In what can be described as a first, almost 66,550 people around the country have made a recovery from COVID-19 over the course of the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said in a statement today. Despite recording the highest number of daily cases in the world, India has also now recorded for the first time ever the highest recoveries in a day on Monday. 60,975 persons tested positive for the novel coronavirus around the country on Monday, with the COVID-19 tally rising up to 31,67,323. However, the number of discharges for a single day surpassed the cases count as Monday's numbers took the recovery count total to 24,04,585 and pushed the recovery rate over 75.92 per cent. 

Speaking at the Health Ministry's coronavirus press briefing where officials shared the country's pandemic-related data, Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research said, "Irresponsible, less cautious people who are not wearing masks are driving the pandemic in India,". 

The statement has come at a time when the government is going ahead with its preparations to conduct IIT and medical exams in September. Health Ministry officials declined requests for a comment on the JEE, NEET exams situation and stated that India currently has one of the lowest COVID-19 mortality rates and among the best recovery rates in the world. 

Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said, "The recovery rate is now more than 75%. The country's COVID mortality rate - at 1.58 percent - is one of the lowest in the world. The number of active cases is 22.2 percent of the total cases, and the recovered cases are 3.4 times more than the active cases in the country,". 

Officials further added that the positivity rate in the country has come down to a 7 day rolling average from 11 to 8 days in early August, as a result of an increase in the testing. India’s per million per day testing has doubled to 600 now from when it was 363 on August 1. "More than 3 crore tests have been done till August 25," the Union Health Secretary said. He also went on to say that a majority of the coronavirus cases in India were not severe. "Some 2.7 per cent patients are on oxygen support, 1.92 per cent patients are in the ICU and 0.29 per cent are on ventilator support," he stated.