One in two residents in Delhi has been exposed to the coronavirus and developed antibodies for the infection, the fifth serological survey in the capital has found, the government said on Tuesday. The data suggested that the city of 2 crore is inching towards herd immunity – when the majority of the population becomes immune to a disease, slowing its spread – but people should not let their guard down, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said.
“In the fifth sero survey done in the national capital of Delhi, antibodies have been detected in 56.13 per cent of the population. This was the largest survey in any state involving around 28,000 samples conducted from January 15 to 23,” Mr Jain said.
With 8,635 fresh coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, India recorded the lowest single-day rise in its tally in nearly eight months, the government data showed.
Meanwhile, teen climate activist Greta Thunberg has extended her support to the farmers’ protest at Delhi borders against the controversial agricultural laws.
“We stand in solidarity with #farmersprotest in India”, Ms Thunberg tweeted late on Tuesday night.
The teen activist’s tweet came hours after international pop icon Rihanna shared a news article that highlighted the government’s latest crackdown on the agitating farmers by cutting off internet services in many regions.
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Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is 91.6 percent effective against symptomatic Covid-19, according to results published in The Lancet on Tuesday that independent experts said allayed transparency concerns over the jab, which Moscow is already rolling out.
The United States will begin to offer Covid-19 vaccines at pharmacies from February 11, part of efforts to rapidly increase the rate at which shots reach arms.
The White House’s Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters on Tuesday that because of supply constraints, the program would initially be limited to 6,500 participating pharmacies nationwide, before eventually expanding to 40,000.
“This will provide more sites for people to get vaccinated in their communities. And it’s an important component to delivering vaccines equitably,” he said.
Major chains like Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Walmart and Rite Aid are among those participating and the program is planned to work on an appointment basis, as people become eligible on the basis of their priority group.
The second phase of COVID-19 vaccine will be rolled out in Haryana on Wednesday and frontline workers will get the jab during the drive.
To ensure its smooth implementation of the drive, the registration of all such workers will be completed on the CoWIN portal by Sunday, it said.
“Haryana is all set to start the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccine roll out from February 3, after the successful implementation of its first phase,” an official statement said.
Pfizer Inc said on Tuesday it expects to generate about $15 billion in sales this year from the COVID-19 vaccine that it developed with German partner BioNTech.
The drugmaker is trying to deliver two billion doses of the vaccine in 2021 at a breakneck pace as countries rush to sign supply deals in an effort to control a pandemic that has killed over 2 million people globally.
Pfizer has supplied 65 million doses of the vaccine globally and 29 million doses to the United States as of Jan. 31. It expects to supply 200 million doses to the U.S. government by the end of May.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had distributed just under 50 million doses total of Pfizer and Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccines as of Feb. 1.
About 32 million of them have been administered and 17 million of those doses were Pfizer’s vaccine, according to the CDC data.