India posted 1,26,789 fresh Covid cases, setting another grim one-day record as the county battles the second wave of infections. 685 deaths in the last 24 hour pushed the total count to 1,66,862.
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The total number of cases since the first recorded infection in India in January last year now stands at over 1.29 crore, making it the third worst-hit country after the United States and Brazil.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today took second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS in Delhi He had taken his first jab on March 1 at the hospital. “Got my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS today. Vaccination is among the few ways we have, to defeat the virus. If you are eligible for the vaccine, get your shot soon. Register on CoWin.gov.in,” he tweeted.
In parts of Maharashtra, the country’s worst-hit state, vaccination was halted last evening, reportedly because doses were unavailable. Satara and Panvel are among the districts that temporarily stopped the testing. Pune also shut over 100 vaccination centres because of vaccine shortage, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Supriya Sule tweeted last night.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told NDTV that “there is no shortage” of vaccines. “I want to say this on record. I said this even when we had a meeting with 11 states. There is no shortage of vaccine. States are given vaccines on the basis of their requirement and the stocks are continuously replenished,” Dr Vardhan said.
In terms of the total caseload, Maharashtra is followed by the southern states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
New Zealand has temporarily stopped entry for all travellers from India, including its own citizens, for about two weeks following a high number of positive coronavirus cases arriving from India.
A night curfew has been imposed in Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi and Prayagraj due to the rising number of Covid cases in the country’s most populous state. Uttar Pradesh logged in 6,002 new cases, pushing its total caseload to pver 6.45 lakh.
Punjab too declared a series of restrictions including night curfew across the whole state, up from the earlier 12 districts. The state recorded 2,963 fresh COVID-19 cases that took the infection tally to over 2.6 lakh.
Over 29.79 lakh vaccinations in the last 24 hours pushed the total number of vaccine doses administered so far to over nine crore.
Meanwhile, AstraZeneca has sevred a legal notice to Adar Poonawalla’s Serum Institute of India (SII), the maker of the coronavirus vaccine Covishield, over vaccine supply delays. Mr Poonawalla had said his institute needed Rs. 3,000 crore to ramp up capacity needed to scale up production by June.