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India administers 25 million covid jabs equivalent to entire Australian Population in a single day.

News by Anubhav Singh from USA, Published by NRI Herald Australia 19 September 2021

India Administers 25 million covid jabs equivalent to entire Australian Population in a single day.

India administered record 25 million doses on September 17th administering 800 million vaccines so far. 25 million is equivalent to entire Australian Population. In august itself, while India administered 180 million vaccines, entire G7 nations could only administer 101 million vaccines in total. As per reports, India also plans to get another 80 crore (800 million) vaccines by December and one could see 10 million becoming a daily norm in the coming weeks.

The increased pace of vaccination is driven by improved supplies and given 4 vaccines covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik-V and Zydus Cedilla ZyCoV-D have already been approved or given emergency approval and Biological-E could be given emergency approval soon that is currently being developed in conjunction with Texas based Baylor College of Medicine has shown 85% efficacy in the preliminary results released by BCM. ZyCoV-D vaccine has been given emergency approval for children which is good news.

Only about 16% of the population have been fully vaccinated since the beginning of the drive in January. Regional disparities persist as well with larger and poorer states are lagging smaller and richer states. And given doctors prediction that the third wave is likely given that the country has fully reopened, and the threat of new variants looms large. Even though we are in better position since April since there are available cures like 2DG and antibody cocktails if administered at the initial stage of contracting covid. But still the country is seeing around 300 deaths with Kerala and Maharashtra, the worst affected states since july reporting 70% of the total deaths in India.

This is where the states need to step up their increased testing and isolation strategy like last year. For instance, Kerala which still reports over 65% of the total cases in the country at one time tested around 2 lakhs on couple of days in first week of august, has rarely been able to keep up testing rate. Positivity rates over 15% means Kerala should have been doing more testing but this week the state has been conducting less than 1.2 lakh daily tests. Between 21st – 23rd August the state conducted less than 90000 tests despite having among the best medical infrastructure in the country. If the positivity ratio is low, like Delhi having less than 1% positivity rate, low testing is fine. But if the positivity rate is over 15%, the state ought to do around 2 lakh daily tests like it was doing during the beginning of august.

Picture credit: Last quarter daily tests in Kerala

Maharashtra is the state that has been unable to control the pandemic since last 1 year and given September/October being the festival months and school reopenings without vaccination among children could be dangerous. Though Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has projected that the third wave could be less severe than the recent second wave still more smart testing and controlled isolation tactics need to be taken this time if the next wave ever hits.

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