India recorded a sharp surge of 81,466 new infections in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s overall caseload to 12,302,110. Maharashtra accounted for 43,183 of the new cases, a new high for the state. Chhattisgarh and Karnataka reported more than 4,000 cases each. Meanwhile, with 469 new deaths, the country’s death toll rose to 1.63 lakh.
As the country grapples with a second wave of coronavirus cases, an expert panel of the top drug regulator has allowed Bharat Biotech to administer a third dose of Covaxin to some of the volunteers in its ongoing clinical trials of the Covid vaccine.
The approval, a result of the Hyderabad-based vaccine maker’s proposal to use an additional booster dose, would allow it to test the ability of Covaxin to prompt an immune response that could last a few years, The Indian Express has learnt.
With Maharashtra reporting a sharp rise in cases over the last few weeks, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has asked officials to prepare fresh SOPs on further restrictions to be implemented across the state.
Maharashtra is one of the highest contributors to the country’s Covid caseload. Yesterday, mayor Kishori Pednekar indicated that stricter containment measures could be implemented, including limiting travel in local trains and shutting down religious places, malls and theatres.
A day after India launched the third phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive, over 36.71 lakh vaccinations were administered across the country. The government said the inoculation drive will be conducted on all days of April, including gazetted holidays, and at all public and private centres.
The third phase, under which everyone above the age of 45 is eligible to receive the shot, covers the population which is at the highest risk — 90 per cent of deaths related to the disease in India have been in the category of those above the age of 45.
Meanwhile, according to Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) data, over 11 crore people worked under the scheme during the financial year 2020-21 — the first time since its inception in 2006-07 that the MGNREGS numbers crossed the 11-crore mark in a year.