India has more than 10 million confirmed cases of the corona virus, with new infections falling to a low point in three months as the country prepares for the biggest COVID-19 vaccine in the new year.
Additional cases have fallen to 25,152 in the past 24 hours, up from an increase of nearly 100,000 in mid-September. The epidemic has affected nearly 1% of the more than 1.3 billion Indians, the most affected in the United States.
The health ministry also recorded 347 deaths in the last 24 hours of Saturday, bringing the total to 145,136.
Government health expert Dr Randeep Gularia said India is keeping its fingers crossed as cases increase during the winter months.
“If we can maintain our downward trend for the next two or three months, we can start a vaccination program and escape the epidemic,” Gularia told The Associated Press.
On Monday, passengers’ temperatures were checked before boarding the train in Mumbai. (Sujith Jaiswal / AFP via Getty Images)
India has some of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world, and the country has five candidate vaccines in different stages of testing.
The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, is licensed to produce AstroGeneca monitors at the University of Oxford. India’s Bharat Biotech vaccine is also a leader and both vaccines are expected to be approved for emergency use within a few weeks, Gularia said.
India plans to vaccinate 250 million people by July 2021. The government plans to receive between 450 and 500 million doses, the health ministry said.
The first group is made up of healthcare and frontline professionals. The second group to receive the Covit 19 vaccine is those over 50 and under 50 who have co-morbidities.
A worker cleans a subway car in New Delhi on September 3. (Manish Swaroop / Associated Press)
The rate of new cases has slowed. It took India 12 days to get 5-6 million cases, but 22 days was 8-9 million and 29 days was 10 million.
After a record 23.9% drop in the previous three months, India’s economy contracted 7.5% in the July-September quarter, dragging the country into recession for the first time in history . As millions have been left unemployed, the Indian government continues to ease the strict restrictions imposed at the end of March.
Several offices, stores, businesses, liquor stores, bars and restaurants have reopened. Outbound domestic and international flights prohibited are operated with rail services. Schools are closed.