ECONOMY

Coronavirus India Update: Nearly 17,000 New Cases; Serum Institute Warns Of Delays

Active Covid-19 cases in India continued to rise at a time the country rolled out one of the world’s largest inoculation drive to control its massive outbreak.

Authorities reported nearly 17,000 new cases in 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry’s update as of 8 a.m. on March 5. That’s higher than the almost 14,000 recoveries in the same period, taking active cases to 1.76 lakh.

Daily deaths related to Covid-19 crossed 100 once again. Total fatalities now account for 1.41% of the more than 1.11 crore coronavirus cases detected in the country.

Key Figures:

  • Total number of confirmed coronavirus cases: 1,11,73,761
  • Active cases: 1,76,319
  • Cured/discharged/migrated: 1,08,39,894
  • Deaths: 1,57,548
  • Fresh cases in the last 24 hours: 16,838
  • One-day recoveries: 13,819
  • One-day deaths: 113

India has administered 1,80,05,503 vaccine shots, with nearly 14 lakh of them given to the elderly in the last 24 hours.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off the second phase of immunisations on Monday — where senior citizens and those above the age of 45 with comorbidities will be able to get inoculated — by taking the first dose of Covaxin.

The indigenous vaccine, which was co-developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Ltd. and the Indian Council of Medical Research, showed an efficacy rate of 81% in those without prior infection after a second dose, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Adar Poonawalla, the chief executive officer of the Serum Institute of India Ltd., told a World Bank panel on Thursday that a U.S. law blocking the export of certain key items, including bags and filters, will likely cause serious bottlenecks. “We’re talking about having free global access to vaccines but if we can’t get the raw materials out of the U.S. — that’s going to be a serious limiting factor,” he said.

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