India logs 19K new Covid cases, 224 deaths

With 19,078 new coronavirus infections and 224 deaths in the past 24 hours, India’s overall tally stood at 1,03,05,788 on Saturday, while the death toll touched 1,49,218, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

Till now, 99,06,387 have recovered. Currently, there are 2,50,183 active cases. The recovery rate stands at 96.08 per cent while the fatality rate is 1.45 per cent.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state till date. Over 70 per cent of the daily new cases are being reported by 10 states and union territories — Kerala, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan (in random order).

The Oxford-AstraZenaca vaccine has been recommended by the expert panel tasked with vetting Covid-19 vaccine proposals and has been forwarded to the Drug Controller General of India for approval.

Once formalized, the vaccine — globally known as AZD1222 — will be the first silver bullet for the country, which has witnessed over one crore cases and nearly 1.5 lakh deaths till now.

The central government plans to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people in the first phase of the drive. On Saturday a nation-wide dry run of the vaccination process is underway, after a mini drill was successful in four states in December end.