Coronavirus India Updates: World Promises Aid Amid 3.5 Lakh New Infections; 2,800 Deaths
India continued to report a record number of fresh Covid-19 cases and deaths daily, even as states tighten restrictions to contain the second wave of the pandemic that has overwhelmed the nation's healthcare system.
More than 3.5 lakh people tested positive for the virus in a 24-hour period, once again marking the highest number of new infections recorded by any country in a single day, according to the Health Ministry’s update as of 8 a.m. on April 26.
Deaths due to the coronavirus continued to rise, overwhelming the country’s crematoriums and burial grounds. Over 2,800 people succumbed to the illness in just 24 hours, taking India’s total death toll to 1.95 lakh.
- Total confirmed cases: 1,73,13,163
- Total number of active cases: 28,13,658
- Total patients cured/discharged/migrated: 1,43,04,382
- Total deaths: 1,95,123
- Number of fresh cases in last 24 hours: 3,52,991
- One-day recoveries: 2,19,272
- One-day deaths: 2,812
- Total vaccine doses administered: 14,19,11,223
Karnataka became the latest state to promise free vaccination for everyone above the age of 18, after India opened its inoculation programme to all adults starting May 1.
Global Aid Coming
The U.S. has promised to immediately make available raw materials required to manufacture Covishield vaccine. The Biden administration said it has identified supplies of therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and personal protective equipment that will also be made available for India.
The U.S. is also is pursuing options to provide oxygen generation and related supplies on an urgent basis.
European Commission officials also issued brief comments on social media indicating assistance from EU countries. U.K.’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said vital medical equipment was on the way from his country.
India Asks Serum, Bharat Biotech To Lower Vaccine Prices: PTI
The central government directed Serum Institute of India Ltd. and Bharat Biotech International Ltd. to reduce prices of their coronavirus vaccines, PTI reported citing people it didn't identify.
The issue of vaccine pricing was discussed at a meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, according to the report.
- The Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has fixed the price of its vaccine, Covaxin, at Rs 600 per dose for state governments and at Rs 1,200 per dose for private hospitals.
- The Pune-based Serum had announced a price of Rs 400 per dose for 'Covishield', for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals.
- Both vaccines are available to the central government at a rate of Rs 150 per dose.
Karnataka Announces Curfew, Free Vaccinations
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announced a curfew in the state to contain the second wave of the pandemic.
The restrictions will be in effect starting 9 p.m. on Tuesday for the next 14 days.
Essential services will be allowed to operate between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., after which the shops will have to close. Only construction, manufacturing and agriculture sectors will be allowed to operate during the curfew period.
Public transport will remain shut across the state.
Yediyurappa also announced free Covid vaccination for all adults in Karnataka. The state government will bear the cost of the vaccine for those between 18 and 45 years of age.
Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Sikkim and Goa have already announced free jabs. In West Bengal, where polls are underway, both incumbent Trinamool National Congress and the challenger Bharatiya Janata Party have promised free vaccination to adults.