NEW DELHI, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) — India’s COVID-19 tally has almost touched 10 million as it reached 9,979,447 on Friday.

As many as 22,890 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours, said the latest data from the federal health ministry.

According to the data, the death toll mounted to 144,789 as 338 COVID-19 patients died since Thursday morning.

Delhi has been one of the most COVID-19 affected places in the country. As many as 1,363 new cases and 35 deaths were registered in the national capital during the past 24 hours. So far as many as 10,182 people have died in the national capital due to COVID-19.

There are still 313,831 active cases in the country, while 9,520,827 people have been discharged so far from hospitals after medical treatment, added the ministry’s latest data.

Meanwhile, the federal government has ramped up COVID-19 testing facilities across the country, even as more than 150 million tests have been conducted.

Till Thursday a total of 158,918,646 tests were conducted, out of which 1,113,406 tests were conducted on Thursday alone, said the figures released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Friday.

Due to the continued spell of COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has decided to continue the suspension of international flights till the year-end.

Last Friday Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that a COVID-19 vaccine could be ready in a few weeks from now, and that efforts were being made towards developing a perfect network for its distribution among the countrymen once the vaccine was ready.