India exported 65 million COVID-19 vaccine doses this year: Modi
India exported over 65 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to nearly 100 countries this year, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday. The announcement came as India administered over 115 crore vaccine doses across the country. Modi was addressing the first global innovation summit of the pharmaceuticals sector. The PM also called for increased domestic manufacture of key vaccine ingredients and medicines.
Why does it matter?
- India is often referred to as the world's pharmacy owing to its capacity to manufacture drugs and vaccines in bulk for cheap.
- Modi's push to boost India's pharmaceutical and healthcare sector is aimed at making India a world leader in drug discovery and innovation.
- Experts say COVID-19 will likely become endemic. If viral spread continues, India's position to manufacture vaccines and pills becomes key.
Vaccine export to increase: Modi
Modi said India's vaccine exports will be increased as it ramps up its production capacity. Vaccine and drug production is the "one frontier India has to conquer," he said. He made an open call for innovation in India, adding, "Our vision is to create an ecosystem that will make India a leader in drug discovery and innovation in medical devices."
115 crore vaccine doses administered
Till 6 pm on Wednesday, India had administered over 115 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses. Overall, nearly 39 crore people have been fully vaccinated, while over 76.1 crore people have received at least one dose. On Wednesday alone, India administered over 66 lakh more COVID-19 vaccine doses till 6 pm, including over 46.4 lakh second doses, and over 20.3 lakh first doses, according to CoWIN.
Nearly 12K new infections reported today
India on Thursday reported 11,919 new COVID-19 cases along with 11,242 recoveries and 470 more deaths. Cumulative cases reached 3,44,78,517, including 1,28,762 active cases (0.37%) and 3,38,85,132 recoveries (98.28%). Active cases rose slightly, a day after hitting a 527-day low. India's daily test positivity rate fell under 1%. It was recorded at 0.97%. Meanwhile, the weekly positivity rate stood at 1.26%.
India's second wave peaked on May 7
India's second wave peaked on May 7, when 4.14 lakh single-day cases were reported, over four times the number of cases reported during the first wave in mid-September 2020. Although infections have declined since the second wave peaked, India crossed the 3 crore-mark on June 23. India had crossed the 1 crore-mark on December 19, 2020, and the 2 crore-mark on May 4, 2021.
61% new cases concentrated in Kerala
Maharashtra reported 1,003 new COVID-19 cases along with 1,052 more recoveries. Kerala, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 6,849 new cases and 6,046 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Karnataka added 308 new cases and 384 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 782 new cases and 907 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 230 new cases and 346 recoveries.