India, January 14 (Hindustan Times) – India’s tally of cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crossed the 10.5 million mark as the Union health ministry on Thursday announced the country had logged 16,946 new infections in the preceding 24 hours. With this latest rise, India’s tally of Covid-19 infections reached 10,512,093, the second-highest globally after that of the United States.
Continuing with the trend of more daily recoveries from the disease than new cases, 17,652 more patients recovered in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of recovered cases to 10,146,763, the ministry’s dashboard showed. In the same duration, the dashboard showed, 198 people succumbed to the infection, taking the death toll to 151,727. There was a further dip in active cases, which fell to 213,603, down by 904. Together, recovered cases, active cases and deaths contribute 96.51%, 2.04% and 1.44%, respectively, to the national tally.
The new positive cases came from a total of 743,191 samples tested for Covid-19 on Wednesday, the government-run Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said, adding that till Wednesday, total 184,232,305 samples had been tested for the disease.
India is scheduled to begin its vaccination drive on January 16, which is set to be the largest globally. Two vaccines have been granted emergency use authorisation (EUA) in the country: Oxford University-AstraZeneca’s Covishield, and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Limited’s Covaxin, which will be its first indigenous vaccine against Covid-19. Covishield, meanwhile, will be manufactured here by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said 30 million frontline workers will be vaccinated in the first phase, with a total of 300 million citizens to be inoculated in the coming few months. Vaccine shipment started on Tuesday and doses have been transported from Pune and Hyderabad to various cities across the country, including Delhi.