India logs 163 COVID-19 deaths, 14,545 new cases of infection
COVID-19 vaccination programme being launched in Palghar in Maharashtra, on January 16, 2021.IANS

India logs 163 COVID-19 deaths, 14,545 new cases of infection

New Delhi, January 22, 2021

India today logged 163 deaths due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and 14,545 new cases of infection as the spread of the virus continued to slow down across the country even as the government unveiled a campaign to address vaccine hesitancy and misinformation and ramp up the nationwide immunisation drive.

With the latest numbers put out by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare this morning, the death toll so far has risen to 153,032 and the total number of cases of infection in the country, since the first case was registered in late January, has increased to 10,625,428.

The number of deaths in a 24-hour period remained below the 300-mark for the 26th consecutive day today. It has remained below 200 for nine consecutive days now.

The number of new cases of infection in a day remained below 30,000 for the 39th day in a row and below 20,000 for the 15th consecutive day today.

The number of those who have recovered from COVID-19 increased to 10,283,708 as of this morning, up 18,002 from yesterday, making for a recovery rate of 96.78%.

The number of active cases went down by 3,620 to 188,688 in the last 24 hours.

The highest number of deaths due to COVID-19 in a single day in the country -- 1,290 -- was reported on September 16. India had reported 151 deaths yesterday.

The highest number of fresh cases of infection in a 24-hour period -- 97,894 -- was reported on September 17. The country had recorded 15,223 new cases of infection yesterday.

The world has reported a total of more than 97.492 million cases of COVID-19 so far while the global death toll has climbed to 2,089,455 as of this morning, according to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University in the United States, which is tracking the pandemic.

India is placed second in the world in terms of the total number of cases of infection so far, behind the United States (more than 24.627 million cases) and ahead of Brazil (more than 8.697 million cases).

In terms of the number of deaths, the country ranks third after the US (410,102) and Brazil (214,147).

Meanwhile, as the vaccination campaign gathered pace, the total number of people who have received the first doses of the vaccine increased to 999,065 as of yesterday evening since the drive began on January 16.

As many as 192,581 people were vaccinated yesterday, the sixth day of the campaign, said to be the largest such immunisation exercise ever in the world.

Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan unveiled a publicity campaign yesterday to address the emerging issue of vaccine hesitancy in some sections of the population in the country.

“India is one of the few countries to halt the march of COVID-19 and simultaneously develop a vaccine for COVID, thanks to the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji who bestowed his personal attention to get the country rid of the pandemic," Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

"Today, the country is seeing a steady decline in the active cases. Around 15,000 daily new cases were reported yesterday," he said.

Explaining the role of vaccination in eradicating diseases, he said, “The elimination of Polio and Smallpox was made possible by large scale immunization. Once immunized, not only that person is not capable of catching the disease, he/she is also unable to transmit the disease to others thus passing on the social benefit to the larger society he/she interacts with. This was also the logic of undertaking mass immunization of women and children against the twelve diseases under Mission Indradhanush. Vaccination against COVID will similarly create persons incapable of transmitting the disease and eradicate the disease altogether in some time.”

Dr Harsh Vardhan urged everyone to counter the vested campaigns of untruth and misinformaiton. “Let us put a stop to these falsehoods," he said.

The Minister appealed to people to seek the correct information from credible and authentic sources such as the Health Ministry, PIB, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, MyGov website, and so on.

Commenting on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, he said, “All eminent doctors of well-known hospitals have taken the vaccine and praised the exercise for its desired end. It is only a handful of vested political interests who are interested in spreading rumour and encouraging vaccine hesitancy among those vulnerable to such propaganda in the population.The paradox is that countries across the globe are asking us for access to the vaccines while a section of our own is fomenting misinformation and doubt for narrow political ends.”

He stated that the prominent doctors along with many other healthcare workers within the government and the private sector have taken the COVID19 vaccine, and have returned to their work without any side-effects.

NNN

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