India reports 16,375 fresh Covid-19 cases, 201 deaths
India recorded 16,375 new cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the lowest in more than six months, and 201 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s caseload to 10,356,844, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday morning. There has been a slight dip in the number of infections and fatalities between Monday and Tuesday, data showed. There are 231,036 active cases of Covid-19 and 9,975,958 people have recovered from the viral disease so far, pushing the national recovery rate to 96.32%.
The death of toll India, the second worst-hit country in the world, has risen to 149,850, the health ministry’s data showed on Tuesday morning. The Covid-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.45%. There are 231,036 active cases of Covid-19 in the country which comprises 2.23 per cent of the total caseload, according to the health ministry’s data.
Officials have said the Centre has initiated the process of procurement of vaccines against the coronavirus disease and that the vaccination drive could begin by late next week in a phased manner. “Now that the approvals have been granted, the next step is to initiate the procurement process. The Centre is now looking at striking the purchase deals with the companies concerned. About 50-60 million doses are likely to be procured in batches considering India is looking at vaccinating about 30 million people in the initial phase,” a government official aware of the developments said on condition of anonymity.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Sunday approved both the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being manufactured in India by the Serum Institute of India (SII), and Bharat Biotech International Limited’s locally developed vaccine candidate, Covaxin. Officials said the immunisation roll-out will begin with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
The government, officials said, is in talks with both companies whose vaccines have been approved.