18,139 new Covid-19 cases push India’s tally to above 10.4 million

India recorded 18,139 new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the last 24 hours, according to Union health ministry update on Friday. With this, the nationwide tally reached 10,413,417.

The number of active cases stood at 2,25,449. After a marginal rise on Thursday, the active cases declined by 2,634, according to health ministry update at 8 am.

The disease claimed 234 lives in the last 24 hours, which pushed the death toll to 1,50,570.

The government is holding a dry run today, to prepare health authorities ahead of the official roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine which is expected in a few days. The second nationwide dry run will take place in 33 states and Union Territories (UTs).

Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan interacted with the ministers and principal secretaries/additional chief secretaries of the states/UTs on Thursday to review the preparedness for today’s dry run.

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The objective of the mock drill is to simulate the actual vaccine administration event. The health ministry said that the entire planning of the vaccination drive, including beneficiary registration, micro-planning and vaccination at the planned session site, will be tested under the leadership of District Collector/District Magistrate.

As per the health ministry, 19 states and UTs would receive the Covid-19 vaccine through their suppliers while the remaining 18 states/UTs will get the vaccine through Government Medical Store Depot (GMSDs).

The immunisation of healthcare and frontline workers in national capital Delhi is likely to begin by Wednesday, with the first batch of vaccines expected to arrive in the city soon, according to state government officials who are involved in the vaccination drive.

Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine Covishield, manufactured by Pune’s Serum Institute of India, is likely to be the first vaccine to become available in Delhi.

(With inputs from agencies)

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