New Delhi, Dec 30 (PTI) India's COVID-19 caseload rose to 1,02,44,852 with 20,549 new infections being reported in a day, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 98.34 lakh pushing the national recovery rate to 95.99 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.

The death toll increased to 1,48,439 with 286 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed   The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 98,34,141 pushing the national recovery rate to 95.99 per cent, while the COVID-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.45 per cent.

The COVID-19 active caseload remained below 3 lakh for the ninth consecutive day.

There are 2,62,272 active cases of coronavirus infections in the country which comprises 2.56 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.  India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16.It went past  60 lakh on September 28,  70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.

According to the ICMR, 17,09,22,030  samples have been tested up to December 29 with 11,20,281 samples being tested on Tuesday.

The 286 new fatalities include 68 from Maharashtra, 30 from West Bengal, 28 from Delhi and  24 from Kerala.

A total of 1,48,43 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 49,373 from Maharashtra followed by 12,092 from Tamil Nadu, 12,074  from Karnataka, 10,502  from Delhi, 9,655 from West Bengal, 8,340 from Uttar Pradesh, 7,100 from Andhra Pradesh and  5,322 from Punjab.

The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

"Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of  Medical Research," the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.