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Coronavirus India highlights: New cases per million population in last 7 days among lowest in the world, says Health Ministry

In Phase 1, India will vaccinate about 3 crore frontline workers, followed by around 27 crore people above the age of 50 and others with co-morbidities.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 16, 2021 6:59:26 am
At a vaccination centre in Mumbai on Friday. (Express Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

India recorded 87 new Covid-19 cases per million population in the last seven days which is one of the lowest in the world when compared with countries like the US, the UK, Russia, Germany, Brazil, France and Italy, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday. The ministry also said that only one new death per million population was reported in India in this period.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the Covid-19 mass vaccination drive Saturday, connecting with over 3,000 vaccination sites across the country via video-conferencing. “Around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each session site on the inaugural day,” the government said.

The beneficiary list of frontline workers for the first day has already been uploaded on the Co-WIN platform and vaccine shots will be injected at designated centres from 9 am to 5 pm, senior health officials said. 

In its first phase lasting till August, the country is set to vaccinate about 3 crore frontline workers, followed by around 27 crore people above the age of 50 and others with co-morbidities. The Election Commission has agreed to a request from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to share electoral roll data to identify people above the age of 50 in each polling state. Read our explainer on the vaccine rollout here

India recorded 15,590 new Covid-19 cases, in the last 24 hours ending 8 am Thursday, taking the total tally to over 1.05 crore. Out of these, active cases further dropped to 2.13 lakh, while recoveries went up to over 1.01 crore. With 191 fatalities reported on Friday, the death toll stands at over 1.57 lakh. With a total of 8.31 lakh cases recorded so far, Kerala has now overtaken Tamil Nadu’s case count, and now has fourth highest caseload in the country, after Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Live Blog

PM Modi to launch Vaccination drive Phase 1 on January 16; India's tally over 1.05 cr, death toll over 1.57 lakh. Follow this space for highlights

23:24 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Global Covid death toll exceeds 2 million

Globally, the death toll due to Covid exceeded 2 million on Friday, international news organisation BBC reported.

17:34 (IST)15 Jan 2021
New cases per million population in last 7 days among lowest in the world, says Health Ministry

India recorded 87 new Covid-19 cases per million population in the last seven days which is one of the lowest in the world when compared with countries like the US, the UK, Russia, Germany, Brazil, France and Italy, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday. It further said that only one new death per million population was reported in India in this period, PTI reported.

16:10 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Night curfew to continue for 15 more days in four Guj cities

Even as fresh cases of coronavirus are on decline in Gujarat, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Friday asserted that night curfew will remain in place in four major cities of the state for the next 15 days as a precautionary measure.

While urging people to be patient and cooperate with the authorities for some more days, Rupani said the viral infection has come under control due to the night curfew imposed in November, 2020 in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot.

"The night curfew after 10 pm will continue for 15 more days in all four cities. There will be no relaxation for now, as there is a drastic decrease in new cases (because of curfew). People need to have patience and cooperate with the authorities," he told reporters in Jamnagar. (PTI)

16:07 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Covid-19 vaccination begins tomorrow: All your questions answered

The world’s biggest inoculation drive against the novel coronavirus will begin Saturday as India starts vaccinating three crores of its frontline workers. In the first phase, two indigenous vaccines, Covaxin and Covishield, will be administered to priority groups. Over one crore and 5.27 lakh people have been infected by the virus in India so far, and close to 1.52 lakh have died. From who will receive the Covid-19 vaccine to how the vaccination drive be conducted? We answered all your questions here.

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14:09 (IST)15 Jan 2021
What are the possible adverse reactions to vaccine shots mentioned in guidelines?

COVISHIELD

MILD ADVERSE EVENTS: For Covishield, the fact sheet says a few mild adverse events can happen following immunisation —injection site tenderness; injection site pain; headache; fatigue; myalgia (deep muscle pain); malaise (a feeling of overall discomfort); pyrexia (an abnormal elevation of body temperature); chills; arthralgia (pain in the joint); and nausea.

