India Records 126,789 New COVID Cases, Modi Receives Second Dose of Vaccine | News on the coronavirus pandemic

India reported a record 126,789 new cases of COVID-19, Health Ministry data showed on Thursday, with much of the country struggling to contain a second outbreak of coronavirus infections.

The death toll rose by 685, the highest since November, bringing the total to 166,862, according to the data, as the total number of cases in India reached 12.9 million, the third in the world, behind the United States. United and Brazil.

The new cases reported by the health ministry surpassed 115,736 infections as of Wednesday, with dozens of towns and villages imposing nightly curfews in an attempt to contain the infections.

The western state of Maharashtra, the nation’s worst-hit, accounted for nearly 47 percent of new infections.

The federal government has refused to impose a second nationwide lockdown, after the first last year had a significant economic effect, but it has called on states to decide to impose local restrictions to contain the spread of the virus .

India now has a seven-day moving average of over 80,000 cases per day.

States say vaccines are running out

Another day of grim numbers in India came when Prime Minister Narendra Modi received his second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“Vaccination is one of the few ways we have to overcome the virus. If you are eligible for the vaccine, get vaccinated soon, ”Modi tweeted. He received his first vaccine vaccine on March 1.

India started its vaccination campaign in January. To date, over 90 million health workers and those over 45 have received at least one vaccine.

Only 11 million people received both doses as India tries to boost immunity to protect its 1.3 billion people.

Several Indian states are struggling to contain a second outbreak of infections, complaining of vaccine shortages and demanding that vaccinations be extended to younger people.

Vaccination centers in several states, including the hardest-hit Maharashtra, closed early and turned away people due to depletion of supplies.

Odisha State said it had closed half of its vaccination sites.

“Due to a vaccine shortage, we are suspending vaccination in public and private hospitals until supplies are available,” said municipal authorities in the town of Panvel, near the financial capital of the. India, Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Vaccination centers have also been closed in Satara district in the state since Wednesday, said Vinay Gowda, a senior government official.

The federal government has denied there is a shortage for the priority group of recipients – those over the age of 45 and frontline workers – accusing states of panic.

Opposition parties have criticized Modi’s government for exporting tens of millions of doses of the vaccine when it itself covers only a fraction of the country’s population. India is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer.

“Why was there no strategy or planning in the logistics of the immunization program?” the main opposition congressional party said on Twitter. “Why is there both extremely high wastage and a severe shortage of vaccines?

The Serum Institute of India, which provided around 90 percent of the 88 million doses of vaccine administered in the country, has requested a federal grant of 30 billion rupees ($ 400 million) to increase its capacity to manufacture the AstraZeneca vaccine. .

India is also using a local vaccine developed by a government institute and Bharat Biotech, which is struggling to increase production.