Screengrab from the Health Ministry's press briefing on Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Screengrab from the Health Ministry's press briefing on Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Photo via ANI

It is now Day 3 of the widely-promised mass vaccination drive in India, that kick-started on January 16 with the approval of two COVID-19 vaccines — Bharat Biotech's 'Covaxin' and Serum Institute's 'Covishield'.

The Health Ministry's press briefing can be watched here.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) informed today (Tuesday, January 19) that a total of 4,54,049 people have been vaccinated till now.

In a press briefing on the COVID-19 situation in the country, the Health Ministry said that the number of active cases stand at around 2 lakhs, after seven long months. The number of active cases is also steadily declining.

Moreover, India is also recording less than 140 coronavirus deaths daily, the lowest in eight months.

There are currently only two states in India — Maharashtra and Kerala — which still have more than 50,000 active cases. Elsewhere, the number has declined, the Health Ministry informed.

Meanwhile, the case percentage of adverse events following immunisation stands at a mere 0.18% and 0.002% of people were hospitalised after receiving a vaccine shot.

"These are fairly low numbers, and the lowest so far in the world in the first three days," the Health Ministry said.

The central government has also denounced any concerns about 'adverse effects' following immunisation and said that such problems seem to be insignifcant now since data shows that "we are in a comfortable situation."

"The concerns about adverse effects and serious problems, as of now, seem to be insignificant. Data show that we are in a comfortable situation and we would like to reassure you that the two COVID-19 vaccines are safe," the Health Ministry said.

"We would like to reassure with the data we have seen that the two COVID-19 vaccines are safe. The vaccine hesitancy should end. How will we defeat the pandemic then?" said Niti Aayog member Dr VK Paul, with conviction.

India had recorded over 10,000 cases on June 6 last year for the first time, and within that week it had hovered around the same number before a steady climb that took the daily figures close to a lakh cases in September.

The country has been recording less than 20,000 daily new cases for the past 12 days.

Daily toll has been below the 300-mark for the last 25 days.

About 81 per cent of the daily new cases are being reported from eight states. In a random order these are Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.

Maharashtra, Kerala, West Bengal, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh have logged 66 per cent of the total daily deaths.

(With inputs from agencies)

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