The Centre on Tuesday said that 15 states and Union Territories have not reported any deaths due to the coronavirus in 24 hours. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, during a briefing on India’s coronavirus situation, said that seven states and Union Territories have not reported any new fatalities in the last three weeks.

“Kerala and Maharashtra continue to lead on the number of active Covid-19 cases,” Bhushan said. “Thirty three states and Union Territories in the country today have less than 5,000 active cases. Fifteen states/UTs haven’t reported any new deaths due to Covid-19 in the past 24 hours.”

Among those states and Union Territories that have not reported new fatalities in three weeks are – Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Mizoram, Nagaland and Lakshadweep. But the Centre noted that the last countrywide serosurvey had shown that more than 70% of the population remain vulnerable to the infection.

The Union health ministry added that the number of new Covid-19 cases was on a steady decline over the last five weeks, and a 55% reduction was recorded in the average daily deaths. “Only two states – Kerala and Maharashtra – have more than 35,000 cases...they together contribute 71% cases,” the health secretary said.

Bhushan said that India was the fastest to reach the six million vaccination mark, with more than 65% of the registered healthcare workers being inoculated in 12 states and Union Territories. He added that 97% of the beneficiaries were satisfied with the overall vaccination experience. A total of 62,59,008 people have been vaccinated in the country as of Tuesday.

The Union health ministry said that all healthcare workers across the country must be scheduled for inoculation at least once. “We cannot indefinitely keep on scheduling and rescheduling [vaccination drives for] healthcare workers,” he said, according to ANI. “Timelines are communicated to states. Mop up rounds for healthcare workers must be organised by February 24. We have advised all the states and UTs that all frontline workers must be scheduled for vaccination once by March 1, 2021.”

NITI Aayog member VK Paul reiterated that the number of Covid-19 cases in the country was falling. “So that is good news,” Paul said during the briefing. “In the last 24 hours, no death was recorded in Delhi. So that is also a good news.”

The national Capital has registered a total of 6,36,260 coronavirus cases, with 100 new infections reported in 24 hours, according to Tuesday’s health bulletin. The toll stood at 1,0882. There are 1,052 active cases in the city.

Paul also lauded the country’s vaccination programme. “We can confidently say that the strategy to implement vaccination programme and the experience of vaccination is now consistently, very highly rated by people,” said the NITI Aayog official, according to the Hindustan Times. He also assured that the Centre was keeping an eye on the South Africa variant of the virus, but no case has been reported in India so far.

India on Tuesday registered 9,110 new coronavirus cases, taking the overall count to 1,08,47,304. The country reported 78 deaths in 24 hours, taking the toll to 1,55,158. A total of 1,05,48,521 people in have recovered from the infection so far, pushing the recovery rate to 97.25%. The number of active cases has reduced to 1,43,625.

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Coronavirus: India records 9,110 new infections, active cases now 1.43 lakh