Covid-19 India Live Updates: India records over 18,000 new Covid-19 cases, 201 deaths

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Trial run for Covid-19 vaccination drive underway at Rosa Garden in Thane on Friday. (Photo: Deepak Joshi)

Covid-19 India Live Updates: India recorded 18,645 new Covid cases in the 24 hours ending 8 am Sunday, taking the total number of infections to over 1 crore and 4.5 lakh. Active cases further dropped to 2.33 lakh, while recoveries continued to rise and stand at 1,00,75,950. A total of 201 deaths were reported on Saturday, the toll currently stands at over 1.51 lakh. Kerala reported 5,528 new cases, while Maharashtra had 3,581 on Saturday.

India is set to commence its Covid-19 vaccination drive on January 16, the central government announced in a press release on Saturday. In its first phase, priority will be given to about 3 crore frontline workers, followed by around 27 crore people above the age of 50 and others with co-morbidities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed this as a “landmark step” in India’s fight against the virus. Before this, India conducted two dummy vaccination drives to understand the best way to administer vaccines and detect any logistical loopholes in their distribution.

The number of Indians infected with the new UK variant of the coronavirus went up to 90 on Saturday. All the persons have been kept in single-room isolation in healthcare facilities by respective state governments, the Union Health Ministry said. Comprehensive contract tracing and genome sequencing on other samples is being conducted.

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Vaccination drive Phase 1 to start from January 16; PM Modi calls India’s vaccine development ‘landmark step’; Covid-19 UK variant cases at 90. Follow this space for the latest updates. 

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India’s drugs regulator recently approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and the indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country. Two dry runs of the vaccines have also been conducted across the country to understand the best way to administer them and plug loopholes in logistics and training.

Modi lauded India’s fight against COVID-19 and said we are among the countries with the lowest fatality rate and the highest recovery rate. He also said the way the country stood together during the pandemic was unparalleled. “Being the pharmacy of the world, India has supplied important medicines to all those in need in the world and continues to do so”, he said.

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