India reported 42,015 new COVID-19 cases and 3,998 deaths in the last 24 hours, data from the Union Health Ministry confirmed on Wednesday. India's infection tally now stands at 3,12,16,337, with the death toll pushed to 4,18,480. 

There are 4,07,170 active cases in the country, which increased by 1,040. 36,977 patients recovered from the infection in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries to 3,03,90,687. 

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Daily positivity rate stands at 2.27% and has remained under 3% for a 30th consecutive day, the ministry said. A total of 18,52,140 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of tests conducted to 44,91,93,273, according to data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The government administered 34,25,446 vaccines in the last 24 hours, with India's total vaccination now standing at 41,54,72,455. 

India has been recording gradual a decline in daily infections and deaths in recent months after a crippling second wave of COVID ravaged the country in April and May. 

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. India crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23.

Today's jump in deaths comes as Maharashtra added 3,509 previously unreported deaths. This was the state's 14th reconciliation.  

The more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, which was first reported in India in October, 2020 has now spread to over 100 countries and is the dominant strain globally.