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Central government on Monday approved one more lab for testing and lot release of covid-19 vaccines.  

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has authorised National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB) as Central Drug Laboratory (CDL) for testing and lot release of covid-19 vaccines, the government said in a statement. The union health ministry said that it is working continuously and tirelessly to improve the production, supply and administration of Covid-19 vaccines. In order to discuss the various aspects of covid-19 vaccination distribution in India, a meeting was organised under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary on November 11, 2020.  

 In the meeting, the ministries and the departments like Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) were asked to indicate to the Health Ministry if any of their labs can be converted for being used as CDL. 

 “After due deliberations, DBT proposed two laboratories namely NIAB and National Centre for Cell Sciences (NCCS), Pune for this purpose. Funds from Prime Minister Cares Fund Trust (PM-CARES) were allotted for upgradation of these two laboratories," said the union health ministry. 

Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) had furnished a draft notification to the Union Health Ministry for notifying NIAB, Hyderabad as a CDL laboratory in response to which the Union Health Ministry has now notified NIAB, Hyderabad as a CDL laboratory.  

NCCS, Pune has already been notified as a CDL laboratory on June 28, 2021 by union health ministry.  “The notification of these two laboratories as CDL laboratories will improve vaccine production and will ultimately strengthen the vaccination campaign," said the government. 

India’s cumulative covid-19 vaccination coverage breached the milestone of 55 crores. The union health ministry said that more than 56.81 crores vaccine doses have been provided to States/UTs so far, through all sources. “Of this, the total consumption including wastages is 54,22,75,723 doses (as per data available at 8 AM today). More than 2.89 Cr (2,89,47,890) balance and unutilized COVID Vaccine doses are still available with the States/UTs and private hospitals to be administered," the government said.  

India has reported 32,937 daily new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours with 421 deaths. India’s Active Caseload today stands at 3,81,947 which constitute 1.18% of the country's total Positive Cases. With nearly 50 crores covid-19 tests conducted so far, India’s weekly Positivity Rate currently stands at 2.01% and the Daily Positivity rate stands at 2.79% today, the health ministry data shows.  

Kerala continues to be a cause of concern for the central government that is reported nearly 19000 covid-19 cases in last 24 hours. Union health minister Mansukh Mandavia on Monday reviewed the covid-19 situation in the Southern state with the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Health Minister of Kerala, Veena George. 

 “Central Govt allocates 267.35 crore to Kerala under Emergency COVID Response Package- II; Additional 1 crore will be made available to each district of Kerala for creating medicine pool. Union Government will support Center of Excellence for Telemedicine Facilities in Kerala. There will be Paediatric ICUs along with10 kilo-litre liquid oxygen storage tank facility at every district hospital, to prioritise the health of children" said Mandavia in a series of tweets.

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