Coronavirus News Update: India administers over 1.8 cr vaccine doses; Maharashta and Kerala top in daily cases

FP Staff
·9-min read

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India crossed 1.8 crore on Friday with nearly 14 lakh (13,88,170) vaccine doses being given on Thursday alone, the Union Health Ministry said, even as nationwide efforts to curb the spread of the virus is facing fresh challenges due to an 'upward trajectory' being noticed in daily cases in at least in eight states.

As of Friday, Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 8,998. It is followed by Kerala with 2,616 while Punjab reported 1,071 new cases.

Meanwhile, public figures like Union minister Prakash Javadekar, Punjab and Rajasthan chief ministers Amarinder Singh and Ashok Gehlot, and Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari received the vaccine as part of the second phase of inoculation in the country.

The second phase began on 1 March, during which people above the age of 60 and people above the age of 45 with comorbidities are qualified to get inoculated.

Overall, the groups that have been vaccinated so far are: 68,53,083 healthcare workers (HCWs) who were administered the first dose, 31,41,371 HCWs who were given the second dose, 60,90,931 frontline workers (FLWs) who were given the first dose and 67,297 FLWs (second dose), 2,35,901 beneficiaries aged above 45 years with specific co-morbidities (first dose) and 16,16,920 beneficiaries aged above 60 years.

The ministry said 10,56,808 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 16,081 sessions for the 1st dose (HCWs and FLWs) and 3,31,362 HCWs and FLWs received the second dose of vaccine.

Prakash Javadekar, Amarinder Singh, Ashok Gehlot get COVID-19 vaccine

Javadekar received his first COVID-19 vaccine shot in a hospital in Pune and said that the "vaccination process is easy".

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Amarinder Singh, who got vaccinated at a hospital in Punjab's Mohali district, urged eligible people to register themselves for the vaccine.

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Singh's media advisor Raveen Thukral said that the chief minister, after being vaccinated, said it was painless and that he was feeling fine. He also posted a short video in which a nurse is seen administering the vaccine to the chief minister.

Singh trashed the BJP's allegation of Congress-ruled states rejecting Covaxin as "a complete lie and part of the ruling party's false and politically motivated propaganda".

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Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and state health minister Raghu Sharma were administered the first dose of the anti-coronavirus vaccine at SMS hospital in Jaipur.

After the inoculation, Gehlot tweeted, "Administering 2 to 2.5 lakh vaccine doses per day in Rajasthan is a big thing. About 25 percent of the country's vaccination is taking place only in Rajasthan. This is because the corona management has been excellent in the state."

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Six states account for 88.5% of new deaths, says Centre

Six states €" Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi €" have reported high daily new cases in a span of 24 hours, the ministry said underlining 84.44 percent of the new cases reported in a span of 24 hours (16,838) are from these six states.

Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 8,998. It is followed by Kerala with 2,616 while Punjab reported 1,071 new cases.

Eight states are displaying an upward trajectory in daily new cases, the ministry highlighted.

India's total active caseload stands at 1.76 lakh (1,76,319) which comprises 1.58 percent of India total infections.

The ministry said that Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have shown a reduction in the active cases in a span of 24 hours.

Maharashtra, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi and Gujarat display a rise in the active cases during the same time period.

Showing the change in the number of active cases for states in the last one month, the ministry said that Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu are the top five states showing a decline in active cases in the last one month, while Maharashtra, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi are the top states showing a rise in active cases.

The ministry said 20 states and UTs have less than 1,000 active cases. The Cumulative Positivity Rate of the country shows a continuous decline and stands at 5.08 percent.

Eight states display a weekly positivity rate higher than the national average (2.09 percent). Among them, Maharashtra stands out with a weekly positivity rate of 10.38 percent.

The ministry said 113 deaths were reported in a day.

Six states account for 88.5 percent of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (60). Punjab follows with 15 daily deaths. Kerala reported 14 deaths.

Eighteen states and UTs have not reported any COVID-19 deaths in a span of 24 hours. These are Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh (UT), Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Puducherry, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand.

Ten Mumbai restaurant employees test positive, quarantined

Ten out of 35 employees of a restaurant in Mumbai's Andheri tested positive for coronavirus and were shifted to the mega COVID care centre in Bandra Kurla Complex, PTI reported.

The report quoted a BMC official as saying that the restaurant management has been given strict instructions to depute new staff and follow all sanitisation processes and protocols before restarting operations.

"The staff who tested positive earlier this week and their high-risk contacts have been quarantined in the BKC centre," said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation official.

Siddaramaiah asks Narendra Modi to make vaccine free for all

Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the decision to allow private hospitals to charge Rs 250 for administering coronavirus vaccine, saying it will act as a deterrent in the fight against the pandemic.

In a letter to Modi, the Congress stalwart batted for free vaccination across the country.

"The decision of the Central Government to allow private healthcare centres to charge Rs 250 for administering the vaccine will adversely impact the efforts to ensure immunity to everyone and to contain the spread (of coronavirus)," Siddaramaiah wrote in his letter.

"I strongly urge the Prime Minister of India to reconsider the decision and ensure that every Indian is vaccinated for COVID-19 at zero cost," he added.

Siddaramaiah added that the vaccination drive is slow as only 0.5 percent people have been vaccinated in India so far whereas other countries have been making huge strides to increase the immunity among their people.

"Many countries, across the world, including Brazil, Canada, the United States of America and the United Kingdom have made COVID vaccines available free of cost and it is the right approach to ensure speedy administration to everyone," Siddaramaiah said in his letter.

Backing the decision to collaborate with private institutions in the vaccination drive, he advised that both the central and state governments should take the burden to reimburse the cost of vaccination.

COVID-19 antibodies, vaccines less effective against coronavirus variants, says study

COVID-19 antibody-based drugs and vaccines developed so far may become less effective as new variants of the novel coronavirus spread widely, according to a new study.

The research, published in the journal Nature Medicine, noted that the three fast-spreading variants of the coronavirus first reported in South Africa, the UK and Brazil, can evade antibodies that work against the original form of the virus that sparked the pandemic.

According to the scientists, including those from the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis in the US, more antibodies produced in response to vaccination or natural infection, or purified antibodies intended for use as drugs, is needed to neutralise these novel coronavirus varieties, compared to the levels needed to counter the original virus lineage from Wuhan, China.

"We're concerned that people whom we'd expect to have a protective level of antibodies because they have had COVID-19 or been vaccinated against it, might not be protected against the new variants," said study senior author Michael S Diamond from the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis.

The researchers said there is wide variation in how much antibody a person produces in response to vaccination or natural infection.

"Some people produce very high levels, and they would still likely be protected against the new, worrisome variants. But some people, especially older and immunocompromised people, may not make such high levels of antibodies," Diamond said.

"If the level of antibody needed for protection goes up tenfold, as our data indicate it does, they may not have enough. The concern is that the people who need protection the most are the ones least likely to have it," he added.

With inputs from PTI

 

Also See: Co-WIN app for admins only, use the portal, Centre tells citizens as glitches hold up vaccination

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