In such cases, the fact sheets says the common painkiller paracetamol may be used “to provide symptomatic relief from post vaccination adverse reaction”.

RARE ADVERSE EVENTS: The nerves in the body are covered with a protective layer called myelin — like a network of electric wires that helps transmit messages from the brain smoothly through the body. Conditions that damage myelin are called demyelinating disorders. The fact sheet says “very rare events of demyelinating disorders” have been reported following vaccination with Covishield, “without the causal relationship establishment”.

It adds that Covishield should be given with “caution” to individuals with thrombocytopenia, a medical condition characterised by abnormally low levels of platelets.

COVAXIN

MILD ADVERSE EVENTS: Among mild adverse events following immunisation, the fact sheet includes: injection site pain; headache; fatigue; fever; body ache; abdominal pain; nausea and vomiting; dizziness-giddiness; tremor; sweating; cold; cough; and injection site swelling.

RARE/SERIOUS EVENTS: None are listed. Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer, has said no serious adverse event has been reported in either phase 1 or phase 2 trials — or in the ongoing large phase 3 trials with 25,800 participants, it has said.

Bharat Biotech has also said that chloroquine and corticosteroids, both used as repurposed drugs in Covid-19 clinical management, “may impair antibody response” likely to be triggered by the vaccine. (With Kaunain Sheriff M)

14:04 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Special flight from Brazil for 2 million Covid-19 vaccine doses

With India set to launch its nationwide vaccination drive against Covid Saturday, a specially equipped aircraft from Brazil is expected to land in Mumbai over the weekend to collect 2 million doses of the vaccine to mark the first such export from the country, sources told The Indian Express.The move follows a request from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in a letter last week to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the vaccines without jeopardising the Indian vaccination programme.

Sources said Brazilian authorities have struck a commercial deal with Serum Institute of India in Pune, with reports from Brazil indicating that the Chinese vaccines deployed in the country are of less efficacy than claimed. The Pune firm has tied up with AstraZeneca to manufacture the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford.

While the first consignment will be from Serum, Brazil has also selected Bharat Biotech’s vaccine, sources said.“There is no point storing more vaccines beyond India’s current capacity. So the vaccine export to other countries doesn’t affect India’s vaccination plans,” a senior government official told The Indian Express.( Read Shubhajit Roy's report here)

13:52 (IST)15 Jan 2021
There are challenges in Covid vaccination drive, but these are not intractable

The fight against COVID-19 is possibly entering its final stages, with the Prime Minister announcing the kick-off of the vaccination drive from January 16. This announcement precedes a herculean task ahead, in which 300 million Indians will be vaccinated in the first phase of the drive. The first phase caters primarily to healthcare and frontline workers, the elderly, and those with comorbidities.

However, there will be initial hiccups in carrying out this task. The problems in carrying out vaccination on this massive scale are apparent, but not intractable.

One, states should be prepared for adverse events following immunisation (AEFI). Although unlikely, in some cases, untoward medical occurrences can follow vaccination.

Two, initially, states should also prioritise vaccinating people with comorbidities and elderly residing in clusters affected most by COVID-19.

Three, those who have been vaccinated can potentially carry the SARS-CoV-2 virus and unwittingly spread the disease to others, especially to their family members who are caregivers.

13:31 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Bengal: Kolkata gets highest number of vaccines, followed by N-24 Parganas

Within two days of their arrival for the first phase of the vaccination drive from Saturday, 6,44,500 doses have been distributed to all the districts in the state, and Kolkata has received the highest number of doses at 93,500. The state capital is followed by North 24 Parganas’s 47,000 doses and Murshidabad’s 37,500.

