Coronavirus India Updates: Daily Deaths Cross 2,000 As India Adds Nearly 3 Lakh New Cases
Relatives of Covid-19 fatalities wear PPE at a crematorium in New Delhi India, on April 19, 2021. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

Coronavirus India Updates: Daily Deaths Cross 2,000 As India Adds Nearly 3 Lakh New Cases

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India has reported a record number of daily deaths from the coronavirus, as over 2,000 new fatalities were recorded in data reported by the government on Wednesday morning.

The country saw nearly 3 lakh fresh cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total tally to 21,57,538 in the world’s second-worst infected country, according to the Health Ministry’s update as of 8 a.m. on April 21.

New infections have been exceeding single-day recoveries since March 11, causing the active cases to cross 21 lakh. That accounted for nearly 14% of the total caseload. The South Asian nation with 130 crore people is only behind the U.S. in the number of confirmed infections.

India has been reporting a record spike in coronavirus cases for two weeks even as the government accelerated its vaccination drive to fight the world’s fastest-growing second wave of infections.

Key figures:

  • Total confirmed cases: 1,56,16,130
  • Total number of active cases: 21,57,538
  • Total patients cured/discharged/migrated: 1,32,76,039
  • Total deaths: 1,82,553
  • Number of fresh cases in last 24 hours: 2,95,041
  • One-day recoveries: 1,67,457
  • One-day deaths: 2,023

In the latest outbreaks, while Maharashtra remained the epicentre, states such as Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh are also witnessing a surge in cases.

Maharashtra further tightened Covid-19 restrictions in the state such as limiting all groceries, vegetables and fruit vendors, dairies, meat and all other food shops to open only between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. Shops related to agricultural implements and farm produce, pet food, materials for impending rainy season, too, will be open only between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. Home delivery from these said shops may be allowed between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Delhi, too, has imposed a lockdown from 10 p.m. on April 19 till April 26 morning, allowing only essential services. The lockdown period will be used to arrange more hospital beds, procure oxygen and medicines, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said.

The Allahabad High Court had also imposed a lockdown in Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur and Gorakhpur till April 26, but the decision has been stayed by the Supreme Court after the Uttar Pradesh government challenged the move.

Meanwhile, India will open up Covid-19 vaccinations to everyone above 18 years of age from May 1, under the third phase of its immunisation drive. The country plans to cover about 25 crore people with two doses by July.

More States Impose Curbs

Tripura and Goa are the latest states to impose fresh restrictions amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

Vaccine Pricing

Vaccine manufacturers will have to provide 50% of their monthly doses to Government of India, remaining 50% can be distributes through other channels, said Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan during a briefing.

  • Vaccine manufacturers will have to announce their prices in a transparent manner before May 1 to provide vaccines via private channels.
  • Vaccines will not be available in open market, and will be provided by private hospitals, state governments or industrial establishments that have hospitals.
  • Private hospitals will not get Government of India supply for vaccination.
  • Private hospitals to procure directly from vaccine manufacturers.

Covid-19 Snapshot

Heath Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said 146 districts in the country have positivity rate of more than 15%. These are the districts where maximum number of new cases are coming and the healthcare system is facing a strain.

  • More deaths are happening of people above 70 years of age in the second wave, said Bhushan.
  • Age-wise Covid-19 death comparison between first and second wave shows more deaths happening this time in people aged above 70 years.
  • 87% of all healthcare workers have received first dose of vaccine.
  • 79% of all frontline workers have received first dose of vaccine.
Coronavirus India Updates: Daily Deaths Cross 2,000 As India Adds Nearly 3 Lakh New Cases
Coronavirus India Updates: Daily Deaths Cross 2,000 As India Adds Nearly 3 Lakh New Cases
Coronavirus India Updates: Daily Deaths Cross 2,000 As India Adds Nearly 3 Lakh New Cases
Coronavirus India Updates: Daily Deaths Cross 2,000 As India Adds Nearly 3 Lakh New Cases

40% of people above 60 years have been administered first dose of vaccine, said Bhushan.

Coronavirus India Updates: Daily Deaths Cross 2,000 As India Adds Nearly 3 Lakh New Cases

(Source: Health Ministry Presentation On April 21, 2021)

Infections Post-Vaccination

Addressing concerns that the second wave of Covid-19 infections in India has come even as vaccinations are being carried out, the Health Ministry has shared data on those that contracted the virus after receiving one or both doses of the vaccine.

Balram Bhargava, DG, ICMR, said in two to four per 10,000 people, breakthrough infections have occurred after vaccine.

Coronavirus India Updates: Daily Deaths Cross 2,000 As India Adds Nearly 3 Lakh New Cases

(Source: Health Ministry Presentation On April 21, 2021)

Covaxin Phase-3 Trials

Bharat Biotech International Ltd. claimed that an Indian coronavirus vaccine that it co-developed with Indian Council of Medical Research demonstrated an overall interim clinical efficacy of 78% in phase-3 trials.

  • The second interim analysis is based on accruing more than 87 symptomatic cases of Covid-19.
  • Due to the recent surge in cases, 127 symptomatic cases were recorded, resulting in a point estimate of vaccine efficacy of 78% against mild, moderate, and severe Covid-19 disease.
  • The efficacy against severe cases was 100%, with an impact on reduction in hospitalisations.
  • The efficacy against asymptomatic Covid-19 infection was 70%, suggesting decreased transmission in Covaxin recipients.

“Safety and efficacy results from the final analysis will be available in June, and the final report will be submitted to a peer-reviewed publication,” the company said in a statement.

The phase 3 study enrolled 25,800 participants of 18-98 years of age, including10% over the age of 60, with analysis conducted 14 days post second dose.

(Source: Company Statement)

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