With the country witnessing a surge in Covid-19 cases, the government has put the vaccination drive in the fast lane.

India administered 1.4 million vaccine doses in the past 24 hours, Health Ministry data showed on Friday, the highest in a day since the campaign began on 16 January. The country still has to nearly double its current rate of vaccination to meet its target of covering 300 million people by August. India has so far given 18 million doses to about 15 million people.

The vaccination pace increased this week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off an expansion of the drive to include the elderly and those aged 45-59 suffering from medical conditions. The government has also roped in many private hospitals, allowing them to run vaccinations throughout the day and assuring there is no shortage of shots in the world’s biggest vaccine-making country. Unlike earlier when health and frontline workers had to get their shots in assigned vaccination centres, people are now free to choose their site.

What also gave the exercise an impetus was PM Modi himself opting for the jab. The Prime Minister on Monday opted for Bharat Biotech’s government-backed vaccine Covaxin.

Amid all this, India reported 16,838 fresh coronavirus cases on Friday and the tally has climbed to 1,11,73,761 while the number of recoveries has surged to 1,08,39,894 on Friday. The death count due to the viral disease has gone up to 1,57,548 in the country with 113 more fatalities reported in the last 24 hours.

Delhi reported 312 new coronavirus cases and three deaths, taking the total number of cases to 6,40,494 and the death toll to 10,918. The total tally of recoveries is 6,27,797, meanwhile, the national capital has 1,779 active cases. 

Maharashtra recorded over 10,000 new Covid-19 cases, taking the total infection count to 2,198,399. With 53 new deaths, the toll reached 52,393. Over 6,400 discharges have been recorded during the same period.

Rajasthan recorded 195 fresh coronavirus cases, raising its tally to 3,21,123 while the death count reached 2,789 with one more fatality. A total of 1,584 patients are under treatment while 3,16,750 have recovered from the infection.

Kerala logged 2,776 fresh coronavirus cases including 10 health workers and 16 related deaths, taking the caseload to 10,72,785 and the death count to 4,271. As many as 3,638 people were cured of the disease, taking the total number of recoveries to 10,24,309. A total of 66,103 samples were examined on Friday, taking the overall number to 1,17,79,163. The test positivity rate stood at 4.20%.

Odisha’s Covid-19 tally mounted to 3,37,620 as 91 more people tested positive for the infection. Of the fresh cases, 53 were reported from quarantine centres and 38 were detected during contact tracing. The death count remained at 1,917 as no new fatality has been reported since Wednesday.

Puducherry logged 30 new coronavirus cases, taking the overall tally to 39,824 on Friday. No fresh fatality was reported from any of the four regions – Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe, and Yanam. As many as 20 patients were discharged after treatment.

Telangana recorded 166 fresh Covid-19 cases, taking the total positives to over 2.99 lakh while two deaths pushed the tally to 1,639. The total number of cases stood at 2,99,572 while with 149 patients are being cured, the total recoveries are at 2,95,970. The state has 1,963 active cases and 40,443 samples were tested on Thursday.

Tamil Nadu on Friday saw its daily new infections crossing the 500-mark once again, the last being in early February, with 543 people testing positive for the virus, pushing the tally to 8,53,992. Five more deaths took the toll to 12,513. Recoveries, however, eclipsed new cases with 562 patients being discharged taking the cumulative number to 8,37,525, leaving 3,954 active cases.


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