India reported 26,567 new coronavirus infections, data from the Health Ministry showed on Tuesday, the lowest daily increase since July 10, according to a Reuters tally.
Daily cases have been falling in India since hitting a peak in September. The country has 9.7 million cases, second-highest caseload in the world after the United States.
Deaths rose by 385, the Health Ministry said, with the total now at 140,958.
Meanwhile, India is accelerating its review of COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca to authorise for emergency use, a senior official said on Monday, as the world’s second-hardest hit country seeks to contain the virus outbreak.
The government is pinning its hopes for mass supply on the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine producer by volume, which lodged the first formal application for emergency-use approval of AstraZeneca’s shot on Monday.
Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla tweeted that the move to apply for emergency use “will save countless lives”, but did not give any other details.
Pfizer had already applied for emergency-use approval for its vaccine in India over the weekend, the government official said, declining to be identified due to the confidential nature of the information.
“We are in the process of reviewing. It is an accelerated reviewing process, which is there for Serum too,” said the official. “It is the need of the hour. We have to review at the earliest.”
India’s Bharat Biotech also filed an application on Monday seeking emergency-use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine, the official said.
The private pharmaceutical company based in Hyderabad is developing a shot called Covaxin, that it plans to launch by the second quarter of 2021.
The company could not immediately be reached for comment.
Lockdowns imposed to contain the spread of the virus have plunged the economy into one of its worst downturns in decades.