More than one crore 17 lakh vaccine doses, 12.6 lakh second doses administered till date: Union Health Secretary


: Mumbai/New Delhi, February 23, 2021

More than one crore 17 lakh vaccine doses have been administered till date, out of which, around 1.5 crore are first doses and around 12.6 lakh second doses have been administered till date. More than 77 lakh (around 68%) healthcare workers have been vaccinated, and more than 12 lakh of them (that is, 62.1% of eligible vaccinations) have also have received the second dose of the vaccine. Also, more than 40 lakh (or 41.7%) frontline workers have also been vaccinated till date. This has been stated by the Union Health Secretary Shri Rajesh Bhushan in a media briefing on the actions taken, preparedness and updates on COVID-19, held at National Media Centre in New Delhi today. He further informed that presently there are less than 1.5 lakh active cases and the positivity rate, which is 5.19%, is declining further. On an average, 92 deaths were reported per day in the last week. Till date, 21.2 crore COVID tests have been done.

Speaking about the existing COVID situation in various states, Shri Bhushan further stated, Maharashtra and Kerala are the only two States with more than 50,000 cases, which contribute about 75% of the total active cases in the country. While Kerala has 37.85% of the active cases, Maharashtra accounts for 36.87% active cases, followed by Karnataka at 4.13% and Tamil Nadu at 2.78% of the total active cases in the country. Health Ministry has sent central teams to some states and will be sending teams to some more states which have shown surge in COVID cases recently, further stated the Health Secretary. He also said, Maharashtra is showing a daily surge in COVID cases. Kerala is showing an incremental decline, but the daily cases in absolute numbers is still high over there. Punjab, with its daily increase in cases, is also a cause of worry. Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are also showing an increase in daily cases. Jammu & Kashmir had a sudden spike and then showed reduction in number of daily cases. A central team of epidemiologists and public health experts will also visit Jammu & Kashmir, stated Shri Bhushan. These central teams analyse the reasons for spike in cases and then hold discussions with the Chief Secretary and Health Secretary of the visited states to share their findings and advise on the steps to be taken to contain this surge.

The Health Secretary also stated that 12 States and UTs have administered first dose to more than 75% of the registered Health Care Workers. These States/UTs are: Bihar, Tripura, Odisha, Gujarat, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan. The States and UTs which have administered first dose to less than 60% of the registered Healthcare Workers are Puducherry, Punjab, Chandigarh, Nagaland, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Ladakh, Telengana, Goa, Arunachal Pradesh and Karnataka. 10 States and UTs which have administered second dose to more than 75% of the eligible healthcare workers are: Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, Nagland, Telengana, Gujarat, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Kerala and Tripura. 9 States & UTs which have shown more than 60% vaccination coverage of frontline workers are: Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Rajasthan, Lakshadweep, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. 10 States & UTs which have covered less than 25% of the frontline workers are: Goa, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu, Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Assam and Puducherry.

Dr. V. K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog informed that presence of two SARS-CoV-2  variants – N440K and E484K has been observed in Maharashtra, Kerala and Telangana.  INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium) has also detected these variants, he added. Out of 3500 samples which were subjected to sequencing, 187 had the presence of UK strain, 6 were found with South African strain and one was detected to be of Brazilian strain. Stating this, Dr. Paul called for follwing COVID Appropriate Behaviours and said that the virus is still around and going by the latest sero-survey data, many more cities are still vulnerable, other than the ones that have already  experienced the pandemic. DG, ICMR Prof. (Dr.) Balaram Bhargava said, the recent surge in COVID-19 cases cannot be linked to the different variants found of late. He called for continuing with COVID Appropriate Behaviours. 

 In reply to a media query, Health Secretary stated that, vaccination of senior citizens and people with co-morbidities will be started soon. He also said, private healthcare sector, which can have a force multiplier effect,  will be roped in for the vaccination programme in a bigger manner to speed up the process. Presently, out of an average of 10,000 healthcare centres where vaccination is being done, around 2000 belongs to the private sector.

Decision on the dosing interval of Covishield may be expected from the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) anytime, stated Dr. Paul in reply to another query.

Union Health Secretary’s Presentation may be accessed here






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