Over 15 lakh people inoculated against COVID-19 in India; world leaders laud New Delhi's 'vaccine diplomacy'

FP Staff
·5-min read

On Saturday the number of Indians inoculated with the first dose of coronavirus vaccine crossed 15 lakh, with 3,47,058 vaccinated within the last 24 hours, the health ministry said. Meanwhile, the number of people who have tested positive for the UK variant of COVID-19 in India climbed up to 150 while the total number of active cases stood at 1.85 lakh.

India also received praise and words of gratitude from world leaders for supplying coronavirus vaccines to other countries, despite having a large population to cater to at home.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his continued support to the global COVID-19 response, saying acting together, including sharing of knowledge, will help in combating the novel coronavirus.

Nearly 14 lakh benefici>aries inoculated; active caseload around 1,85,000

According to data released by the Union Health Ministry, the highest number of 1,84,699 vaccinations in the country has been reported from Karnataka, followed by Andhra Pradesh (1,33,298), Odisha (1,30,007), and Uttar Pradesh (1,23,761).

As many as 1,10,031 beneficiaries were inoculated in Telangana, 74,960 in Maharashtra, 63,620 in Bihar, 62,142 in Haryana, 47,293 in Kerala, and 38,278 in Madhya Pradesh, according to the data.

In a statement, the ministry said in the last 24 hours, 3,47,058 people were vaccinated in 6,241 sessions and 27,776 such sessions have been conducted across the country so far.

"As on 23 January, 2021, till 8 am, nearly 14 lakh (13,90,592) beneficiaries have received the vaccination under the countrywide COVID19 vaccination exercise," it said.

India's active COVID-19 caseload continued to manifest a downward movement and dropped to 1,85,662 on Saturday.

"India's present active caseload now consists of just 1.74 percent of India's total positive cases," the ministry said.

It added that 28 states and Union territories in the country have less than 5,000 active coronavirus cases each and their recovery rate is above the national average.

The country's total caseload has mounted to 1,06,39,684 and the death toll due to the viral disease has climbed to 1,53,184 with 152 people succumbing to it in a span of 24 hours, the data showed.

150 people infected with UK variant of COVID-19 in India

The number of people who have tested positive for the UK variant of COVID-19 in India has climbed to 150, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday.

All of them have been kept in single room isolation in designated health care facilities by the respective state governments, the ministry had said earlier.

Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine. Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts, and others. Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on, the ministry said.

The situation is under careful watch and regular advice is being provided to the states for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing and dispatch of samples to INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium) labs.

WHO chief, Brazil president thank Modi; US praises India for vaccine supply

"Thank you, India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for your continued support to global COVID-19 response. Only if we act together, including sharing of knowledge, can we stop this virus and save lives and livelihoods," tweeted Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation.

Prime Minister Modi has said India's vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used for the benefit of all humanity to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, he had said that India was ready to do everything possible for a healthy planet.

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro also thanked India after his country received a consignment of 20 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Tweeting an image of Hindu god Hanuman carrying a mountain of coronavirus vaccine to Brazil, Bolsonaro thanked India for helping his country with the jabs.

Terming India a "true friend" which is using its pharmaceutical sector to help the global community, the US has applauded New Delhi for gifting COVID-19 vaccines to several countries.

In the last few days, India has sent consignments of domestically produced coronavirus vaccines under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Mauritius, and Seychelles. It is also undertaking commercial supplies of the doses to a number of countries, including Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Brazil, and Morocco.

"We applaud India's role in global health, sharing millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine in South Asia. India's free shipments of the vaccine began with Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Nepal and will extend to others," the South and Central Asia Bureau of the US State Department tweeted on Friday.

"India's a true friend using its pharma to help the global community," it said.

Known as the 'pharmacy of the world', India produces 60 percent of vaccines globally.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks also commended India's support to its neighbouring countries to fight the pandemic.

"I commend India's efforts to help its neighbours by providing them with free COVID-19 vaccines. Global challenges like the pandemic require both regional and global solutions," Meeks said.

The US media also praised India's support to the global community in this health crisis.

According to a Washington Post report, India is giving away millions of coronavirus vaccine doses as a tool of diplomacy.

"The Indian government has sent free doses to Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives more than 3.2 million in total. Donations to Mauritius, Myanmar, and Seychelles are set to follow. Sri Lanka and Afghanistan are next on the list," it noted.

"The shipments reflect one of India's unique strengths: It is home to a robust vaccine industry, including Serum Institute of India, one of the world's largest vaccine makers," the report said.

With inputs from PTI

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