India recorded 41,810 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking the country’s tally to 93,92,919. The toll rose to 1,36,696 with 496 more deaths, while the number of active cases stood at 4,53,956. So far, 88,02,267 people have recovered from the disease in the country.
The Indian Council of Medical Research said that it has tested 13,95,03,803 Covid-19 samples so far, including 12,83,449 on Saturday.
On Saturday, Serum Institute of India Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla said that his firm will apply for emergency use authorisation for its coronavirus vaccine candidate Covishield in the next two weeks.
The Serum institute CEO also said that his firm had not yet signed a written agreement with the Centre about the vaccine “but the indication is that it would be 300-400 million [30 to 40 crore] doses by July 2021”. Poonawalla said that the vaccine will initially be distributed in India, after which the firm will move on to the countries covered under the World Health Organization-backed global initiative COVAX.
Poonawalla made the remark at a press conference, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to his facility to review vaccine development efforts. Earlier in the day, PM Modi also visited Bharat Biotech’s facility in Hyderabad and Zydus Cadila in Ahmedabad.
The Serum Institute has tied up with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University to produce a vaccine in India. The vaccine is seen as offering one of the best hopes for many developing countries because of its cheaper price and ability to be transported and stored at normal temperatures.