India begins phase 2 of vaccination drive as Covid-19 tally rises above 11.1 million

Medical staff prepare before inoculating people for a Covid-19 vaccine at a government hospital in Siddipet, in the Indian state of Telangana on March 1, 2021, as the country begins a vaccination programme for senior people. - AFP

NEW DELHI, March 1 (Xinhua): India's Covid-19 tally rose to 11,112,241 on Monday, as 15,510 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours, the latest data from the federal health ministry showed.

According to the official data, the death toll mounted to 157,157 as 106 Covid-19 patients had died since Sunday morning.

There are still 168,627 active cases in the country, while 10,786,457 people have been discharged so far from hospitals after medical treatment. There was an increase of 4,116 active cases during the previous 24 hours.

The phase 2 of the ongoing Covid-19 vaccine drive began in the country on Monday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking his first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, manufactured by "Bharat Biotech" company.

Modi took his first vaccine dose at Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

The phase 2 of the vaccination drive would inoculate those above the age of 60 and those over 45 with comorbidities.

January 16 was a crucial day in India's fight against the pandemic as the nationwide vaccination drive was kicked off during the day. So far nearly 15 million people, mainly health workers, have been vaccinated across the country.

Meanwhile, the federal government has ramped up Covid-19 testing facilities across the country, as nearly 217 million tests have been conducted so far.

As many as 216,858,774 tests were conducted till Sunday, out of which 627,668 tests were conducted on Sunday alone, said the latest data issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Monday.

The national capital Delhi, which has been one of the most COVID-19 affected places in the country, has been witnessing comparatively a lesser number of cases over past several months.

As many as 197 new cases and one death was registered in the national capital through Sunday.

So far as many as 10,910 people have died in the national capital due to Covid-19, confirmed the Delhi's health department.

Two types of vaccines are being administered to the people in India. - Xinhua
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