The total number of novel coronavirus cases in India today surged to 17,656, after 1,540 fresh cases were reported in the last 24 hours.

Along with that, the number of COVID-19 deaths in the country increased to 559.

So far, India has 14,255 active cases. There are also 77 foreign nationals who are affected by the virus.

During a press briefing, Health ministry secretary Lav Aggrawal said that since the lockdown has got implemented, the doubling rate for the virus infection has seen a significant improvement.

The duration of doubling rate for coronavirus which was 3.4 days before lockdown is now 7.5 days.

He also added that the number of districts where no case has been reported in last 14 days has increased to 59.

With more than 4,000 positive cases, Maharashtra remained the worst hit state. The total number of cases in the state surged to 4,203 with 223 deaths. Maharashtra was followed by Delhi, which has crossed 2,000-mark with 2,003 cases and 45 deaths, according to the latest data.

However, as a good news, all coronavirus positive cases in Goa and Manipur are now negative, informed respective state officials. The health ministry added that COVID-19 growth has declined in Odisha and Kerala.

Meanwhile, as many as 53 journalists have also tested positive for COVID-19 in Mumbai.