New Delhi: Exactly a year ago on January 30, the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in India when a student from Kerala tested positive for Covid-19 after returning to India from Wuhan in China, the global epicentre of the virus. Soon after, the second and third cases in the country were reported on February 2 and 3, both of whom had also returned from Wuhan. However, the country announced nationwide lockdown on March 24 on the 130 crore people by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to arrest the spread of the virus. Also Read - India's COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout 'Rescued The World’: Top US Scientist
Nationwide lockdown: Part of the strict preventive measures, domestic and international travels were banned during the lockdown along with closure of factories, schools, offices and all shops other than those supplying essential services. The coronavirus-induced lockdown crippled India’s economy, which is set to contract 7.7 per cent in the current fiscal year to March 31. Also Read - Maharashtra: Night Curfew, Weekend Lockdown in Aurangabad Till April 4; Ajanta, Ellora to be Shut on Saturdays And Sundays
Gradual unlocking: However, the Central government later started easing the lockdown in June when cases relatively started going down. Moreover, the unlocking process was started to revive the ailing economy which was worst affected due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also Read - Coronavirus: India In The Endgame of COVID-19 Pandemic, Says Harsh Vardhan
India started reporting fewer cases until April 2020, but from May onwards, cases started rising again and peaked by mid-September to close to 1,00,000 daily cases. However, the infection rate has slowed significantly since September and on Saturday 13,083 new cases were reported, one of the lowest figures on record and down from more than 20,000 each day at the beginning of the month, central government’s health data showed. Notably, the country has recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world after the United States.
Vaccination drive: After giving approval to COVAXIN and COVISHIELD, India started its immunisation programme on January 16 with healthcare workers and a target of reaching 30 crore people by July-August. The Health Ministry also stated that over 37 lakh healthcare workers have been vaccinated against COVID-19 till now. On the fifteenth day of vaccination on Saturday, 2,06,130 beneficiaries were vaccinated and 71 adverse events following immunization (AEFIs) were reported.
Of the 37,06,157 beneficiaries, the highest number of people were vaccinated in Uttar Pradesh at 4,63,793 followed by Rajasthan at 3,26,745, Karnataka at 3,15,343, Madhya Pradesh at 2,73,872 and Maharashtra at 2,69,064.
Coronavirus at present: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday said with 13,083 fresh cases, India’s COVID-19 tally has gone up to 1,07,33,131, while 1,04,09,160 patients have recuperated so far, pushing the national recovery rate to 96.98 per cent.
The Ministry also added that infection has claimed 137 more lives in the country in a span of 24 hours and the death toll now stands at 1,54,147. As per updates, there are 1,69,824 active coronavirus cases in the country currently, which account for only 1.58 per cent of the total number of cases.