20 Oct 2021: Coronavirus: India reports 14K+ new cases; vaccinations near 1 billion
India on Wednesday reported over 14,000 new COVID-19 cases with an active caseload of 1.78 lakh, the lowest in 229 days. Notably, active caseload accounts for 0.52% of the total cases, the lowest since March 2020. Correspondingly, the recovery rate was recorded at 98.15%, the highest since March 2020. Meanwhile, the country's total vaccinations have come close to 1 billion.
Takeaways: Why does this story matter?
India has witnessed a decline in COVID-19 cases over the past several months. However, the government has warned that the ongoing festive season will witness greater social mixing, which may cause a surge in cases. At this juncture, ramping up vaccinations is pertinent. Incidentally, India has delayed its COVID-19 vaccine supplies to COVAX, a global initiative to ensure equitable vaccine distribution.
Statistics: India's total tally crosses 3.41 crore; over 4.5 lakh deaths
According to Union Health Ministry, India reported a total of 3,41,08,996 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 4,52,561. With 19,446 fresh recoveries, India's total recoveries stood at 3,34,78,247. In the past 24 hours alone, the nation recorded 14,623 new COVID-19 cases, 19,446 more discharges, and 144 fresh fatalities. Meanwhile, the weekly positivity rate continues to be below 3%, which is currently at 1.34%.
Trend: India's second wave peaked on May 7
India's second wave peaked on May 7, when 4.14 lakh single-day cases were reported, over four times the number of cases reported during the first wave in mid-September 2020. Although infections have declined since the second wave peaked, India crossed the 3 crore-mark on June 23. India had crossed the 1 crore-mark on December 19, 2020, and the 2 crore-mark on May 4, 2021.
States: 52% new cases in Kerala alone
Maharashtra reported 1,638 new COVID-19 cases along with 2,791 more recoveries. Kerala, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 7,643 new cases and 10,488 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Karnataka added 349 new cases and 399 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 1,179 new cases and 1,407 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 483 new cases and 534 recoveries.
Vaccination: India nears 1 billion vaccine doses
Thus far, India has administered 99.12 crore COVID-19 doses since the nationwide vaccination drive was launched on January 16. Nearly 22% of the total population has been fully vaccinated, while 52% have received their first dose. Till 6 pm on Wednesday, India administered roughly 41 lakh doses, including 24 lakh people who were administered their second doses, and 17 lakh first doses.
India: India delays COVID-19 vaccine supply to COVAX: Report
Separately, India has delayed the supplies of COVID-19 vaccines to the World Health Organization-backed COVAX, Reuters reported. India had resumed vaccine export this month, sending about 4 million doses to neighboring countries like Bangladesh and Iran, but none to COVAX. The WHO has notably delayed the Emergency Use Listing to India's indigenous COVID-19 vaccine COVAXIN, saying that it "cannot cut corners."
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Also see: India in 'tapering phase' of second wave of COVID-19
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