States like Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir (UT), Jharkhand, Puducherry, Manipur, Nagaland, Lakshadweep, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Andman &Nicobar Islands, Ladakh (UT), Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli didn’t contribute to the covid-19 death count.
At least 94 fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours with six States accounting for 80.85% of the daily deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (35). Kerala follows with 19 daily deaths and Punjab has reported 8 casualties, the union health ministry data showed.
Though the covid-19 pandemic is showing signs of receding but the cases continue to rise. Over 11,067 new daily cases were recorded in the last 24 hours whereas 13,087 patients have recovered and discharged in the last 24 hours. There are 1,41,511 active covid-19 cases in the country. Two States – Kerala and Maharashtra- account for 71% of the total Active Cases of the country, the government data showed. The data further showed that 83.31% of the daily new cases are from 6 States.
Kerala reports the highest daily new cases at 5,214. It is followed by Maharashtra with 2,515, while Tamil Nadu has reported 469 new cases. India’s cumulative recoveries stand at 1,05,61,608 today. The Recovery Rate is 97.27%.
Public health experts claim that the pandemic is declining in the country as a significant number of people have acquired herd immunity through natural infection but the country shouldn’t not lower guard against the virus considering the numbers going down.
“There was an increase in cases in October in most of the States. Then we saw a decline. Most likely due to immunity. The proportion of asymptomatic/mild cases to severe cases may be more in favour of milder cases (>80%). Delhi sero-survey results also seem to hint at developing immunity,” Lalit Kant, a scientist and former head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said.
“But we do not know how long this decrease in numbers would last. Because immunity in asymptomatic or mild infections do not last long. May be 4-5 months. We should not be carried away by this decrease, observe precautions,” he warned.
In parallel, India began its nationwide covid-19 vaccination program on January 16th 2021 to achieve herd immunity through immunisation. “We aim to achieve herd immunity by vaccinating maximum number of people in India,” said Dr. V.K.Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, government’s policy think tank.
The cumulative number of healthcare and frontline workers vaccinated against covid-19 has reached 68.26 lakhs today. 68,26,898 beneficiaries were vaccinated through 1,42,455 sessions, as per the provisional report available with the health ministry. These include 56,65,172 healthcare workers (57.4%) and 11,61,726 frontline workers (13.2%).
Thirteen States/UT have vaccinated more than 65% of the registered HCWs. These are – Bihar, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep, Kerala, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, A & N Islands and Rajasthan, according to the union health ministry. On the other hand, Seven States/UTs have reported less than 40% coverage of registered HCWs. Punjab, Meghalaya, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu, Manipur, Nagaland and Puducherry, the government said.
The 10 States, who recorded highest number of vaccinations, are Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Bihar.