India's COVID-19 tally neared 6.5 lakh cases on Saturday with a record single-day spike of 22,771 new infections even as the recovery rate improved to 60.81%.
While the nationwide tally climbed to 6,48,315, the death toll rose to 18,655 with 442 new fatalities, according to Union Health Ministry data.
The numbers are led by Maharashtra, which crossed the two lakh-mark on Saturday after 7,074 new cases were reported from in 24 hours. The number of fatalities reported was 295 -- of this 124 deaths occurred in the last 48 hours and the remaining 171 were from the previous period.
The central government said several people-centric measures taken as part of the "test, trace, treat" strategy and that facilitation of widespread testing by states has spurred the number of samples tested daily. During the last 24 hours, 2,42,383 samples have been tested, pushing the cumulative number of tests to 95,40,132, said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
This was the second consecutive day when cases increased by more than 20,000. There has been a surge of 4,57,780 COVID-19 cases from June 1 till date.
Of the 442 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, 198 are from Maharashtra, 64 from Tamil Nadu, 59 from Delhi, 21 from Karnataka, 18 each from Gujarat and West Bengal, 14 from Uttar Pradesh, 10 from Rajasthan, eight each from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, five from Punjab, four each from Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, three from Bihar, and two each from Assam and Odisha.
Of the total 18,655 deaths reported so far, Maharashtra accounted for the highest 8,376 fatalities, followed by Delhi with 2,923 deaths, Gujarat with 1,904, Tamil Nadu with 1,385, Uttar Pradesh with 749, West Bengal with 717, Madhya Pradesh with 593, Rajasthan with 440 and Karnataka with 293 deaths.
The death toll reached 283 in Telangana, 255 in Haryana, 206 in Andhra Pradesh, 157 in Punjab, 119 in Jammu and Kashmir, 80 in Bihar, 42 in Uttarakhand, 29 in Odisha and 25 in Kerala.
Jharkhand has registered 15 deaths, Chhattisgarh and Assam 14 each, Puducherry 12, Himachal Pradesh 10, Chandigarh six, Goa four and Meghalaya, Tripura, Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh have reported one fatality each, according to the Health Ministry. More than 70% of the deaths took place due to co-morbidities, it said.
(With inputs from PTI)