With 24,010 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, India's total cases have reached 99,56,558, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday.
With 355 new deaths, the toll mounted to 1,44,451. According to the Union Health Ministry, there are 3,22,366 total active cases in the country. The total number of discharged cases is at 94,89,740 with 33,291 new discharges in the last 24 hours.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a total of 15,78,05,240 samples tested for COVID-19 up to December 16. Of these, 11,58,960 samples were tested on Wednesday.
Maharashtra continues to the worst affected state by the pandemic, followed by Kerala.
The Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan last week had said that COVID-19 has greatly magnified the need for building resilient health care systems and ensuring their indiscriminate, equitable access to all.
"We must do away with the status quo that got us here and settle for nothing less than strong health systems that protect everyone -- now and in the future. It has been my long-standing belief that India has the ability to deliver to the world, a robust model for providing universal health coverage," he said.