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India covered over 10 million beneficiaries aged over 60 years with covid-19 vaccination in 15 days, the union health ministry data shows.

The cumulative number of covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 34.8 million on Tuesday. The coverage includes 75,01,590 healthcare workers (HCWs) who have taken the 1st dose and 45,40,776 HCWs who have taken the 2nd dose, 75,91,670 frontline workers (FLWs) (1stdose), 16,28,096 FLWs (2nd dose), 1,14,54,104 beneficiaries more than 60 years old and 21,43,109 beneficiaries aged 45 and above with specific co-morbidities. The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on 16th Jan 2021 with vaccination of HCWs and vaccination of the FLWs started from 2nd Feb 2021.The next phase of covid-19 vaccination commenced from 1st March 2021 for those who are over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. A total of 3,48,59,345 vaccine doses have been given, as per the provisional report till 7 pm today.

As the vaccination to control covid-19 continues, India’s covid-19 burden is also rising. With several states of the country reporting high number of fresh coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to convene a meeting with chief ministers of all states and UTs via video-conferencing.

Five States, Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, continue to report a surge in the covid-19 daily new cases. At least 79.73% of the new cases are reported from these states in the past 24 hours. Over 24,492 new cases were registered in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 15,051. It is followed by Punjab with 1,818 while Kerala reported 1,054 new cases.

Eight states are displaying an upward trajectory in daily new cases. These are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka and Haryana, the health ministry data shows. Kerala is reporting a consistently declining trend over the last one month. With the numbers swelling, India’s total Active Caseload has reached 2,23,432 on Tuesday. India’s present active caseload now stands at 1.96% of India’s total Positive Cases.

Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab cumulatively account for 76.57% of India’s total active cases, the government said. At least 131 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. Seven States account for 82.44%of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (48). Punjab follows with 27 daily deaths and Kerala reported deaths in the last 24 hours.

With total tests conducted in the country surpassing 228 million, the cumulative national Positivity Rate currently stands at 5%. Public health experts have shown concern over the rising numbers. “The most significant factor determining the rise in infections can be the non-compliance among the general populace with regards to safety measures like wearing masks, social distancing, etc.

Relaxations in curfews/lockdown norms across the country and increased flexibility in the nature of gatherings coupled with what researchers call the ‘pandemic fatigue’, has collectively driven the recent surge in the infection rates," said Suresh Sharma, head, Population Research Centre, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi University.

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