India's weekly Covid tally shows upward trend, record jabs boost vaccine drive
India’s Covid-19 tally has shown an upward trend over the past one week as fresh cases crossed the 30,000-mark on more than one day as fears of an impending third wave of the pandemic refuse to subside.
The week also marked a record vaccination drive against the virus with over 2.5 crore doses being administered on Friday on the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday.
According to data updated by the Union ministry of health and family welfare, the country registered a significantly less number of cases on Monday at 27,254 and it went down to 25,404 a day later. However, as many as 27,176 people tested positive on Wednesday. This figure went up to 30,570 on Thursday, while on Friday, as many as 34,403 samples tested positive across the country.
Of the new cases, Kerala, one of the worst-hit, continued to contribute with more than half the infections throughout the week and beyond.
The nationwide recovery rate has also touched a high of 97.65 per cent with 37,950 people being discharged or tested negative after treatment on Friday. This took the number of recoveries to 3,25,98,424.
At present, the active cases stood at 3,39,056, comprising 1.02 per cent of the total cases, while the total tally has touched 3,33,81,728. With Friday’s 320 deaths, the toll has reached 4,44,248.
With the ongoing festive season and many more coming, experts and senior government officials have been urging caution failing which they warn of a massive rise in cases.
On Thursday, the Centre said the country's Covid vulnerability may increase in October and November and asked local administrations to start preparing for increase in capacity to handle any increase in the future.
The second wave of the virus had wreaked havoc earlier this year in most parts of the country, including the national capital struggling to breathe and cremate the lost lives. Officials have appealed to citizens to continue to wear masks, follow social distancing norms and complete their vaccination course to combat the viral disease.
Meanwhile, the country achieved a major milestone on Friday with a record number of doses being administered during the day. Till 11pm, the figures stood at 23,141,139 which made it the world’s fastest inoculation drive against the virus. Among the states, Karnataka topped the list, followed by Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
India has also inoculated the highest number of beneficiaries with their first dose of the vaccine in the world with about 60.7 per cent of the adult population in the country having received at least one jab.
Earlier in the week, the health ministry applauded six states and Union territories, including Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Goa, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, and Ladakh for vaccinating all its eligible citizens with at least the first dose against the virus.
On Wednesday, the ministry said India also has the highest number of beneficiaries who have been fully vaccinated with both doses in the country.
Also, the GST council, headed by Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on Friday decided to extend the concessions on Covid-19 medicines such as Remdesivir and Tocilizumab till December 31. More such treatment drugs like Favipiravir will be charged a reduced rate of 5 per cent till December 31, she said.