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India reports 4,000 deaths; discharges surpass new cases

The number stood at 3,62,727 on Thursday morning.

With the addition of fresh infections, the cumulative Covid-19 caseload in India has reached 2,40,46,809.

Nine states and UT — Kerala, Odisha, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Assam, and Manipur — are continuing to show an increasing trend in daily coronavirus cases, the ministry said on Thursday.

On the other hand, nine states — Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Goa, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand, Jammu, and Kashmir, and Ladakh — have shown a decline in daily new cases in the past one week.

The fatalities across the country also decreased in the last 24 hours, with 4,000 more people succumbing to the disease. The cumulative death toll now stands at 2,62,317.

In addition to this, 3,44,776 people were discharged in the same duration, taking the total number of recoveries to 20,079,599. The recovery rate in India stands at 83.2%.

As a result, there are 37,04,893 active cases in the country currently. The active tally reduced by a few thousand too as it stood at 37,10,525 on Thursday.

Tests conducted so far

India has tested 31,13,24,100 samples for Covid-19 until now, said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Out of these, 18,75,515 samples were tested on Thursday.

Vaccination in India

The country has so far administered 17,92,98,584 anti-Covid jabs.

Amid a shortage, several states have decided to float global tenders for the procurement of vaccines.

Chief Ministers of some states have also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi arguing for wider approval for vaccine production.

The nationwide vaccination drive was rolled out on 16 January with healthcare workers getting the jabs first. The drive for frontline workers started on 2 February.

The next phase of Covid-19 vaccination commenced on 1 March for those over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.

The country launched vaccination for those aged above 45 from 1 April.

The implementation of the Liberalised and Accelerated Phase 3 Strategy for inoculating those in the age group of 18-44 years started from 1 May amid many states flagging a shortage of vaccines.

Production of vaccines

The central government on Thursday said it will provide all possible assistance to all companies willing to manufacture the vaccine to ramp up the supply.

It, however, flagged the non-availability of a sophisticated laboratory with most vaccine makers that are necessary to produce the indigenously developed Covaxin jab.

Bharat Biotech has agreed to share the formulation of Covaxin with other manufacturers to increase the production of the vaccine.

“People say that Covaxin should be given to other companies for manufacturing. I am happy to say that Covaxin manufacturing company (Bharat Biotech) has welcomed this when we discussed it with them,” NITI Aayog member VK Paul said.

“Under this vaccine, a live virus is inactivated and this is done only in BSL3 (Biosafety Level 3) labs. Not every company has this. We give an open invitation to companies who want to do this. Companies that want to manufacture Covaxin, should do it together. The centre will assist so that capacity is increased,” Paul said.

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