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Over 60% healthcare workers receive first dose of Covid-19 vaccine

A health care worker receives a dose of COVISHIELD manufactured by Serum Institute of India (REUTERS)Premium
A health care worker receives a dose of COVISHIELD manufactured by Serum Institute of India (REUTERS)

  • India has administered more than 87.40 lakh covid-19 vaccine doses as on date, according to the union health ministry provisional data
  • The health secretary said that the pandemic in India is declining but two states Maharashtra and Kerala remain a cause of concern for the government

More than 60% of healthcare workers in India have received the first dose of covid-19 vaccine so far, the government said on Tuesday.

India has administered more than 87.40 lakh covid-19 vaccine doses as on date, according to the union health ministry provisional data. “Of the total doses, more than 62.8 lakh healthcare workers which comprise of more than 60% of this workforce have received the first covid-19 vaccine dose within a month of launch of the nationwide covid-19 vaccination program," Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.

“Out of these, more than 1.7 lakh healthcare workers have also received the second dose of the covid-19 vaccine, which forms 37.5% of the eligible beneficiaries who have already received the first dose. Also, 24.57 lakh or 26.3% frontline workers have also received the covid-19 vaccine," he said.

According to the provisional data of vaccination available with the union health ministry, overall, 14 States and UTs have already covered 70% of the registered healthcare workers for the first dose of vaccination. At the same time, 11 States and UTs have covered less than 50% of their healthcare workers till now.

The second dose of vaccine has been administered to more than 60% of eligible healthcare workers in as many as eight States and UTs. And, eight States have shown more than 40% coverage of Frontline Workers' vaccination, the government said.

The data further shows that 10 States and UTs have covered less than 10% of frontline workers' vaccination. Out of them, Assam and Ladakh are yet to start vaccination of frontline workers. Vaccination of frontline workers was started 13 days ago. “We have written to the states having low coverage of the vaccine to take appropriate steps to vaccinate more beneficiaries," said Bhushan.

The health secretary said that the pandemic in India is declining but two states Maharashtra and Kerala remain a cause of concern for the government. Out of a total 1.09 crore covid-19 cases recorded in the country till date, 1.25% are active cases presently. While Kerala accounts for around 45% of the total active cases, Maharashtra accounts for 27%, followed by Karnataka at around 4% and West Bengal at about 3% of the active cases.

“Kerala and Maharashtra are still having the maximum number that makes up for 72% of the active cases nationally. Kerala has 61,550 active cases and reported 2884 new cases in the last 24 hours which however is a significant decline from what it had reported in the previous 24 hours," said Bhushan. “Maharashtra, on the other hand, has a total of 37,383 active cases and has reported 3,365 new cases in the last 24 hours," he said.

The reports and findings given by the central teams which were at Kerala and Maharashtra as well as the central teams' guidance and advices have been shared with the respective state governments, said Bhushan adding that both the states not doing enough RT-PCR tests which is the gold standard for covid-19 diagnosis.

India’s cumulative positivity rate for covid-19 stands at 5.27%. According to the government, in the last week, 93 covid-19 related deaths occurred daily on an average in the country. "The range of daily active cases in the last 15 days has varied from 12,500 to 9,000 per day. Similarly, the range of deaths over the last 15 days fluctuated from 78 deaths to 120 deaths per day," Bhushan said. India’s total tally of covid-19 has climbed to 1,09,35,399 and the toll touched 1,55,924.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), the number of reported cases of covid-19 globally has also declined for the fifth consecutive week. Last week saw the lowest number of reported weekly cases since October.

“So far this year, the number of weekly reported cases has fallen by almost half, from more than 5 million cases in the week of January 4 to 2.6 million cases in the week starting February 8 – just five weeks," said Tedros Adhanom, Director general of the WHO adding that this shows that simple public health measures work, even in the presence of variants. Every day with fewer infections means lives saved, suffering prevented, and the burden on health systems eased just a little bit, the WHO chief said.

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