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Maha’s Covid-19 deaths stay high, recoveries improve

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Maharashtra’s Covid-19 deaths remained on the upswing, staying past the 100-mark although new infections dropped and recoveries improved, health authorities said on Friday.

The state reported 127 deaths, taking up the toll to 47,599, while new infections remained above the 5,000-mark with 5,229 fresh cases taking the tally to 18,42,587.

While 11 of the state’s 36 districts reported fatalities – and all reported new infections – the bulk of deaths came from the Mumbai-Pune regions.

The state recovery rate improved from 92.07 per cent to 92.81 per cent – while the mortality rate stood stable at 2.58 per cent.

Another chunk of 6,776 fully recovered patients returned home – taking the total number discharged from 17,03,274 to 17,10,050 till date – against the 83,859 active cases.

Of the new deaths, Pune again led the state with 25, while there were 16 in Ahmednagar, 14 in Mumbai, nine in Nagpur, eight each in Thane, Sangli, and Osmanabad, five in Aurangabad, four each in Satara and Bhandara, three each in Nashik, Solapur, Jalna, Chandrapur, and Gadchiroli, two each in Parbhani, and Latur, and one each in Raigad, Ratnagiri, Hingoli, Akola, Amravati, Yavatmal, and Buldhana.

Mumbai, remaining in the sub-50 fatality range for over a month now, saw its toll climb to 10,945 now, while fresh cases remained below the four-figure mark, with 813 new infections took its total to 284,509.

Mumbai circle (MMR) saw 23 new deaths, pushing up the toll to 18,625 and with another spike of 1,672 new infectees, the total cases shot up to 636,877.

Pune circle recorded 32 fatalities and the death toll rose to 10,898, while the daily infections increased by 1,062 to 460,110 cases now.

Meanwhile, the number of people sent to home quarantine decreased to 547,504, while the number of those in institutional quarantine also went down to 5,567.

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From today India to export COVID-19 vaccines to these countries.

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The Ministry of External Affairs said India will supply COVID-19 vaccines to partner countries over the coming weeks and months in a phased manner keeping in view the domestic requirements.

India, one of the world’s leading drug makers, will start exporting vaccines for the novel coronavirus from today. The country will provide supplies of Covid-19 vaccines to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles under grant assistance. Shipments will be sent to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius as well on receipt of necessary regulatory clearances.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India is deeply honored to be a “long-trusted” partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community and that supplies of the vaccines to several countries will commence on Wednesday, and more will follow in the days ahead.

“In response to these requests, and in keeping with India’s stated commitment to using India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity to help all of the humanity fight the COVID pandemic, supplies under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles will begin from January 20,” it said.

The Bangladesh foreign ministry said it expected to receive a gift of two million doses on Thursday. The country of 160 million, which has yet to start its vaccination programme, has ordered a further 30 million doses, officials said.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is widely viewed as their best option because the other two, manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech and by Moderna, need to be stored at very low temperatures. WHO emergency authorization for the Astra-Oxford vaccine would additionally allow SII to begin supplying it to the WHO-backed COVAX initiative aimed at fairly distributing COVID-19 shots across the world.

India has already rolled out a massive coronavirus vaccination drive under which two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, are being administered to frontline health workers across the country. While Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield is being manufactured by the Serum Institute, Covaxin is being produced by Bharat Biotech.

“In an ongoing effort, India will continue to supply countries all over the world with vaccines. This will be calibrated against domestic requirements and international demand and obligations, including under GAVI’s Covax facility to developing countries,” the MEA added. GAVI is a global vaccine alliance.

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