National recovery rate down to 82.33 percent; SII CEO announces reduced price for Covid vaccine.

India reported a total of 3,60,960 new Covid-19 cases and 3,293 related deaths in 24 hours, according to data by the health ministry on Wednesday morning. This is the country’s biggest single-day hike since the onset of the pandemic last year.

As per the health ministry update, the total count of positive cases in India now stands at 1,79,97,267 while the death toll has soared to 2,01,187. The total active cases are 29,78,709. The case fatality rate stands at 1.12 percent.

Delhi recorded 5,906 new cases of Covid-19 and 381 deaths due to the infection in a span of 24 hours. The death toll in the national capital is now 15,009. Active cases in the city stood at 98,264, as per data on 8 am on Wednesday. 17,862 people also recovered, taking the total recoveries to 9,58,792.

In Maharashtra, among the worst-hit states in India, 2,289 fresh cases of Covid-19 added to the state’s cumulative tally of active cases, which now stands at 6,74,358. 895 more people succumbed to the viral infection, taking the state’s death toll to 66,179. The number of recoveries also went up by 67,752. The total recoveries recorded in the state is now 3669548.

2,61,162 recoveries were also reported in the 24-hour period, taking India’s total recoveries to 1,48,17,371. However, the national recovery rate has dropped further to reach 82.33 percent.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), as many as 28,27,03,789 samples have been tested for Covid-19 as of April 27, 2021. Of these, 17,23,912 samples were tested on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla on Wednesday announced that the Serum Institute of India (SII) has reduced the price of its Covid-19 vaccine, Covishield, from Rs 400 to Rs 300 per dose for states. “As a philanthropic gesture on behalf of Serum Institute of India, I hereby reduce the price to the states from Rs 400 to Rs 300 per dose, effective immediately; this will save thousands of crores of state funds going forward. This will enable more vaccinations and save countless lives,” Poonawalla tweeted.

The statement came after several political leaders slammed the Central Government for providing Covishield at Rs 400 per dose for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday informed that CEO of Serum Institute of India Adar Poonawalla will be provided with Y category security across the country by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

Vaccine manufacturers have been incentivised to further scale up their production, as well as attract new national and international players. They have been empowered to release up to 50 percent of their supply to state governments and in the open market at a pre-declared price. States are empowered to procure additional vaccine doses directly from the manufacturers, as well as open up vaccination to any category of people above the age of 18 for the same.

The total doses of the Covid-19 vaccine administered stand at over 14,78,27,367 crore, also informed the health ministry. The vaccination drive would be open for citizens between the age of 18 and 45 years from May 1. (With ANI inputs)