Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that the Delta Plus is a variant of interest but it is still not classified as a variant of concern.

Doctors examining a patient at a hospital during the COVID-19 time Image for Representation
news COVID-19 Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 20:53

22 cases of the ‘Delta Plus' variant of the coronavirus have been detected in the country so far, the Health Ministry told the media on Tuesday. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that 16 of these cases are in two districts of Maharashtra — Jalgaon and Ratnagiri — and the rest are in Kerala and Madhya Pradesh.The Health Secretary added that Delta Plus is a variant of interest but it is still not classified as a variant of concern. The Union government is in touch with these states over the issue. Outside of India, it is currently prevalent in nine countries across the world, — United States, United Kingdom, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, Nepal, China and Russia.

Speaking about the "historic milestone" of administering 88.09 lakh coronavirus vaccine doses in a single day on June 21, the Health Ministry clarified that it was not a sudden jump. Responding to a media question on the sudden increase in vaccination numbers, Rajesh Bhushan said that Monday’s drive was carried out after coordinated planning and collaboration between both the Union government and the states. “This will be the rate of vaccination today and in the next eight days left in June as well. If you see June 1 to 21, the average per day vaccination has been over 34 lakh per day. A jump from 34 lakh to around 88 lakh when vaccines and capacity is available is possible," said Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan. India has the capacity to deliver a significant number of doses as long as vaccine supply and advance information is ensured, he added.

The Health Ministry added that out of the total vaccination doses administered on June 21, 36.32 percent were administered in urban areas and 63.68 per cent in rural areas.Madhya Pradesh administered the maximum number of doses on June 21, followed by Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Assam, an official said.Since the vaccination began in mid-January, India has administered 29.16 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines till 3 pm on June 22, he said. The government also said the coronavirus situation has been improving in the country but stressed on following COVID-19-appropriate behaviours.It said there has been an almost 90% decline in India's daily COVID-19 cases as compared to the highest peak reported on May 7.

India recorded less than 50,000 new coronavirus infections, the lowest in 91 days, taking the total tally of cases to 2,99,77,861, while active cases fell below 7 lakh after 79 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday. A total of 42,640 Covid infections were reported in a day, while the death toll climbed to 3,89,302 with 1,167 daily fatalities, the lowest in 68 days.



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