893 cases on Thursday.
With the reporting of fresh cases, India's active caseload currently stands at 135,364.
The country also logged 70 related deaths during the past 24 hours, pushing the overall death toll to 526,600 since the beginning of the pandemic, the ministry said.
With the increase in cases, the daily positivity rate stands at 5.14 percent and the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 4.64 percent, the ministry data showed.
The ministry said so far 43,445,624 people have been successfully cured and discharged from hospitals, of whom 21,595 were discharged during the past 24 hours.
According to the federal health ministry, the cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage in the country has exceeded two billion doses and until Friday morning 2,055,947,243 doses were administered.
So far over 877 million COVID-19 tests have been conducted across the country.
A cumulative total of 877,160,646 samples have been tested up to August 4, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said Friday. Out of these 400,110 tests were conducted on Thursday alone.
Health experts say COVID-19 is a cyclical disease and will come in waves.
The federal government stated in the Indian parliament that given the emergence of COVID-19 variants with variable transmissibility and other public health implications, the health ministry was closely following the COVID-19 trajectory globally and in the country.
In wake of the detection of new variants, at present the Indian government is focussing on improving booster dose coverage as the uptake for the third dose has been low.
Health officials attribute the surge in new cases to people letting their guard down and not following social distancing norms.
Local governments in various states have issued advisories urging people to wear face masks and follow COVID-19 protocols in mass gatherings in the wake of an increase in daily infections. ■