India has reported its lowest daily numbers of COVID-19 infections deaths in more than six months.
The death toll of 179 COVID deaths, reported on Tuesday, is the lowest daily figure since the middle of March and takes the total to 447,373.
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Infections rose by 18,795, the smallest daily figure since early March, bringing the total to about 33.7 million, health ministry data showed.
“India reports daily new cases less than 20,000 after 201 days. Active cases account for less than 1 percent of total cases, currently at 0.87 percent, lowest since March 2020,” read a Ministry of Health statement.
From a staggering peak of more than 400,000 cases and 4,500 deaths per day, India’s pandemic situation has gradually improved over the past few months, despite the modest pace of vaccinations in the country of some 1.4 billion people.
Numbers have steadily dropped in most parts of India, except the southern state of Kerala, which has gone from being a COVID-19 success story to one of the country’s worst-hit regions.
More than 20 states and union territories have been reporting fewer than 100 new cases a day, while 10 have been reporting fewer than 10 cases a day, the Indian Express newspaper reported.
The latest figures show that more than 870.7 million vaccine doses have been administered in India, but the country’s health minister recently said just about 23 percent of the adult population has been fully vaccinated, while some 66 percent has been given at least one dose.
Meanwhile, India’s drug regulator has allowed vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII) to enrol children aged 7-11 years old in its COVID-19 vaccine trial.
“After detailed deliberation, the committee recommended for allowing enrolment of subjects of 7 to 11 years of age group as per the protocol,” a subject expert panel of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization said.
SII is already conducting a trial of its COVID-19 vaccine, a domestically produced version of AstraZeneca’s shot, in the 12-17 age group and has presented safety data for an initial 100 participants.
So far, only drugmaker Zydus Cadila’s DNA COVID-19 vaccine has received emergency use approval in India to be used for people aged 12 and above.