India will expand its coronavirus vaccination programme today to cover people over 60 and those over 45 who have illnesses as it hopes to rein in a growing number of more infectious virus strains and a spurt in cases in some states. Registrations are set to open at 9 am at www.cowin.gov.in and the Aarogya Setu app and there will be walk-in vaccinations in some places as well. India began its vaccination drive on January 16 intending to inoculate 3 crore frontline workers but has struggled with hesitancy, giving out some 1.43 crore shots so far.
The government hopes to vaccinate 30 crore people by August in this second phase.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today tweeted to say that he took first dose of coronavirus vaccine at Delhi’s premier All India Institutes of Medical Sciences.
“Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19,” PM Modi tweeted as he shared an image of himself taking first dose of the vaccine.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu has extended existing coronavirus-related restrictions till March 31, meaning offices, shops, and industrial and commercial establishments will continue with staggered working hours.
Authorities have been directed to crack down on violations of these or any other Covid-related protocols. Police and municipal authorities have been further directed to ensure that measures in containment zones – which will now be demarcated at micro-levels – are strictly followed.
India registered a single-day spike of over 16,000 COVID-19 cases for the fourth day in a row on Sunday, pushing the infection tally to 1,10,96,731, while the recoveries surged to 1,07,75,169, according to Union Health Ministry data.
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JustIn| PM Modi takes first dose of coronavirus vaccine at Delhi’s AIIMS, appeals to all those “who are eligible to take vaccine”
A user manual for registration and appointment for COVID-19 vaccination has been shared by the government. The second phase of the vaccination campaign will start today. “The exemplary groundwork and precaution advisory by the government has helped in containing the spread of the virus in our country,” the centre said in the introduction to the user manual.
The registration on the CoWIN 2.0 portal will open at 9 am today, the government said. See cowin.gov.in for details. More than 10,000 private hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat PMJAY, more than 600 hospitals under the CGHS and other private hospitals empanelled under state schemes can function as vaccination centres.
The latest announcement was on private hospitals – they can charge up to Rs 250 per dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Expressing his disinterest in imposing the lockdown in the state, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said, “I do not want to impose it but ‘majboori‘ (helplessness) is also something.”
“I do not want to impose lockdown in the state but ‘majboori’ is also something,” the Chief Minister said during a press conference in Mumbai.
Mr Thackeray also urged people of the state to wear masks to avoid lockdown.
However, the Chief Minister assured that he is continuously monitoring the situation.
Maharashtra had been witnessing an upsurge in COVID-19 cases for the last few days.
Up to six cases of the variant of coronavirus first identified in the Brazilian city of Manaus have been detected in Britain, English health officials said on Sunday.
Two of three cases found in England were from a household in the South Gloucestershire area which had a history of travel to Brazil and there was a third, currently unlinked case, Public Health England said.