India recorded 16,375 new Covid cases in the 24 hours ending 8 am Tuesday, taking the total number of infections to over 1.03 crore.
Active cases further dropped to 2.31 lakh, while recoveries continued to rise and stand at over 99.75 lakh. A total of 201 deaths were reported on Monday, the toll currently stands at over 1,49,850.
Results of a data cleaning exercise saw Maharashtra’s confirmed cases rise by 4,875 on Monday, though the day’s rise was only 2,765. Kerala reported 3,021 new cases.
Amid questions raised by experts and Opposition over the restricted use approval given to Covaxin despite no efficacy data from Phase III trials, Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella Monday said the company had “tremendous experience” in developing vaccines and that criticism against it was a “backlash against Indian companies”. Addressing a virtual press conference, Ella said his company’s work was no less than Pfizer’s, which also came out with a vaccine for coronavirus.
The Union Health Ministry said on Monday 38 people have tested positive for the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 in India so far. “All these people have been kept in single room isolation in designated healthcare facilities by respective state governments and their close contacts have also been put under quarantine,” the ministry said. Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others.
Meanwhile, a day after India approved two Covid-19 vaccines, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday lauded the efforts of scientists and said that the country was proud of the research and work done by them to fight the virus. “We’re on the threshold of starting the largest vaccination programme in the world. The entire country is indebted to all scientists and technicians,” Modi said. Modi Sunday hailed the two vaccine approvals as a “decisive turning point” for India’s vaccine development.
India is set to commence its mass vaccination programme in the “near future” as the centre has told vaccine manufacturers of Covishield and Covaxin to prepare to ship “a significant amount” of doses to over 30 vaccination hubs in the country. In the first phase, India plans to vaccinate over 30 crore priority citizens — healthcare workers, people with comorbidities & people above the age of 50 — will likely be completed in August. Everything you need to know about approved Covid-19 vaccines here.
Source: The Indian Express
BDST: 1210 HRS, JAN 05, 2021