With 66,999 additional infections of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours as of Thursday, as well as 942 deaths, India has reported a new record in daily cases, raising its overall total to 2,4 million.

According to Health Ministry data, India surged past the UK with 47,033 fatalities. The figures show that 653,622 patients are currently under treatment, while around 1,7 million have recovered or left the country.

“The total recoveries have crossed the 1.6 million mark. The Recovery Rate has reached another high of 70.38%. The actual caseload of the country is the active cases (653,622) which is only 27.64% of the total positive cases. They are under active medical supervision,” the ministry said in a statement.

The five most affected states by total case tally are the western state of Maharashtra (548,313), the southern state of Tamil Nadu (314,520), Andhra Pradesh (250,000), and Karnataka (182,354), and the National capital Delhi (147,391).

The coronavirus tally in the eastern state of West Bengal also crossed the 100,000 mark with 2,931 new infections.

According to a statement by the government late on Wednesday, the National Expert Group on vaccine administration for COVID-19 decided that the body would also handle the procurement of vaccines.

“The expert group deliberated on conceptualization and implementation mechanisms for the creation of a digital infrastructure for inventory management and delivery mechanism of the vaccine including tracking of vaccination process with particular focus on last-mile delivery,” it said.

The expert group discussed the financial resources required for the procurement of the COVID-19 vaccine and various options of financing the same.

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 749,000 lives in 188 countries and regions since originating in Wuhan, China last December. The US, Brazil, India and Russia are currently the worst-hit countries in the world.

More than 20.6 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries exceeding 12.8 million, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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