The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 13.23 crore, as part of the world’s largest vaccination drive, the union health ministry said on Thursday.
According to the ministry, 13,23,30,644 vaccine doses have been administered through 19,28,118 sessions, as per the provisional report till 7 am on Thursday and over 22 lakh vaccination doses were administered in the last 24 hours.
“These include 92,19,544 HCWs who have taken the 1st dose and 58,52,071 HCWs who have taken the 2nd dose, 1,16,32,050 FLWs (1st dose), 59,36,530 FLWs (2nd dose), 4,78,67,118 1st dose beneficiaries and 57,60,331 2nd dose beneficiaries more than 60 years old and 4,44,28,884 (1st dose) and 16,34,116 (2nd dose) beneficiaries aged 45 to 60 years,” it said.
As many as eight states account for 59.25 per cent of the cumulative doses given so far in the country.
“As on Day-96 of the vaccination drive (April 21, 2021), 22,11,334 vaccine doses were given. 15,01,704 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 35,499 sessions for 1st dose and 7,09,630 beneficiaries received 2nd dose of vaccine,” the health ministry said.
Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates suspended all flights from India, including transit passengers, as coronavirus cases in the country spiked to global records. “The decision to suspend flights came after studying and evaluating the epidemiological situation in the friendly Republic of India,” the General Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement carried on state news agency WAM.
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Germany is in talks with Russia to buy 30 million doses of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, said Saxony state premier Michael Kretschmer who discussed the issue with President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.
“Germany is negotiating 3 x 10 million doses for June, July, August. The prerequisite for this is the swift EMA approval of the vaccine,” Kretschmer wrote on Twitter.
Kretschmer posted the tweet after meeting Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko as part of a visit to Moscow ostensibly focusing on cultural relations with Russia.
As part of the visit, he also discussed joint efforts to fight the virus in a phone call with Putin, the Kremlin said in a statement. “Putin confirmed the readiness of the Russian side to cooperate with German partners to this end, in particular to organise deliveries and joint production of vaccines,” it said.
Norway, which has suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine until further notice, will send 216,000 doses to Sweden and Iceland at their request, the Norwegian health ministry said Thursday.
“I’m happy that the vaccines we have in stock can be put to use even if the AstraZeneca vaccine has been paused in Norway,” Health Minister Bent Hoie said in a statement.
The 216,000 doses, which are currently stored in Norwegian fridges, have to be used before their expiry dates in June and July.
Sweden will receive 200,000 shots and Iceland 16,000 under the expectation they will return the favour at some point.
Amid reports of a shortage of beds in healthcare facilities in some parts of the country, the Punjab government on Thursday said the situation in the state with respect to availability of beds for COVID-19 patients is comfortable. It also said a helpline number will provide real-time information with respect to availability of beds in the hospitals.
Chairing a meeting to review the COVID-19 situation, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh expressed concern at the reports about shortage of beds for coronavirus patients in various parts of the country.
He said the situation is comparatively comfortable in Punjab with respect to availability of beds in both government and private hospitals.
Mr Singh asked the health department to ensure that 75 per cent beds were reserved in the level-2 and level-3 facilities for COVID care. A complete ban has been imposed on elective surgeries so that the hospitals can focus on the treatment of COVID patients, he said.