Free vaccination for 18+ begins in India

 India reported 53,256 new COVID-19 cases today, its fewest in 88 days as the second wave of infections appear to be ebbing. From today, the centre, reversing a policy change, will provide vaccines free of charge to all above 18.

India’s daily test positivity rate – positive cases identified for every 100 tests – continues to remain stable. It stands at 3.83 per cent.

The country reported 1,422 deaths over the last 24 hours – from the earlier highs of 3,000 deaths in a day. The cumulative deaths are 3,86,713.

Delta Plus variant, a mutated version of the more aggressive B.1.617.2 strain that drove the second wave of infections in India, is undergoing additional mutation called K417N which could become a “variant of concern” if unchecked, said AIIMS Chief Dr Randeep Guleria, adding that India needs to learn from the UK where the said variant is causing a surge in cases.