Coronavirus India Updates: Active Cases Decline; States Start Receiving Vaccine Consignments
Health workers prepare during a trial of a Covid-19 vaccine delivery system at the Northern Railway Central Hospital in New Delhi. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

Coronavirus India Updates: Active Cases Decline; States Start Receiving Vaccine Consignments

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Active coronavirus cases in India continued to decline at a time when the central and state governments are preparing for an immunisation programme in the country with the world’s second worst outbreak.

India reported 15,968 new cases in a matter of 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry’s data as of 8 a.m. on Jan.13. That’s lower than the 17,817 patients who recovered from the virus in the same time period, taking active cases below 2.2 lakh. India had over 10 lakh live infections in mid-September.

The country is fast approaching the 1-year anniversary of the pandemic reaching its shores. The first Covid-19 case was recorded on Jan. 30, 2020 in Kerala -- a student of the Wuhan University. Since then, authorities have recorded nearly 1.05 crore confirmed coronavirus cases and over 1 crore recoveries. More than 1.51 lakh people have died from the infection.

Key Figures

  • Total number of confirmed coronavirus cases: 1,04,95,147
  • Active cases: 2,14,507
  • Cured/discharged/migrated: 1,01,29,111
  • Deaths: 1,51,529
  • Number of fresh cases in last 24 hours: 15,968
  • One-day recoveries: 17,817
  • One-day deaths: 202

Addressing a press briefing, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said Zydus Cadila, Sputnik V, Biological E and Gennova are other vaccines also in the pipeline which are in advanced clinical trials in India.

"In the coming days you may see some of these vaccines too approaching the drug controller for emergency use authorisation," Bhushan said.

Elaborating further, Bhushan said Zydus Cadilla completed Phase 2 clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine in December of last year and has been granted approval for Phase 3. Similarly, Phase 2 clinical trials of Russia's Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccine have also concluded and Phase 3 trials are being carried out by its Indian partner Dr Reddy's laboratories, he said.

Global Update

The Trump administration is urging states to expand access to vaccines, including making them available to anyone over 65. New York state lowered its vaccine age to 65 from 75 following the change in guidance.

The European Union reached its eighth supply deal for doses, and an official said deliveries of shots will accelerate starting in April. The number of patients in the U.K. needing ventilators rose to the highest since the pandemic began. Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that Germany’s hard lockdown could last into late March.

A World Health Organization team looking into the origins of the pandemic is set to arrive in China.

Globally, over 91 million people have been infected by the coronavirus while 1.95 million people have died.

Mumbai Airport Begins Covid-19 Vaccine Transportation

Covid-19 vaccine transportation from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport commenced on Wednesday with budget carrier GoAir airlifting 2,400 vials of Covishield to Goa.

The Wadia Group-owned no-frills airline has scheduled flights carrying vaccines to Lucknow, Cochin and Chandigarh as well, besides Goa, during the day, a GoAir spokesperson told PTI.

GoAir's first flight carrying 2,400 vials (24,000 doses) of Covishield vaccine took off at 5.20 am and reached Goa at 6.30 a.m., the spokesperson said.

A massive pan-India inoculation drive against Covid-19 was set in process on Tuesday with more than 56 lakh doses of the Covishield vaccine leaving Pune for 13 cities across the country, four days before the vaccinations are scheduled to begin on Jan. 16.

That’s after Mumbai received over 1.39 lakh doses of the Covid vaccine today at 8 a.m.

Vaccine Prices

Union Health Secretary Rakesh Bhushan said Pfizer-BioNTech is available at Rs 1,431 per dose, Moderna at Rs 2,348 to Rs 2,715 per dose, Sinopharm less than Rs 5,650 per dose, Sinovac Biotech at Rs 1,027 per dose, Novavax at Rs 1,114 per dose, Gamaleya Centre at less than Rs 734 per dose and Johnson and Johnson at Rs 734 per dose.

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