With 20 more infections, the number of people tested positive with the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 went up to 58 on Tuesday, the Health Ministry said. “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 on Monday. Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others.
The Union Health Ministry Tuesday said based on the feedback of dry-run, the central government is ready to roll out Covid-19 vaccine within 10 days from date of emergency use authorisation. The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) had given emergency use authorisation to two vaccine candidates by Oxford Astrazeneca and indigenous Bharat Biotech on January 3.
India recorded the lowest Covid-19 cases in over 6 months with 16,375 new cases reported on 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.
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.