India: Covid-19 vaccination continues as govt reports 15,144 cases (10,557,985-total)

People wearing protective masks stand in front of a poster featuring a photograph of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi outside the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India, on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. India launched one of the world’s largest coronavirus vaccination drives on Saturday, setting in motion a complex deployment plan aimed at stemming the wide spread of infections across a nation of more than 1.3 billion people. - Bloomberg

NEW DELHI, Jan. 17 (Xinhua/AP): India started inoculating health workers from Saturday (Jan 17) what is likely the world's largest Covid-19 vaccination campaign, joining the ranks of wealthier nations where the effort is already well underway.

India is home to the world’s largest vaccine makers and has one of the biggest immunization programs. But there is no playbook for the enormity of the current challenge.

Indian authorities hope to give shots to 300 million people, roughly the population of the U.S and several times more than its existing program, which targets 26 million infants. The recipients include 30 million doctors, nurses and other front-line workers, to be followed by 270 million people who are either over 50 or have illnesses that make them vulnerable to Covid-19.

Meanwhile, India's Covid-19 tally rose to 10,557,985 on Sunday, as 15,144 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours, according to the data from the federal health ministry.

According to the official data, the death toll mounted to 152,274 with 181 new deaths.

There are still 208,826 active cases in the country, while 10,196,885 people have been discharged so far from hospitals after medical treatment.

Meanwhile, the federal government has ramped up Covid-19 testing facilities, as over 180 million tests have been conducted so far.

As many as 186,544,8681 tests were conducted till Saturday, out of which 779,377 tests were conducted on Saturday alone, according to the data issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Sunday.

The national capital New Delhi, one of the most Covid-19 affected places in the country, has been witnessing comparatively a lesser number of cases over the past couple of weeks. A total of 299 new cases and six deaths were registered in the national capital through Saturday.

So far 10,738 people have died in the national capital due to Covid-19, confirmed Delhi's health department.

India's nationwide vaccination drive was kicked off on Saturday (Jan 16) as nearly 200,000 people were vaccinated during the first day across the country.

On the first day of the vaccination drive, two types of vaccines were supplied. The Covishield vaccine, made by the Serum Institute of India (SII), was supplied to all states, and the Covaxin vaccine, made by the Bharat Biotech International Limited was also supplied to a number of states. - Xinhua
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