COVID-19 vaccination to be conducted on all days in April
As the country is witnessing a surge in coronavirus infections, the central government on Thursday directed all states and union territories to allow COVID-19 vaccination on all days in the month of April. This includes gazetted holidays of the month. The Centre also asked all states/UTs to make necessary arrangements for COVID-19 vaccination on all days. Here are more details.
Decision taken during talks with states/UTs yesterday: Centre
The government said, "This step has been taken after detailed deliberations with the States/UTs on 31st March 2021 to optimally utilize all COVID-19 Vaccination Centers across the public and private sectors to ensure a rapid increase in the pace and coverage of COVID-19 vaccination." The move is "in line with the graded and pro-active approach" employed by the government for COVID-19 vaccination.
All aged over 45 can get vaccinated
Starting April 1 (Thursday), all people above the age of 45 are allowed to get vaccinated as part of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive. Fearing a second wave of COVID-19, the government had recently said that the situation was going from "bad to worse." Last Sunday, on his radio show 'Mann ki Baat', Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged everyone eligible to get vaccinated.
India had launched the vaccination drive on January 16
India had kicked-off its nationwide on January 16 this year. Initially, only healthcare and frontline workers were allowed to be vaccinated in what was called the first phase of the drive. In the second phase, which started on March 1, people above the age of 60, and those aged over 45 with co-morbidities were allowed to be vaccinated.
Over 6.5 crore doses administered so far
6,51,17,896 vaccine doses were administered through 10,86,241 sessions across the country as of Thursday morning, according to data shared by the Union Health Ministry. The Centre has said that the vaccination drive is being conducted in phases considering public safety. The government cited a shortage of trained medical professionals as one of the reasons why the drive was not open to all.
India reported 72K+ new infections today
On Thursday, India reported 72,330 new coronavirus cases, the highest single-day spike since mid-October, the Union Health Ministry's data showed. The nation also registered 459 fresh fatalities on the day. With this, the overall tally of coronavirus infections in the country has climbed to 1,22,21,665. 1,62,927 people have died of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, while 1,14,74,683 have been discharged after recovery.