India administers record 4.3 million vaccine doses as restrictions tightened

New Delhi, Apr 6 (efe-epa).- India administered a record 4.3 million doses of anti-Covid vaccines within the last 24 hours, even as authorities in capital New Delhi on Tuesday announced a night curfew due to a surge in cases, with the country again registering nearly 100,000 daily cases as part of the pandemic’s second wave.

“In a landmark achievement in India’s fight against Covid-19, more than 43 lakh (4.3 million) vaccination doses were administered in the last 24 hours. This is the highest single day vaccination coverage in the country so far,” the health ministry said in a statement.

In total, India has administered 83 million doses of the two-locally produced vaccines: AstraZeneca’s Covishield, and Indian lab Bharat Biotech’s indigenous vaccine Covaxin.

Both the vaccines require two doses to be administered with a gap of a few weeks in-between, and so far only around 10.3 million people have received the second dose.

India has a population of over 1.3 billion, and authorities have said that they aim to vaccinate 300 million people by the middle of the year.

On Monday, the South Asian nation registered an all-time high 103,558 cases of the new corovanirus in a single day, the figure breaking into six digits for the first time as infections have surged as part of the pandemic’s second wave.

On Tuesday, the number of fresh infections registered within the last 24 hours stood at 96,982 according to health ministry, with the total infections touching 12.6 million.

India continues to be the third worst affected country by the pandemic in terms of cases, behind the United States and Brazil.

Reacting to the rapid rise in infections, the regional government of New Delhi on Tuesday imposed a night curfew to try and control travels and the spread of the virus in the city.

The order restricts people’s movements between 10 pm and 5 am until Apr. 30, with the exception of essential services.

The capital followed suit after similar orders were issued on Sunday by the western state of Maharashtra, which has recorded the highest number of Covid cases and where night curfews have been enforced along with weekend lockdowns and the closure of businesses considered non-essential.

The rise in Covid-19 cases has been much faster this time compared to the first wave, and kicked off after a general easing of lockdown norms as people reduced the use of masks and social distancing, thinking that the worst of the pandemic was already behind them. EFE-EPA


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