India recorded over 3.6 lakh new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, adding over three lakh cases for the 12th consecutive day. However, this is the lowest single-day rise in infections in the last five days. An equal number of people have recovered from the disease in the 24-hour period, resulting in active case addition of nearly 64,000. Daily deaths have come in at over 3,400 and that number has remained above 3,000 for the sixth day in a row.
Shortage of vaccines has hit India's daily inoculations with only a little over 12 lakh people receiving the jabs yesterday versus last week's daily average of 25 lakh doses. However, vaccination has mostly been low on Sundays ever since the drive began. So far, India's total vaccination tally stands at 15.7 crore doses. With this, over 12 percent of the country's population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
The central government clarified it has placed fresh orders for 11 crore doses of Covishield and 5 crore doses of Covaxin for May, June and July. It added that it has paid an advance amount of over Rs 1,700 crore to Serum Institute and Rs 780 crore to Bharat Biotech for these orders.
Meanwhile, FedEx in support of India's fight against COVID has helped transport an initial shipment of 1,000 critically needed oxygen concentrators & other critical aid to healthcare facilities.
Moreover, the Supreme Court said that the manner in which the centre's vaccine policy is framed, is detrimental to the right of public health as provided under Article 21 of the constitution -- that is, the right to life. This comes as the Supreme Court pointed out gaps in phase-3 government vaccination plan. This includes the aspect of differential pricing for the centre and the states.
The order from the three-judge bench stops short of concluding on the constitutionality of the centre's vaccine policy. However, it has pointed out that the rational method would be for the centre to procure all vaccines and then distribute these doses to states. Essentially, centralise procurement but decentralise distribution across the country.
To discuss this and more, CNBC-TV18 Managing Editor Shereen Bhan spoke to Rajesh Subramaniam, President and COO of FedEx Corporation; Vishwajit Rane, Health Minister of Goa and TS Singh Deo, Health Minister of Chhattisgarh.To know more, watch the video.