India on Tuesday morning recorded 18,795 new coronavirus cases, taking the country’s tally since the pandemic broke out in January last year to 3,36,97,581.
The toll rose to 4,47,373 with 179 fatalities in the last 24 hours.
The active cases declined to 2,92,206 – the lowest since March last year, the health ministry said.
More than 87 crore vaccine doses have administered in the country since the beginning of the inoculation drive on January 16. Of these, over 1 crore doses were administered to beneficiaries on Monday.
The World Health Organization’s decision on including Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin in its list of vaccines approved for Emergency Use has been further delayed due to technical questions, NDTV reported, citing unidentified officials.
The emergency use listing involves rigorous assessment of clinical trial data. An approval from the global health body will allow the company to export its vaccines. Additionally, it will facilitate easier international travel of Indian citizens who have been administered Covaxin.
Meanwhile, a sero survey by an affiliate of the Indian Council of Medical Research showed that at least 73% of individuals and 93% of healthcare workers from Odisha have developed antibodies against the coronavirus.
A sero survey tests a sample population in a region to assess whether they have antibodies against a particular infection. The presence of antibodies indicates they may have been exposed to the infection even if they hadn’t developed symptoms of the disease.
A higher seroprevalence number in a state suggests that the infection spread rapidly among the population, while a lower number indicates a limited spread either because the state was able to limit the spread of the virus through effective pandemic-control measures, or the virus is yet to make an inroad in some pockets.
In Mumbai, results of the fifth sero survey announced on September 17 showed that over 86% of the city’s population has antibodies.
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, a medical body, has said that the intensity of the third wave, if it hits the country, will be low, ANI reported.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected over 23.18 crore people and caused more than 47 lakh deaths since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.
In the United States, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden on Monday received booster shots of the Covid-19 vaccine. The country had on Friday begun rolling out booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech booster vaccine for its vulnerable population, including senior citizens and those who work in high-risk environments.