Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Virus fatalities spike again in India

Daily COVID-19 death count tops 1,000, new infections close to 49,000, according to official data

Ahmad Adil   | 01.07.2021
Virus fatalities spike again in India File Photo

NEW DELHI

The dip in COVID-19 fatalities seen in India over the past few days ended on Thursday as the daily death count topped 1,000 once again.

According to Health Ministry data, 1,005 more deaths were recorded across the country, pushing the nationwide tally to 399,459.

A total of 48,786 more infections were also logged in the past 24 hours, raising the overall count above 30.4 million.

A second COVID-19 wave that ravaged India in May is gradually subsiding, leading to the resumption of economic activity in several parts of the country.

The number of active cases in the country has declined to 523,257, the Health Ministry said.

“The recovery rate has increased to 96.97%. Weekly positivity rate remains below 5%, currently at 2.64%,” read a statement.

The number of vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 330 million, the ministry added.

However, authorities have also reported a shortage of jabs in parts of India, with some 300 vaccinations centers temporarily closed in the western state of Maharashtra.

New vaccine up for approval

Indian drug manufacturer Zydus Cadila on Thursday said it has applied for emergency use approval for its three-dose vaccine, ZyCoV-D.

The company said it had “conducted the largest clinical trial for its COVID-19 vaccine in India so far in over 50 centers.”

“This was also the first time that any COVID-19 vaccine has been tested in adolescent population in the 12-18 years age group in India,” read a statement.

The vaccine was “found to be safe and very well tolerated” among some 1,000 subjects in the 12-18 years age group, the company said.

“Primary efficacy of 66.6% has been attained for symptomatic RT-PCR positive cases in the interim analysis,” the statement added.

No moderate case of COVID-19 was seen after the third dose “suggesting 100% efficacy for moderate disease” and “no severe cases or deaths occurred … after administration of the second dose of the vaccine,” the company said.

If approved, ZyCoV-D will be India’s second locally developed coronavirus jab, after Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

Earlier this week, Indian authorities approved US firm Moderna’s vaccine for emergency use in the country, clearing the way for its local partner Cipla to import the jabs.

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