Centre asks states to up COVID-19 vaccination as 37 lakh get inoculated; India reports 13,083 fresh cases, 137 deaths
There are 1,69,824 active coronavirus cases in the country currently, which account for only 1.58 percent of the total number of cases detected in India since the start of the pandemic
With 13,083 fresh cases, India's COVID-19 tally has gone up to 1,07,33,131, while 1,04,09,160 patients have recuperated so far, pushing the national recovery rate to 96.98 percent, the health ministry said on Saturday. The viral disease has claimed 137 more lives in the country in a span of 24 hours and the death toll now stands at 1,54,147, it added.
There are 1,69,824 active coronavirus cases in the country currently, which account for only 1.58 percent of the total number of cases detected in India since the start of the pandemic, the ministry's data updated at 8 am showed. The COVID-19 case fatality rate stood at 1.44 percent, it stated.
Reviewing the state-wise data, the ministry also added that nine states and Union territories have a higher weekly Positivity Rate than the national average. These states are Gujarat, Ladakh, Sikkim, Puducherry, Chandigarh, Maharashtra, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Kerala. Gujarat reported the lowest positivity rate while Kerala has the highest positivity rate, the ministry added.
Twenty-seven states and Union Territories have a weekly Positivity Rate less than the national average, it added.
According to the ICMR, a total of 19,58,37,408 samples have so far been tested for the viral disease across the country, including 7,56,329 on Friday.
India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on 7 August last year, the 30-lakh mark on 23 August and the 40-lakh mark on 5 September. It went past 50 lakh on 16 September, 60 lakh on 28 September, 70 lakh on 11 October, 80 lakh on 29 October, 90 lakh on 20 November, and one crore on 19 December.
The 137 latest fatalities include 56 from Maharashtra, 22 from Kerala, 11 from Punjab, seven from West Bengal, six from Delhi, and four from Uttar Pradesh.
Of the total 1,54,147 COVID-19 deaths reported so far in the country, Maharashtra accounts for the highest number of 51,000, followed by Tamil Nadu (12,345), Karnataka (12,211), Delhi (10,841), West Bengal (10,155), Uttar Pradesh (8,646), Andhra Pradesh (7,152), Punjab (5,601) and Gujarat (4,385).
The health ministry stressed that more than 70 percent of the COVID-19 deaths in the country occurred due to comorbidities.
"Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)," the ministry said on its website, adding that a state-wise distribution of the figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.
The ministry also said that 85.10 percent of the new recovered cases are observed to be concentrated in 10 states and Union territories.
On the vaccination front, the health ministry said that more than 37 lakh healthcare workers have been vaccinated across the country so far, of which 2,06,130 recipients got the jab on Saturday till 7 pm today.
Of the 37,06,157 beneficiaries, the highest number of people were vaccinated in Uttar Pradesh at 4,63,793 followed by Rajasthan at 3,26,745, Karnataka at3,15,343, Madhya Pradesh at 2,73,872, and Maharashtra at 2,69,064.
The ministry noted that India is the fastest country to reach not only the one million target but also two million and three million marks in COVID-19 vaccination.
Several other countries that have had a head start, some as much as 40-50 days, have taken a longer time to reach these targets, it said.
Centre asks states to increase coverage of vaccination
The Centre on Saturday asked states and Union territories to augment coverage of beneficiaries receiving the vaccination against COVID-19 and increase as well as optimise inoculation sessions per day.
This was done during a review meeting chaired by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan. "While some states and UTs have more than 50 percent coverage, they were all advised to improve the percentage coverage of vaccinated beneficiaries as there are many states and UTs that need to improve their performance on this parameter," the statement said.
The health secretary pointed out that COVID-19 vaccine is available in sufficient quantity and technical glitches on CoWIN app have now been resolved.
It was pointed that there is a huge scope for improvement in the number of average vaccinations per session and the state health secretaries were asked to analyse the daily variation in the number of average vaccination and take the necessary steps to increase them.
The states and UTs were also asked to organise multiple simultaneous vaccination sessions per day in the health facility wherever possible.
Bhushan reiterated that validation of eligibility and verification of the identity of a beneficiary is of utmost importance to ensure that only genuine and duly authenticated beneficiaries are vaccinated as per the priority group identified.
The importance of timely data reconciliation was also emphasised upon during the detailed review meeting. As the vaccination drive has substantially stabilised in the past two weeks, states/UTs were strongly urged to reconcile the arrear data on the CoWIN app," it said.
The insistence to boost inoculation drive comes in the backdrop of a separate letter issued Friday, that had asked states to start preparations for inoculating frontline workers also from 1 February.
No compulsory institutional quarantine for UK returnees who test COVID negative
The Delhi government has terminated the provision of one-week mandatory institutional quarantine for UK returnees who test negative for COVID-19 , an official order has said.
The decision was taken by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) after it reviewed the situation.
During the review, low COVID-19 positivity among UK returnees was pointed out.
In an earlier order this month, the DDMA had directed for mandatory seven days institutional quarantine followed by week-long home isolation even for those passengers from UK who tested negative for COVID-19 . The decision was taken in view of the resumption of limited flights to India from the UK where a mutant of coronavirus with increased transmissibility was detected.
The passengers returning from the UK and found negative for COVID-19 will require to be in 14 days of home isolation as per the Central government SOP.
It has asked district authorities to carry out COVID-19 tests on people who develop coronavirus -like symptoms during home isolation. In case a person tests positive, an extensive contact tracing also follows, it said.,
With inputs from PTI
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The Union Health Ministry added that people can book a vaccination appointment using the Co-WIN website, www.cowin.gov.in, or through the Aarogya Setu app
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