The COVID-19 vaccination for all people aged 45 years and above commenced from Thursday, the Union Health Ministry said.
More than 6.5 crore vaccine doses have been administered across the country so far to frontline workers, healthcare workers, those above 60 and for people aged above 45 with specified co-co-morbid conditions.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated and vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started from February 2.
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 for those over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.
The ministry said so far vaccine doses have been administered to 82,60,293 HCWs (1st dose), 52,50,704 HCWs (2nd dose), 91,74,171 FLWs (1st dose) and 39,45,796 FLWs (2nd Dose), 78,36,667(1st dose) and 17,849 (2nd dose).
As on Day-75 of the vaccination drive (31st March), 20,63,543 vaccine doses were given. Out of which, 17,94,166 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 39,484 sessions for 1st dose and 2,69,377 beneficiaries received 2nd dose of vaccine.
The ministry further said that Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Punjab, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh continue to show a steep rise in the COVID daily new cases accounting for 84.61 per cent of the new cases reported in a span of 24 hours.
India saw 72,330 new infections being registered in a span of 24 hours, the highest single day rise recorded so far this year.
Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 39,544. It is followed by Chhattisgarh with 4,563 while Karnataka reported 4,225 new cases.
India’s active caseload has reached 5,84,055 and now comprises 4.78 per cent of the country’s total infections. A net rise of 31,489 cases has been recorded in the total active caseload in a span of 24 hours.
Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh and Punjab cumulatively account for 78.9 per cent of the total active cases in the country. Maharashtra alone accounts for more than 61 per cent of the active caseload of the country.
The Centre has been advising the States and UTs to increase the proportion of RT-PCR tests to more than 70 per cent of the total tests.
India’s cumulative recoveries stand at 1,14,74,683 with 40,382 recoveries being registered in a span of 24 hours.
A total of 459 deaths were reported in a day, the highest so far this year.
Six states account for 83.01 per cent of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (227). Punjab follows with 55 daily deaths, the ministry said.