Over 10 lakh healthcare workers immunised against COVID-19, says Centre; 187 AEFIs reported today
Meanwhile, five people died in a fire that broke out in a facility of the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune's Manjari area. SII is manufacturing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, 'Covishield'
The Centre said that over 10 lakh healthcare workers had been immunised against COVID-19 across the country as of 6 pm on Thursday.
While one hospitalisation was reported in Rajasthan, no deaths occurred due to the vaccine on Thursday, the government said.
A total of 10,40,014 healthcare workers have been administered the COVID-19 vaccine in 18,161 sites so far, Additional Health Secretary M Agnani said. Thursday's daily figures showed that 2,33,530 beneficiaries received the vaccine.
The ministry added that 187 adverse events following immunisation (AEFIs) were reported till 6 pm on Thursday.
Meanwhile, five people died in a fire that broke out in a facility of the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune's Manjari area. A second minor fire broke out in the same building at 7 pm, but was brought under control, reports said.
SII is manufacturing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, 'Covishield'.
However, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said that the production of Covishield will not be affected by the fire.
Additionally, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan sought to address the emerging issue of 'vaccine hesitancy' on Thursday.
Stating that vaccination the "eradication of COVID-19 in some time", Vardhan unveiled IEC posters to address the issue. Commenting on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, he said, "The paradox is that countries across the globe are asking us for access to the vaccines, while a section of our own is fomenting misinformation and doubt for narrow political ends."
"The elimination of polio and small pox was made possible by large-scale immunisation. Once immunised, not only that person is not capable of catching the disease, he or she is also unable to transmit the disease to others, thus passing on the social benefit to the larger society he or she interacts with. This was also the logic of undertaking mass immunisation of women and children against 12 diseases under Mission Indradhanush," he added.
The vaccination against COVID will similarly create persons incapable of transmitting the disease and eradicate the disease altogether in some time," he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the health ministry.
Over 10 lakh healthcare workers vaccinated so far
Briefing the media on Thursday evening, Agnani said that the countrywide COVID-19 vaccination programme was conducted successfully on the sixth day as well.
"The total number of healthcare workers vaccinated against COVID-19 has touched 10,40,014 (till Thursday 6 pm) through 18,161 sessions, as per the provisional report," he said.
The ministry said 187 AEFIs have been reported till 6 pm on the sixth day of the vaccination drive.
"A person who was vaccinated on 16 January and developed intracranial hemorrhage on 20 January has been admitted to Geetanjali Medical College and Hospital, Udaipur in Rajasthan and it is not related to vaccination. Further, no death has been reported today," Agnani said.
As for enhancements in the CO-WIN software, an online platform for monitoring COVID-19 vaccine delivery, the additional secretary said creation of more session sites, more sessions per site and change in site location have now been allowed.
"Further, planning and scheduling sessions for the entire week has been enabled. Also, for enhanced safety of the beneficiaries, tagging of contraindications is being enabled in the vaccinator module," Agnani said.
24 AEFIs reported in Delhi today; one lakh vaccinated in AP
In Delhi, over 5,900 healthcare workers received the COVID-19 vaccine shots on Thursday, which was the fourth scheduled day of the immunisation exercise in the National Capital.
The number of people vaccinated on Thursday accounted for 73 percent of the targeted figure of 8,100, according to the data, a marked rise in the figures compared to those on the previous three days.
"On day four of the vaccination drive in Delhi, AEFI was reported in 24 persons," a senior official of the Delhi health department said.
Various reasons were being attributed to the low turnout in the initial days, including some technical issues and fears related to adverse events. However, the government has maintained that no case of serious or severe AEFI is attributable to vaccination till date.
In Andhra Pradesh, the total number of people who were administered the vaccine crossed the one lakh mark on Thursday as 23,338 underwent the process on the sixth day.
In all, 1.14 lakh healthcare staff in the state were given the first dose of Covishield and Covaxin so far. No adverse events following immunisation were reported across the state on Thursday, the state health department said in a bulletin.
Puri's Jagannath temple opens for visitors
After opening doors of the Jagannath temple for the devotees without a mandatory COVID-19 negative report, Sree Jagannatha Temple Administration (SJTA) on Thursday urged the Odisha government to provide coronavirus vaccines to temple admin and their family members on a priority basis.
"Devotees are allowed to enter the shrine from 21 January, 2021, without insisting upon any COVID-19 negative certificate. It is expected that large numbers of devotees will be visiting daily. Therefore, chance of the Sevayats getting infected on account of the virus cannot be ruled out as they will be coming in the close contact with the devotees," Kumar said in the letter.
On the first day of entry into the temple without a mandatory COVID negative report, more than 25,000 devotees visited the shrine, temple management committee said.
The temple management, however, has issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) as part of which a devotee has to wear masks at all times, inside and outside of the temple premises.
India gifts 2 mn vaccine doses to Bangladesh, 1 mn to Nepal
India on Thursday delivered two million doses of Covishield vaccines to Bangladesh and one million doses to Nepal, under grants assistance as it prepares to send similar supplies to Myanmar and Seychelles.
It is learnt that a consignment containing 1.5 million doses of Covishield vaccines will reach Myanmar on Friday.
"Nepal receives Indian vaccines. Putting neighbours first, putting people first!" External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Twitter.
"Touchdown in Dhaka. #VaccineMaitri reaffirms the highest priority accorded by India to relations with Bangladesh," he said in another tweet.
The Indian High Commission in Dhaka tweeted that a "gift of 2 million" made-in-India COVID-19 vaccine was handed over to Bangladesh foreign minister AKA Momen and Health Minister Zahid Maleque by Indian envoy Vikram Doraiswami.
The Indian embassy in Kathmandu said a total of one million doses of vaccines was handed over to Nepal in reflection of India's abiding friendship and commitment towards the people of the country.
On Wednesday, India sent 150,000 doses of Covishield vaccines to Bhutan and 1,00,000 doses to the Maldives.
In a major announcement, India on Tuesday had said that it will send COVID-19 vaccines under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles from Wednesday and supplies to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius will commence after confirmation of necessary regulatory clearances.
India is one of the world's biggest drugmakers, and an increasing number of countries have already approached it for procuring the coronavirus vaccines.
COVID-19 caseload details
India's COVID-19 caseload crossed 1.06 crore with 15,223 new infections being reported in a day, while the recoveries surged to 1,02,65,706, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.
Additionally, the total number of cases in Maharashtra crossed the 20-lakh mark with 2,886 new cases on Thursday.
Nationwide, the total caseload rose to 1,06,10,883, while the toll mounted to 1,52,869 with 151 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.
According to the ICMR, 18,93,47,782 samples have been tested up to 20 January with 7,80,835 samples being tested on Wednesday.
The 151 new fatalities include 59 from Maharashtra, 18 from Kerala, 10 eachfrom Delhi and Chhattisgarh.
A total of 1,52,869 deaths have been reported so far in the country, including 50,582 from Maharashtra followed by 12,290 from Tamil Nadu, 12,185 from Karnataka, 10,774 from Delhi, 10,080 from West Bengal, 8,591 from Uttar Pradesh and, 7,142 from Andhra Pradesh.
With inputs from agencies
Spending on transfers during the January window fell from $1.16 billion in 2020 to $590 million in 2021, the lowest sum since 2014.
Lazio are accused of failing to alert local health authorities when eight "staff" tested positive at the end of October, on the eve of a Champions League match, then at the beginning of November, again before a Champions League match.
Till 8 am on Friday, the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered to healthcare workers and frontline workers in the country was 1,01,88,007