In a major development, Reuters has reported that the Central government may bear the full expense of vaccination programme against COVID-19. It is expected that the Centre would make an announcement in this regard in Budget 2021. The process of vaccination may start from February-end.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the Serum Institute of India in Pune on Saturday to understand the process of COVID-19 vaccine production and distribution. The Serum Institute of India has partnered with global pharma giant AstraZeneca and the Oxford University for Covid-19 vaccine.
India on Thursday reported 44,489 new coronavirus cases, taking total number of cases in the country to 92,66,706. According to the Union Health Ministry data, there are currently 4,52,344 active cases across the country, while over 86 lakh patients have been discharged. The number of new daily infections has been falling in the country since mid-September, when it reached a peak of over 90,000 cases a day.
The number of active COVID-19 cases has also come down from a high of more than 10 lakh to 4.39 lakh. The active cases comprise 4.88 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.
The total number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 86,79,138, pushing the national recovery rate to 93.66 per cent, while the COVID-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.46 per cent.
According to ICMR, over 13.59 crore samples have been tested for COVID-19 till November 25, with 10,90,238 samples being tested on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the government is keeping a close eye on COVID-19 vaccine development and clarified that the dosage and price of the vaccine were uncertain as of now.
PM Modi during his virtual meet with Chief Minister earlier this week said, "work on vaccine research is almost at the last stage both in the country as well as in the world" and the "Indian government is keeping a close eye on each and every development and we are in touch with everybody", pointing out, "it is not yet decided whether there will be one, two or three doses of vaccine or what will be its price."