India Covid-19 Vaccine: Amid Severe Shortage, Only 6 States to Begin Vaccination for 18 +
India Covid-19 Vaccine: Amid Severe Shortage, Only 6 States to Begin Vaccination for 18 +

COVID-19 cases recorded in India

With 4,08,323 new COVID-19 cases recorded until 11 p.m. on April 30, India became the first country in the world to register over 4 lakh infections in a single day. As many as 3,464 new deaths were also reported on the day.

As many as 2,97,488 new recoveries were recorded on April 30, taking the total to 1,56,71,536.

As many as 19,20,107 samples were tested on April 29 (results of which were made available on April 30). This is the first instance when daily tests have crossed the 19 lakh-mark. On April 28, 17.68 lakh samples were tested. A total of 28.64 crore tests have been conducted in the country from the beginning of the pandemic until April 29.

India continues to register the highest number of average daily cases in the world, according to Our World in Data. Until April 28, the country recorded 3.49 lakh daily cases. With 52,679 average daily cases, the U.S. was a distant second. Three other countries in the list included France (27,250), Germany (20,788) and Canada (7,980).

Only six states to begin covid-19 vaccination for 18+

Around 22.24 lakh vaccination shots were given in the 24 hours ending 7 a.m. on April 30, which is only 31,267 doses more than what was recorded in the previous 24 hours. The daily vaccination rate has decreased significantly in the second half of April compared to the first. Between April 1 and 14, India administered 35.26 lakh doses on an average every day. However, between April 15-29, the average daily doses given fell to just 25.16 lakh. Cumulatively, 15,00,20,648 vaccine doses had been administered until 7 a.m. on April 30.

The Union health ministry on Thursday said more than 10 million vaccine doses are still available with states and they will receive 2 million more doses in the next few days. The ministry further said that the Centre has so far provided nearly 161.6 million vaccine doses to states and UTs free of cost.

States like Maharashtra and Gujarat have announced to begin the vaccination drive from Saturday. Gujarat will have undertake the drive in 10 districts.

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has said that the state has 0.3 million doses but will begin the vaccination for 18+ from Saturday. "Today we have received 0.3 million vaccine doses. From tomorrow, we will start vaccination for adults above the age of 18 years with whatever vaccine supply that is made available to us," he added.

Rollout vaccine for 18+ people

As the Covid-19 surge continues, India is set to open vaccination for citizens above 18 years from May 1, with an aim to widen the drive to a larger and younger population. However, phase 3 of the vaccination drive may see a slow start with many states/UTs complaining of a shortage in vaccine supply.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain yesterday said the national capital has not enough vaccine supply for the vaccination drive for 18-plus years. It may take 3-4 months to cover all people in the national capital. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a meeting on Thursday regarding the third phase of the vaccination drive. “Had a meeting with the officials on vaccination drive in Delhi… prepared a plan to vaccinate all above 18 years in the next 3 months. We will set up vaccination centres on a large scale. All eligible people must come forward to get vaccinated,” Kejriwal said after the meeting. Maharashtra Chief Minister also a held meeting on Covid-19 vaccination yesterday. In Uttar Pradesh, the rollout will be a ceremonial one. States like Odisha, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Punjab and Andhra may not begin the drive on May 1.

In the meanwhile, Maharashtra government has extended the current Covid19 restrictions till May 15. Uttar Pradesh has increased the duration of weekend lockdown by 24 hours.

The Biden administration will restrict travel from India

U.S. to restrict travel from India effective May 4 as Covid surge devastates the country.

The policy will take effect Tuesday, May 4, Psaki said in a statement. The administration made the decision on the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she said.

While Covid infections and deaths have been on the decline in the U.S. as millions of Americans get vaccinated each day, India is in the grip of an unprecedented spike in cases.

There are few nonstop flights between the U.S. and India. United Airlines is the only major U.S. carrier operating nonstop service between the two countries, with four daily departures to India. Air India has a similar number scheduled for next month, according to aviation data firm Cirium.

The new travel order isn’t expected to ban flights, but rather non-U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have recently been in India — a similar format as restrictions that have been placed on much travel from the EU, China and Brazil, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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