India added 18,177 coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, placing its overall number at 1.03 crore cases, the Health Ministry's data showed.
The number of fresh infections is 4.7 per cent lower than on Saturday. In this period, India reported 217 deaths linked to the virus, taking the total number of fatalities to 1,49,435.
Meanwhile, Covaxin, the coronavirus vaccine from Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, has been recommended for "restricted use in emergency situation in public interest" by a government-appointed panel, which submitted its findings to the Drugs Controller General of India on Saturday evening.
The DCGI will take the final call on approving of the vaccine. The national regulator is scheduled to address the media at 11 am today.
The recommendation comes despite the lack of efficacy data at this time. Covaxin has completed only two of three trial phases; the third - which tests for efficacy and which the company has called "the largest... ever conducted in India" - began in November.
Free coronavirus vaccines will be given in the first phase to three crore people who have been on the frontline in the fight against the highly contagious disease, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said today. The government will give priority to 1 crore healthcare workers and 2 crore frontline workers when India begins the rollout of Covid vaccine.
"In 1st phase of #COVID19Vaccination free #vaccine shall be provided across the nation to most prioritised beneficiaries that incl 1 crore healthcare & 2 crore frontline workers. Details of how further 27 cr priority beneficiaries are to be vaccinated until July are being finalised (sic)," Dr Harsh Vardhan tweeted on Saturday.
BDST: 1236 HRS, JAN 03, 2021