Coronavirus: India logs 12,286 new infections; Maharashtra, Kerala account for 67.8% of active cases
Supreme Court judges will be administered coronavirus vaccines, starting from Tuesday.
India on Tuesday registered 12,286 coronavirus cases, taking the overall count to 1,11,24,527. The new cases were 20.78% lower than Monday’s count. The country’s toll rose to 1,57,248 after 91 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.
India’s count of active cases stood at 1,68,358, while the number of recoveries reached 1,07,98,921. No additional fatality was reported from 19 states and Union Territories in the last 24 hours. A total of 1,48,54,136 vaccine doses have been administered so far. Of this, over 5.52 lakh were inoculated on Monday, the beginning of the second phase of India’s vaccination drive, when the vaccines were rolled out for public use.
Of the new cases, 80.33% are from the five states of Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, which have been witnessing an upsurge in daily infections for past few weeks. Maharashtra and Kerala accounted for 67.84% of total active cases.
The health ministry said the Centre was in touch with the states and Union Territories that have a higher caseload of active cases and those reporting a rise in the daily infections. Such states and Union Territories have been asked to maintain a “continued rigorous vigil” with special emphasis on effective testing, comprehensive tracking, prompt isolation of positive cases and quick quarantine of close contacts.
Supreme Court judges will be administered coronavirus vaccines, starting from Tuesday. Families of the judges and those who have retired as judges of the Supreme Court will also be eligible for inoculation.
Maharashtra has been contributing the most to the surge in coronavirus cases in the country. The state reported 6,397 new cases on Monday, taking the overall count to 21,61,467. Thirty more deaths pushed the state’s toll to 52,184.
At least 26 people, including policemen and government staff members, tested positive for the coronavirus in Maharashtra, the Hindustan Times reported. They were screened before the beginning of the state’s Budget session on Monday.
Arunachal Pradesh registered one new infection on Monday, after recording zero cases for two consecutive days.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi on Monday. Union Home Minister Amit Shah and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also got vaccinated. The second phase of vaccination will cover people above the age of 60 and those above 45 with comorbidities. On Monday, 29 lakh people registered for coronavirus vaccination, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said.
Meanwhile, the Centre clarified that registration for vaccination and the booking of appointments will only be done through the Co-WIN portal cowin.gov.in. “There is no CoWin App for beneficiary registration,” the government said. “The app on Play Store is for administrators only.”
The Indian Medical Association called on the government to make the online registration portal more people-friendly. It also requested the Centre to provide free vaccines to healthcare workers and the public.
National Health Authority Chairperson RS Sharma told the Hindustan Times that India will be able to vaccinate 27 lakh people in a day. “We have a total of 12,500 private hospitals that have come on board today, and about 15,000 hospitals in the public sector,” he was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “So with 27,000 institutions in all, even at a conservative estimate of each one vaccinating 100, we’ll have 2.7 million in a day.”
- Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 11.4 crore people and killed over 25.37 lakh, according to John Hopkins University. Over 6.46 crore people have recovered from the infection in the world.
- The World Heath Organization on Monday said that global coronavirus infections rose for the first time in seven weeks, AFP reported. The global health agency’s Emergencies Program Director Michael Ryan said it was “premature and unrealistic” to think the pandemic will end soon, AP reported.
- A real-world study has shown that Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccines were “highly effective” in reducing infections and severe illness among the elderly in Britain, AFP reported.
- China said it planned to vaccinate 40% of its population by June, AP reported. The country administered 5.2 crore vaccine doses till February 28.
- An expert WHO panel said anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine had no meaningful effect on coronavirus treatment and strongly suggested that it should not be used to treat the infection.