Coronavirus: Cases in India reach 8.1 million after reporting 48,268 new infections
India’s coronavirus caseload stood at 8.1 million on Saturday, with 48,268 new cases being recorded in the last 24 hours, data from the health ministry showed.
India has the world’s second-highest caseload, behind only the US, but new infections have seen a dip since September.
Deaths rose up by 551, taking total mortalities to 121,641, the health ministry said.
Earlier this month the Indian government announced it had begun identifying about 300 million people who would be given the COVID-19 vaccine first when it is ready.
The Times of India said that frontline health and sanitation workers, police officials and elderly people with co-morbidities will get the vaccine on priority.
The plan, which is still in the draft stage, aims to cover 23 percent of the population in the first phase. The final plan is likely to be ready by end October-November, the report said.
The selected individuals will be given an estimated 600 million doses.
Earlier this month, health minister Harsh Vardhan had said that India hopes to receive up to 500 million doses of coronavirus vaccines by July next year to inoculate about 250 million people.
Officials have said that giving the vaccine to India’s 1.3 billion people will be a mammoth exercise, likely to stretch well into 2022.