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India logs 3,377 new Covid cases

India logs 3,377 new Covid cases
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New Delhi: India logged 3,377 new COVID-19 infections taking the country's total tally of cases to 4,30,72,176, while the active cases rose to 17,801, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.

The death toll climbed to 5,23,753 with 60 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated. The active cases comprise 0.04 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.74 per cent, the ministry said.

An increase of 821 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.

The daily positivity rate was recorded as 0.71 per cent and the weekly positivity rate as 0.63 per cent, according to the ministry.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 4,25,30,622, while the case fatality rate was 1.22 per cent.

The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 188.65 crore.

Meanwhile, sources on Friday said that the Standing Technical Sub-Committee of the NTAGI has recommended inclusion of the Serum Institute's Covid jab Covovax in the national anti-coronavirus vaccination programme for children aged 12 to 17 years.

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) panel, at its meeting on Friday, also discussed reducing the gap between the second and precaution doses of vaccine from nine to six months and administering the additional dose early (before nine months) to those travelling abroad for education, employment, sporting events and business meetings. But it could not reach a decision on the matter related to the precaution dose, sources said.

The vaccination of children aged five to 11 years was not on the agenda of the NTAGI Standing Technical Sub-Committee (STSC) meeting, they said.

On the Serum Institute's vaccine Covovax, an official source said, "The COVID-19 working group of the NTAGI had earlier reviewed data related to Covovax and okayed it. The NTAGI's Standing Technical Sub-Committee which met on Friday has recommended that the vaccine can be used in the covid vaccination drive for 12-17 years age group."

India's drug regulator had approved Covovax for restricted use in emergency situations in adults on December 28 last year and in the 12-17 age group, subject to certain conditions, on March 9.

Also, the government plans to expedite the process of recognition of COVID-19 vaccine Corbevax by other countries while its manufacturer Biological E pursues WHO's emergency use listing for the jab being administered in India among the 12-14 years age group.

According to an internal document circulated to the members of the Empowered Group-5 on COVID-19 Vaccination, which will be meeting soon, some authorities abroad such as in Hong Kong have begun demanding vaccination certificates for children and only accept m-RNA based vaccines for them.

"It is necessary to quickly initiate the process of recognition of the Corbevax vaccine and its certificate by other countries while Biological E continues to pursue WHO's EUL (emergency use listing ) for it," the document mentioned.

It highlighted that the recent development pertaining to the World Health Organizations' (WHO) suspension of Covaxin supply through UN procurement agencies further complicates the matter and is detrimental to the acceptance of Covaxin-based vaccination certificates for children by other countries.

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