India has now taken the third spot in the list of worst-hit nations by coronavirus after the total number of cases crossed 6.9 lakh. India has overtaken Russia which had 6.8 lakh as per America's Johns Hopkins University (JHU). India is now preceded only by Brazil and the US. Brazil has over 15 lakh cases and the US has more than 28 lakh. The Union Health Ministry reported 24,248 cases and 425 deaths in the last 24 hours. The fresh cases and deaths have pushed the total cases in the country to 6,97,413 and the death count to 19,693. The recovery rate stands at 60.85 per cent, with 4,24,433 patients across the country having recovered from the highly contagious disease. Maharashtra, the worst-hit state and home to financial hub Mumbai, recorded 6,555 new cases. The state has crossed two lakh cases, with 2,06,619 total cases, as the Maharashtra government plans more relaxations. Tamil Nadu's coronavirus tally reached 1,11,151. With 2,244 new cases of COVID-19 in Delhi on July 5, the total cases are now at 99,444, while active cases are at 25,038. Nationwide lockdown in place since late March has gradually been lifted, allowing most activities. Schools, metro trains in cities, cinemas, gyms and swimming pools remain closed however and international flights are still grounded. Government has pinned its hope on vaccines being quickly developed to meet the crisis. Approval for human clinical trials for two made-in-India COVID-19 vaccine candidates marks the "beginning of the end" for the pandemic, the government said on July 5.