India hits 100 million vaccinations as Covid-19 cases rise

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The country reported a record total of nearly 153,000 coronavirus cases per day on Sunday with 839 new deaths, according to figures from the Ministry of Health. The total number of cases in India stands at more than 13.5 million – just behind the United States and Brazil – with nearly 170,000 deaths.

On the same day, vaccinations topped 100 million, with India being the fastest country in the world to reach that milestone, reaching the figure in just 85 days, the health ministry said.

The territory of the Delhi Union, which includes the capital New Delhi, has been hit hard by the new wave of the pandemic. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwa on Sunday announced a record one-day increase in cases of more than 10,000 new infections.

“Delhi is witnessing the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic,” Kejriwal warned. “The situation is worrying, the government is working to improve it. “

At least 57 doctors in New Delhi have tested positive for Covid-19 this week.

Some 37 doctors working at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in the city have tested positive – having previously received both doses of the vaccine. Doctors have mild symptoms, but 32 are in home isolation, while five have been admitted to hospital to avoid the risk of infecting their families, a hospital spokesperson told CNN. Hospital authorities are investigating the source of their infection, discovered Thursday, and contact tracing is underway, the official added.

The Indian Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi (AIIMS) confirmed on Friday that at least 20 doctors had been found infected with Covid-19. Two resident doctors who tested positive had received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine, AIIMS told CNN. All those infected show mild symptoms and are in isolation at home, officials said.

The western state of Maharashtra is also of major concern. Eight of India’s 10 worst-affected districts are in Maharashtra, including its capital Mumbai, officials said last week. Public spaces such as parks, malls, cinemas and religious centers are closed in the state until further notice, and all restaurants can only serve take-out.

Thousands of migrant workers tried to leave big cities like Mumbai last year after lockdowns left them without jobs or wages, and residents fear this scenario will repeat itself.

“Certain sectors are of course more affected, which could lead to the migration of workers,” Hariharan Kumar, a lawyer from Mumbai, told CNN on Sunday. “They fear losing their jobs and their wages. ”

“People get tired to some extent, but I think others also realize it’s the best of times,” he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced a four-day vaccination campaign starting Sunday.

India now regularly administers more than 3 million vaccines per day, surpassing the daily deployment of the United States and winning over that of China, according to the Our World in Data research group at the University of Oxford.

States like Maharashtra, Odisha and Punjab, however, have complained of vaccine shortages, and several districts in Maharashtra have had to suspend vaccination campaigns, the state’s health minister said on Thursday.

According to a senior administrative official in Mumbai, more than 70 centers in the city said they had no vaccines available. The central government has said it is doing everything it can to help states, according to a statement from the health minister earlier this week.

Why COVAX could become the most important acronym of 2021Why COVAX could become the most important acronym of 2021

The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine maker, produces Covid-19 vaccines for countries participating in the COVAX global vaccine sharing initiative, but deliveries will be delayed in April as India battles against the new wave of infections.

Raghav Chadha, porte-parole national du parti Aam Aadmi, wrote to Modi on Saturday asking him to adopt a policy of “vaccine nationalism”

“Do not let the vaccination center [sic] closed while doses are transported out of the country, ”he said.

On Saturday, Kejriwal announced a series of new restrictions in Delhi to tackle the coronavirus spike there.

This includes a ban on all gatherings (social, political or religious), a cap on participation in weddings and funerals of 50 and 20 people respectively, and restaurants, cinemas and public transport must be half-functioning.

Delhi authorities said on Friday that all educational institutions would remain closed until further notice.

The rise in cases comes as top Indian researchers announced last month that there are nearly 800 worrying variants present in the country.

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