India on Sunday reported 12,899 new Covid-19 cases and 15 deaths due to the respiratory infection, according to Union Health Ministry data. Yesterday, the Covid-19 cases crossed the 13,000-mark for the first time after more than three months as 13,216 fresh infections were reported in the last 24 hours.

Cumulatively, India’s Covid infection count has surged to 43,296,692 since March 2020 when the pandemic emerged in the country.

India’s active cases have increased to 72,474, which accounts for 0.17% of the total cases. In the past 24 hours, 4,366 active cases were recorded as per the data.

The government data today informed that as many as 8,518 recoveries were registered in the last 24 hours thereby increasing the total recoveries to 4,26,99,363. The recovery rate currently stands at 98.62%.

At present, the daily positivity rate stands at 2.89% while the weekly positivity rate is 2.50%. The death toll increased to 5,24,855 which is 1.21% of the total cases.

According to PTI news agency, states and union territories have been asked to submit a “larger number” of samples for whole genome sequencing from the districts and areas that have seen a surge in Covid-19 cases over a period of seven days.

The direction was issued on Friday during a meeting of the INSACOG, which reviewed the Covid data to check the possibility of any new emerging variant or sub-variant and ascertain the reasons behind the breakthrough infections.

According to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) experts, Omicron and its sub-lineages — primarily BA.2 and BA.2.38 as of now — seem to be behind the current rise in the number of Covid cases in the country.

BA.2 and its sub-lineages account for over 85%of the Covid cases in India, with BA.2.38 being found in around 33% of the samples.

BA.4 and BA.5 are found in less than 10% samples.

Under the nationwide vaccination program, India’s Covid-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 196 crore (196,13,24,182).

So far, more than 3.57 crore (3,57,14,238) adolescents have been administered the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Overall, 101.30 crore people have taken their first shot of the coronavirus vaccine while 90.68 crore people have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centre’s data.

More than 193.53 vaccine doses have been provided to States/UTs so far, out of which, over 12.89 crores (12,89,73,380) balance and unutilized vaccine doses are still available with them.

Separately, Dr Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech said that the clinical phase III trials of the Covid-19 nasal vaccine have been completed and the company will submit its data to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) next month.

“We just completed a clinical trial, a data analysis is going on. Next month, we will submit the data to the regulatory agency. If everything is okay, then we will get permission to launch and it will be the world’s first clinically proven nasal COVID-19 vaccine,” Bharat Biotech chairman said.