The Centre on Tuesday indicated that the states and beneficiaries will not be given the option to chose between Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute’s vaccine. It also elaborated on the inoculation regimen, saying that the vaccines will be administered in two doses 28 days apart.
The government also announced that it has agreed to procure 55 lakh doses of Bharat Biotech’s vaccine against the coronavirus.
Earlier in the day, Serum Institute of India Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla said the company has given a special price of Rs 200 for the first 10 crore doses of the coronavirus vaccine only to India in order to support the common man and the health workers. The first consignment of Serum Institute’s vaccines was dispatched from Pune to various cities.
India has registered 12,584 new coronavirus cases, taking the overall count to 1,04,79,179. This was the lowest daily rise in infections in seven months. The toll rose by 167 to 1,51,327. The active cases remained below 3 lakh at 2,16,558 for the 22nd consecutive day, while the number of recoveries reached 1,01,11,294.
Globally, coronavirus infections surpassed 9.08 crore cases, while the toll from the disease climbed to 19.4 lakh, according to John Hopkins University. More than 5.02 crore people have recovered from the infection in the world.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075.
Here are the day’s updates:
10.57 pm: West Bengal registers 751 new cases on Tuesday, taking the tally to 5,62,072, PTI reports. The state’s toll rises by 18 to 9,975.
10.53 pm: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says the coronavirus crisis has aggravated the problem of terrorism, ANI reports. “The relative isolation and extended disruption due to the lockdowns and the associated distress and economic uncertainty has made the world more susceptible to radicalizing narratives and extremist propaganda,” he says.
10.51 pm: Odisha receives 4.08 lakh doses of Serum Institute’s vaccine, ANI reports.
7.36 pm: The health ministry indicates that beneficiaries will not be given the option to chose between Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute’s vaccine. “Many countries are using more than one vaccine,” Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan says in response to a question on whether that choice will be available in India. “There is no such option available to the beneficiaries in any country.”
He also elaborates on the vaccination regimen. “There is a gap of 28 days between the two doses and it is only after 14 days after receiving the second dose that effectiveness begins,” Bhushan says.
7.34 pm: Madhya Pradesh Medical Education Minister Vishvas Sarang says the state will vaccinate about 4.5 lakh people in the first phase of the vaccination drive, PTI reports.
7.20 pm: New cases in various states:
Rajasthan: 429 new cases, tally rises to 3,13,425; toll at 2,736.
Tamil Nadu: 671 new cases, tally rises to 8,27,614; toll at 12,236.
Maharashtra: 2,936 new cases, tally rises to 19,74,488; toll at 50,151.
7.16 pm: Bharat Biotech signs a vaccine supply agreement with Brazil-based Precisa Medicamentos hospital, ANI reports.
7.13 pm: The Odisha government allows weddings to take place with a limit of 200 people, ANI reports. Wearing masks and the provision of thermal scanning will be mandatory.
7.11 pm: Kerala registers 5,507 new cases on Tuesday, taking its tally to 8,16,215.
6.16 pm: The government urges people to not stop taking coronavirus-related precautions. “The inoculation effect takes 14 days to develop after the administration of the two dosage,” Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan says, according to ANI. “Hence it is imperative to maintain COVID appropriate behavior.”
6.04 pm: NITI Aayog member VK Paul says both the vaccines cleared in India are safe. “They have been tested on thousands of people and side-effects are negligible,” he says, according to ANI. “There is no risk of any significance.”
6.02 pm: The Centre says only Maharashtra and Kerala have more than 50,000 active cases, ANI reports.
6.01 pm: The health ministry says all states will receive Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute’s vaccine by January 14, The Indian Express reports.
5.57 pm: The first consignment of Serum Institute’s vaccine arrives in Punjab’s Mohali district, ANI reports.
5.55 pm: The health ministry says that the global coronavirus situation is worrisome. “India’s daily cases are declining, but one must not stop following COVID protocols,” Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan adds.
5.44 pm: Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan adds that Bharat Biotech will provide 16.5 lakh vaccines to the government for free, hence the cost of the vaccine will be Rs 206.
4.11 pm: Telugu actor Ram Charan says he has tested negative for the coronavirus. “Happy to share that I have tested negative for Covid-19,” he tweets. “Can’t wait to be back to work very soon. Thank you again for all your good wishes.” The actor tested positive for Covid-19 on December 29.
4.08 pm: Delhi reports 386 new coronavirus cases, 545 recoveries and 16 deaths, reports ANI. With this, the infection tally climbs to 6,30,892, including 6,17,006 discharges, 10,707 fatalities and 3,179 active cases.
3.53 pm: Poonawalla says the Serum Institute is making 7-8 crore doses of the coronavirus vaccine per month, according to ANI. “Planning is underway to see how many will be given to India and foreign countries,” he says. “Health Ministry has made logistics plans. We also have partnerships with private players for trucks, vans and cold storage.”
