India reported nearly 16,000 new Covid cases and 68 fatalities, including 24 reconciled by Kerala, according to the Union Health Ministry latest data.
The data updated at 8 am Saturday also showed active cases came down by 4,271 in a span of 24 hours to 1,19,264, constituting 0.27 per cent of the total infections. The 15,815 new infections and 68 deaths pushed the overall Covid figures to 4,42,39,372 cases and 5,26,996 deaths, according to the data.
The country's COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.54 per cent, the health ministry said. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 4.36 per cent, while the weekly rate was 4.79 per cent. The case fatality rate stands at 1.19 per cent. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease has risen to 4,35,93,112, according to the ministry.
It also said 207.71 crore doses of Covid vaccine have been administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive.
India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19 that year. It crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4, 2021, three crore on June 23, and four crore on January 25 this year.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.