COVID-19 Updates: India Overtakes Brazil, Becomes Second Worst-Hit Country

Passengers get themselves registered for COVID-19 tests at a train station in New Delhi. Photo: PTI/Kamal Kishore

On Monday morning, India yet again recorded the highest number of infections in one day with 1,68,912 new COVID-19 cases. The single-day rise in coronavirus cases breached the one-lakh mark for the seventh time in eight days. The country’s tally of confirmed cases stands at 1,35,27,717 or 1.35 crore. The death toll increased to 1,70,179, with 904 new fatalities.

The active caseload registered an increase for the 33rd day in a row and was recorded at 12,01,009.

Across the world, there have now been over 135 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. According to Johns Hopkins University, the global death toll due to COVID-19 stands at 2,935,460.

The US has recorded 31,197,511 confirmed cases of COVID-19 while India is in second place with 13,527,717 cases, followed by Brazil (13,482,023). The US has also recorded the highest death toll, with 562,066 fatalities so far. The death toll has also been high in Brazil (353,137), Mexico (209,338) and India (169,275).

India kicked off the “world’s largest” vaccination programme on January 16, to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control. Public health authorities hope to inoculate 300 million high-risk people over the next six to eight months. The first to get the vaccine will be 30 million health and other frontline workers, followed by about 270 million people aged over 50 or deemed high-risk.

Two vaccine candidates ‒ the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate known as Covishield in India and Covaxin, indigenously developed by Hyderabad-based company Bharat Biotech together with the Indian Council of Medical Research – are being given to beneficiaries.

The second phase of the vaccine rollout began on March 1, allowing people above the age of 60 and those above 45 with comorbidities to receive shots of the vaccine candidates. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the first dose Covaxin shot on March 1, and encouraged others to take the vaccine.

From April 1, all those above 45, irrespective of whether they have comorbidities or not, will be eligible to receive the vaccine candidates.

In total, more than 10.45 crore doses have been administered as of Monday morning, according to the Union health ministry.

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