With 12,584 new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the lowest in nearly seven months, and 167 related deaths between Monday and Tuesday morning, India’s tally has risen over 10.47 million, according to the Union ministry of health and family welfare on Tuesday morning.
India, which has the second-highest number of cases in the world, has seen its daily tally of infections gradually ease from nearly 100,000 Covid-19 cases in September last year.
The country’s death toll stands at 151,327, the health ministry’s dashboard at 8am showed.
There have been less than 170 daily deaths for the last two days, data shows. The number of active cases of Covid-19 was at 216,558 and 18,385 people were cured of the viral disease in the last 24 hours, which have taken the recoveries in the country to 10,111,294 and the recovery rate to 96.48%.
India will start its vaccination drive from January 16 and three trucks loaded with the first doses of the Covishield vaccine against the coronavirus disease left from Pune’s Serum Institute of India (SII) to be sent to various cities across India. Covishield, which has been developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and manufactured by the Pune-based SII, and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin were among the two vaccines approved by the drugs regulator.
These vaccines will be carried in private air carriers to Delhi Chennai, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Vijaywada, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Bengaluru, Patna, and Lucknow.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that the Centre will bear the entire cost of vaccinating 30 million health care and frontline workers at the start of the world’s biggest immunisation drive against the coronavirus disease. The cost for this phase could be around ₹10,000 crore, according to officials who did not want to be named.
Modi, in his virtual meeting with chief ministers five days before the vaccination drive on Saturday, said some more vaccines are in the pipeline and expected to arrive by the time India starts inoculating senior citizens and those with comorbidities.
India aims to vaccinate 300 million people in the first phase of its drive, turning its attention to people above 50 years of age and those below 50 with comorbidities, after administering the shot to health-care and front-line workers who are at the vanguard of the fight against the pandemic.