In a new peak, India recorded 97,894 new COVID-19 cases and 1,132 deaths in the last 24 hours, said Health Ministry data.

The fresh cases have taken the national toll to nearly 5.12 million, including 83,198 deaths.

In the country, some 4.03 million patients have recovered from the infection, pushing the recovery rate to 78.64%. The total number of cases in the country includes over 1 million active cases. Recovered patients exceed active cases by nearly 3.02 million.

According to ministry data, the country has recorded over 1,000 deaths each day since Sept. 2, taking the month’s toll to 18,729 till Thursday, the highest in comparison to the US and Brazil, which saw monthly totals of 11,802 and 11,738 respectively through Sept. 16.

India added over a million cases in the first 11 days of the month.

On Wednesday, the Indian Medical Association released a list of 2,238 doctors infected with COVID-19, including 382 who died of the virus. The association has demanded that those who died be given the status of “martyrs.”

In a strong reaction to Health Minister Harsh Vardhan’s recent address on COVID-19 in parliament, which did not mention healthcare workers, the IMA wrote a letter accusing the government of “abdication of duty and abandonment of the national heroes who have stood up for our people.”

“If the government does not maintain the statistics of the total number of doctors and healthcare workers infected by COVID-19 and the statistics of how many of them sacrificed their life due to the pandemic, it loses the moral authority to administer the Epidemic Act 1897 and the Disaster Management Act,” the letter said.

With the rising caseload and number of deaths, India is now also set to start clinical trials of 100 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, according to Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, an Indian pharmaceutical.

The step was announced on Wednesday, a day after the Drug Controller General of India gave approval to resume clinical trials of the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, which had earlier been put on hold after an adverse reaction was reported.

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