3.43 pm: The Serum Institute chief says that a lot of countries are asking India and the Prime Minister’s Officer seeking the company’s coronavirus vaccine, reports ANI. “We’re trying to keep everyone happy,” says Poonawalla. “We’ve to take care of our population and the nation as well.”
He adds that the Serum Institute is trying to supply the vaccine to Africa and South America.
3.38 pm: Serum Institute of India Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla says the company has given a special price of Rs 200 for the first 10 crore doses of the coronavirus vaccine only to India in order to support the common man, including the vulnerable and poor, and healthcare workers, reports ANI. He adds that the company will sell the vaccine in private markers at Rs 1,000.
12.36 pm: The first batch of Covid-19 vaccine arrives in Delhi at the Indira Gandhi International airport, reports The Indian Express. Security has been enhanced at the airport in view of the arrival of the vaccine, say the police.
12.24 pm: Tamil Nadu receives first batch of Covid-19 vaccine Covishield, reports ANI. State Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan says the vaccine will be distributed to 10 regional centres and 51 walk-in coolers at the district level by Tuesday evening. “Later, it will go to actual vaccination site in cold boxes,” he adds.
12.08 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami says that schools in the state will reopen from January 19 for students of Class 10 and 12 amid Covid-19 safety norms, reports NDTV.
“95% of parents want schools to reopen,” says Palaniswami. “Only 25 students will be allowed in each class.”
11.42 am: Telangana recorded 301 new coronavirus cases and two deaths on Monday, taking the state’s total to 2,90,309, and the toll to 1,568, reports ANI.
11.36 am: The first batch of Serum Institute’s Covid-19 vaccines arrives in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel was present at the airport to recieve it.
10.50 am: Malaysia’s king declared a nationwide state of emergency on Tuesday to curb the spread of Covid-19, reports Reuters. In a televised address on Tuesday, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the parliament will be suspended for a stipulated period of time and that elections would not be held in the Southeast Asian nation during the emergency, which could last until August 1.
10.47 am: The first consignment of Covid-19 vaccines produced by the Serum Institute arrive in Delhi.
9.41 am: India on Tuesday registers 12,584 new coronavirus cases, taking the overall count to 1,04,79,179. The toll rises by 167 to 1,51,327. The active cases remained below 3 lakh at 2,16,558 for the 22nd consecutive day, while the number of recoveries reached 1,01,11,294.
9.32 am: Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri says that the Serum Institute of India’s vaccines will be sent to Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Bengaluru, Lucknow and Chandigarh today. “Vaccine movement starts,” the minister says in a tweet.
9.25 am: American pharmaceutical company Pfizer, whose coronavirus vaccine is yet be approved in India, told NDTV on Monday it had been “unable to participate in previous meetings” to present safety and efficacy data to an expert panel, due to “extremely short notice” and time zone differences.
The company, however, said it was “committed to working with the government [to] provide equitable access to our vaccine”.
9.21 am: Immunity from Moderna Covid-19 vaccine should last at least a year, the company said on Monday, reports Reuters. The drugmaker said it was confident that the messenger RNA (mRNA) technology it used was well suited to deploy a vaccine based on the new variant of the coronavirus, which first emerged in Britain. “The team feels very comfortable with the track record we have now ... that we are on track to deliver at least 600 million doses,” Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel added.
9.18 am: The World Health Organization’s chief scientist warned that even as numerous countries start rolling out vaccination programmes to stop Covid-19, herd immunity is highly unlikely this year, reports AP. At a media briefing on Monday, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said it was critical countries and their populations maintain strict physical distancing and other outbreak control measures for the foreseeable future.
8.45 am: The first consignment containing vials of Serum Institute’s Covishield vaccines has left from Pune airport to Delhi, reports ANI. This comes four days before India begins it massive vaccination programme against the coronavirus.
Three temperature-controlled trucks left Serum Institute shortly before 5 am. The trucks carried 478 boxes of the vaccines, each box weighing 32 kg, according to PTI.
A quick look at the updates from Monday:
- India registered 16,311 new coronavirus cases, taking the overall count to 1,04,66,595. The toll rose by 161 to 1,51,160, the lowest in seven-and-half-months. The active cases remained below 3 lakh at 2,22,526 for the 21st consecutive day, while the number of recoveries reached 1,00,92,909. Meanwhile, the number of cases with the mutant strain of the virus rose to 96.
- The Serum Institute of India signed a contract with the Centre to supply 11 million [1.1 crore] doses of its coronavirus vaccine at a price of Rs 200 each. The firm is the local maker of Covishield, the vaccine developed by the Oxford University and pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca. The vaccine was given emergency-use approval earlier this month, along with Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Centre will bear the cost of vaccinating about 3 crore healthcare and frontline workers against the coronavirus in the first phase of India’s massive inoculation drive.
- Delhi recorded 306 new coronavirus cases, taking its overall count to 6,30,506. The daily rise in cases was the lowest since May 11.