Coronavirus: India reports under 1,000 deaths, lowest in 76 days
India on Monday reported 46,000 new COVID-19 cases, along with under 1,000 fresh fatalities. The single-day death toll is the lowest in 76 days in India. However, the administration and experts continue to advise strict compliance with COVID-19-appropriate behavior, lest a third wave may hit India. The threat of COVID-19 remains, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had warned on Sunday. Here are more details.
India's tally crosses 3.02 crore; over 3.96 lakh dead
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Monday morning, India reported a total of 3,02,79,331 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 3,96,730. So far, 2,93,09,607 patients have recovered, while 5,72,994 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 46,148 new infections, 58,578 more discharges, and 979 fresh fatalities. 32,36,63,297 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
India administers more vaccine doses than US: Health Ministry
The Health Ministry said, "India achieves another milestone in COVID-19 vaccination and overtakes the USA in total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered." Till Sunday, nearly 18 million people in the US have received at least one shot, while 15.3 million (nearly 50%) have been fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, India has managed to fully vaccinate a little over 4% of its nearly 1.4 billion people.
73.4% new cases concentrated in 5 states
Maharashtra reported 9,974 new COVID-19 cases along with 8,562 more recoveries. Karnataka, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 3,604 new cases and 7,699 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Kerala added 10,905 new cases and 12,351 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 5,127 new cases and 7,159 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 4,250 new cases and 5,570 recoveries.
Vaccines for kids aged 12-18 by August
Separately, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) Chief Dr. NK Arora said on Sunday that vaccinations for children aged 12-18 years are likely to begin in India by the end of July or in August with the Zydus Cadila vaccine, which requires three doses.
Delta+ has greater affinity to lung tissues: NTAGI Chief
Dr. Arora also said that the new 'Delta Plus' variant (AY.1) has a greater affinity to lung tissues compared to other strains. This does not mean that Delta Plus causes a more severe disease. The variant was identified on June 11 and has since been classified as a "Variant of Concern". As of Friday, 51 Delta Plus cases were detected across 12 states.
Passport linking with vaccine certificate allowed
On a related note, the government has allowed those vaccinated to link their vaccination certificates to their passports through the online Co-WIN platform. Once logged in to Co-WIN, users will be provided a passport option. After entering the passport number, a new vaccination certificate will be generated within seconds. This feature will come in handy once international travel resumes in full swing.