After the vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers, the country is preparing to vaccinate people above 50 years of age as their third priority group. However, the Union government is yet to decide whether this priority group will receive the doses free of cost or not.   

Member (health) NITI Aayog and Chairperson, National Task Force for COVID-19, Dr VK Paul said on Wednesday that no decision regarding free vaccination to people above 50 years of age has been made by the Centre so far. 

Pointers on vaccination

Centre has prioritised 30 crore Indian population to receive COVID-19  vaccines.

The government has divided this vast range into three groups.

The three groups include - 1 crore healthcare workers, 2 crore frontline workers.

Third group includes 27 crores of the general population who are above 50 years of age.

The government is providing free vaccines to health care and frontline workers.

Health care and frontline workers constitute nearly 3 crore of the total population of the country.

Meanwhile, Paul also explained why the government prioritised people above 50 years of age to receive COVID-19 vaccines. He shared that of the total fatalities caused by COVID-19, 78% were those aged above 50 years. "Once you reach the age of 50, you are vulnerable to develop 70% of the underlying medical conditions (diabetes, hypertension etc) and become more vulnerable to any kind of viral infection," Paul said.

Pointers on COVID-19 cases

Active COVID-19 cases in the country have dropped to 1.41 lakh comprising just 1.30% of the total infections.

33 States and Union Territories have reported less than 5000 active cases in a span of 24 hours.

Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli currently have zero active cases.

A total of 11,067 new daily cases have been recorded in a span of 24 hours.

13,087 patients have recovered in a span of 24 hours.

It has led to a net decline of 2,114 cases from the total active caseload.

Kerala and Maharashtra account for 71% of the total active cases of the country.

Nineteen states and UTs have not reported any death in a span of 24 hours.

Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, J&K (UT), Jharkhand, Puducherry, Manipur, Nagaland, Lakshadweep, Meghalaya, Sikkim, A&N Islands, Ladakh (UT), Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Daman and Diu and Dadar and Nagar Haveli have not reported any death in a span of 24 hours.

India's cumulative recoveries have surged to 1,05,61,608.

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