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Andaman and Nicobar Islands India’s first to be ‘Covid-free’

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands has become the first state or Union territory in India to be officially rid of the Covid-19 infection, at least for now, with active cases falling to zero in the islands. The health ministry’s website reported on Tuesday that the last four infected persons in Andaman and Nicobar Islands had been declared cured. The UT had reported a total of 4,932 cases and 62 deaths from the virus. Meanwhile, the share of Kerala in India’s daily cases crossed 50% for the first time on Tuesday. There were 11,024 fresh cases in the country out of which Kerala alone reported 5,716, 51.8% of the total. The state also has the highest count of active cases at 69,157, out of around 1,61,000 in the country, as per data collated by TOI from state governments. The daily case count had fallen to a nine-month low of 8,584 on Monday. Cases fall sharply every Monday because of lower testing and staff shortages over the weekend. While fresh cases were back to more than 11,000 on Tuesday, a comparison with the same day last week shows that fresh infections continue to fall in the country. Last Tuesday (January 26), India had reported 12,738 new cases. The daily death toll from the virus too rose from the previous day’s number to 112 on Tuesday. The toll had dropped to below 100 on Monday, again for the first time in nine months. Delhi, meanwhile, reported just two deaths on Tuesday, the lowest daily toll in at least nine months. Maharashtra continued to report the highest number of deaths, adding 30 to the toll on Tuesday. The state recorded 1,927 new cases, the lowest in eight days. For the second day in a row, Mumbai reported less than 400 cases. Active cases in the state dropped to 41,586, of which 5,530 cases were in Mumbai. In Kerala, the test positivity rate remains high at 10.8%, which means that one out of every 10 tests conducted in the state had reported positive for the virus. The state also reported 16 more deaths from the virus on Tuesday. However, the last week of January witnessed an 8.3% decline in the Covid caseload in Kerala as compared with the previous weeks, the state health department said.

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