Sources in the state Health Department said that in Kolkata, SSKM Hospital, Calcutta Medical College and RG Kar and National Medical College have been supplied with the first batch of vaccines. Chittranjan Seva Sadan at Hazra Road, Beliaghata ID and BG Hospital, BC Roy Children’s Hospital and Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine will later receive the vaccines.

SSKM, which has received 3,250 doses of Serum Institute of India’s Covishield, has registered 10,000 frontline workers for the vaccination.(With ENS)

12:18 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Who all cannot take the vaccine shot currently?

The vaccine cannot be administered to people who belong to any of three categories:

  •  Persons with a history of an allergic reaction to a previous dose of a Covid-19 vaccine (this would mean those who have taken a dose in a country where vaccination has already started);
  • People who show an immediate or delayed onset of an allergic reaction to vaccines or injectable therapies, pharmaceutical products, and food items;
  •  Pregnant and lactating women. Since they have not been part of any clinical trial so far, women who are “pregnant or not sure of their pregnancy” and “lactating women” should not receive the vaccine at this time. (with Kaunain Sheriff M)
12:13 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Ahead of India's inoculation drive, take a look at these general guidelines regarding the shots
  • The vaccination is only for people over the age of 18 years.
  • The vaccines are not interchangeable: the second dose will have to be of the same vaccine that was administered as the first dose.
  •  The vaccine should be given with “caution” to persons with a history of any bleeding or coagulation disorder — platelet disorder, clotting factor deficiency, or coagulopathy.
  • Vaccinators have to store both vaccines at +2°C to +8°C; protect them from light; and discard the vaccine if found to be frozen.

10:55 (IST)15 Jan 2021
India records over 15,000 new Covid-19 cases, 191 deaths

India recorded 15,590 new Covid-19 cases, in the last 24 hours ending 8 am Friday, taking the total tally to over 1.05 crore. Out of these, active cases further dropped to 2.13 lakh, while recoveries went up to over 1.01 crore. With 191 fatalities reported on Friday, the death toll stands at over 1.57 lakh. With a total of 8.31 lakh cases recorded so far, Kerala has now overtaken Tamil Nadu’s case count, and now has fourth highest caseload in the country, after Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

09:03 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Delhi records 340 new Covid-19 cases, 4 deaths

Delhi recorded 340 fresh COVID-19 cases and four deaths on Thursday, the daily fatality count dropping to a single digit after several months, even as the positivity rate slipped to 0.48 per cent.

This is also the eleventh time the daily incidences count stood below the 500-mark in January.The infection tally in the city stood at over 6.31 lakh and the death toll mounted to 10,722 with four new fatalities, they said.

Eleven COVID-19 deaths were recorded on Wednesday.

This month, 585 cases were reported on January 1 and 494 on January 2; 424 on January 3; 384 on January 4, and 442 on January 5; 654 on January 6; 486 on January 7 and 444 on January 8; 519 on January 9 and 399 on January 10; 306 on January 11 and 386 on January 12 and 357 on January 13.

09:01 (IST)15 Jan 2021
109 people test positive for UK variant of coronavirus

The number of people who have tested positive for the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the country has climbed to 109, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.

"The total number of persons found infected with the new UK variant genome stands at 109 today," the ministry said. All these people have been kept in single room isolation in designated healthcare facilities by 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.(PTI)

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Less than 2 days before India starts its nationwide inoculation drive, about 95 per cent of 1.1 crore Covishield vaccine doses purchased by the government have been delivered across the country and the remaining 1 lakh vials will be delivered shortly, sources told PTI. The first consignment of Oxford-Astrazeneca’s Covishield vaccine was dispatched from Pune early Tuesday.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Thursday said that the Delhi government has “done and reviewed” all preparations for the Covid-19 vaccination drive, set to commence on January 16. Giving out details of the inoculation exercise in Delhi, he said that 81 centres will be allocated initially and over 8,000 frontline workers will be vaccinated on every scheduled day. For four days a week — Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday — about 100 people will be vaccinated at each of these centres each day.

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