Coronavirus India Updates: Active Cases Fall Under 2.5 Lakh As India Awaits Vaccine Rollout
A person picks up a vial of universal transport media (UTM) while registering at a Covid-19 RT-PCR test site set up at Connaught place in New Delhi, India. (Photographer T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

Coronavirus India Updates: Active Cases Fall Under 2.5 Lakh As India Awaits Vaccine Rollout

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The death toll in India due to the coronavirus fell to the lowest in seven months, just as the South Asian nation prepares to roll out an inoculation programme to stem the world’s second-worst outbreak.

India reported 214 deaths due to the Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the total toll to over 1.5 lakh, according to the Health Ministry’s update as of 8 a.m. on Jan. 5, 2021. The nation has reported less than 300 one-day fatalities for ten straight days.

The country also added over 16,500 fresh infections in a day, taking the total tally of confirmed cases to 1,03,40,469. This includes 99.3 lakh patients who have recovered.

The nation with 1.3 billion people is only behind the U.S. in the number of confirmed infections.

Key figures:

  • Total number of confirmed coronavirus cases: 1,03,40,469
  • Active cases: 2,43,953
  • Cured/discharged/migrated: 99,46,867
  • Deaths: 1,49,649
  • Number of fresh cases in last 24 hours: 16,504
  • One-day recoveries: 19,557
  • One-day deaths: 214

New cases continue to fall in India, with daily additions less than 30,000 since Dec. 14. The slower pace of adding fresh infections and an improved recovery rate pushed active cases in the country below the 3-lakh-mark for the first time since Dec. 22.

At the same time, India’s drug regulator approved the Covid-19 vaccines manufactured by Serum Institute of India Ltd. and Bharat Biotech International Ltd. for restricted use in emergency situation.

Officials in New Delhi have “indicated orally” that the first 100 million vaccines will be purchased and priced at Rs 200 ($2.74) and a deal should be inked “in the next one or two days,” Serum’s Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla said in an interview on Sunday. “They will probably take another 200 million after that and then we will probably end up selling to the private market,” which might be approved in “two or three months” at Rs 1,000 a vaccine, he said.

Global Update

Global coronavirus infections climbed above 85 million, after U.S. daily cases soared to a record of nearly 300,000 after the New Year holiday. The U.K. is poised to give the first shots of AstraZeneca’s vaccine on Monday, in a race against a faster-spreading variant that’s prompted new lockdowns across much of the country.

Japan is considering another state of emergency as cases spike. South Korea extended its current social-distancing rules by two weeks.

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