Coronavirus: India reports over 800 deaths, lowest in 81 days
India on Wednesday reported 46,000 new COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, under 1,000 single-day deaths were reported due to the viral disease for the third consecutive day. The 817 fatalities reported on Wednesday marked the lowest spike in 81 days. As experts warn of a third wave of COVID-19, only over 4% of India's population is fully vaccinated while 20% has received at least one dose.
India's tally crosses 3.03 crore; over 3.98 lakh dead
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Wednesday morning, India reported a total of 3,03,62,848 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 3,98,454. So far, 2,94,27,330 patients have recovered, while 5,37,064 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 45,951 new infections, 60,729 more discharges, and 817 fresh fatalities. 33,28,54,527 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
72% new cases concentrated in 5 states; 30% in Kerala
Maharashtra reported 8,085 new COVID-19 cases along with 8,623 more recoveries. Kerala, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 13,550 new cases and 10,283 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Karnataka added 3,222 new cases and 14,724 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 4,512 new cases and 6,013 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 3,620 new cases and 5,757 recoveries.
COVAXIN, Sputnik V significantly effective against Delta
On a related note, the United States' National Institute of Health said that Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN effectively neutralizes both Alpha (B.1.1.7, first reported in the UK) and Delta (B.1.617, first reported in India) variants of SARS-CoV-2. The developers of Russia's Sputnik V also announced that the vaccine is 90% effective against the Delta variant. Sputnik V is almost 92% effective against the original strain.
Brazil suspends COVAXIN deal for 20 million doses
Separately, Brazil has decided to suspend a $324 million contract for COVAXIN amid a controversy surrounding accusations of irregularities in the deal. The deal for the purchase of 20 million doses has invited flak as whistleblowers unveiled alleged irregularities in the contract. Brazil's Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said it will probe the allegations. The Ministry claimed there were no irregularities, citing a preliminary analysis.
Moderna, J&J vaccines in India soon?
Finally, the Drugs Controller General of India has allowed pharmaceutical firm Cipla to import the COVID-19 vaccine developed by US-based biotechnology company Moderna Inc. Meanwhile, an NGO—the Association of Healthcare Providers (India) or AHPI—is likely to procure 100 million doses of the single-shot vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson from the European Union for India. The NGO's letter of intent is currently being processed.