Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday in his address to the nation said that from June 21, the Centre will provide free vaccines to the states for all citizens above the age of 18 years.
“The Government of India itself will buy 75% of the total vaccine production from vaccine manufacturers and give it free to the state governments," PM Modi announced.
HIGHLIGHTS from PM Modi's speech:
The Centre will buy 75% of the total vaccine production from vaccine manufacturers and give it free to the state governments.
25% of all vaccines will continue to be administered through private hospitals. However, private hospitals can charge a maximum of Rs 150 for vaccination above the price.
Seven companies in the country are producing different vaccines, 3 vaccine trials at advanced stage, announced PM.
Research is being conducted for a nasal vaccine in the country, said PM Modi.
PM Modi appealed to all to enhance vaccine awareness.
PM Modi hit out at the opposition states for vaccine politics and their U-turn on the earlier centralised vaccine policy.
Govt has decided to extend Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till Diwali. 80 crore poor will be provided free ration, under the scheme.
Production capacity of all countries combined is small compared to global demand of vaccines, said PM on vaccine shortage.
India reported 1,00,636 fresh COVID-19 cases, the lowest in 61 days, taking the infection tally to 2,89,09,975, while the number of active cases dropped to 14,01,609, according to the Union Health Ministry on Monday. The death toll due to coronavirus reached 3,49,186 with 2,427 new fatalities, the lowest in around 45 days. Jolted by the devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the national capital moved slowly towards normal life as markets and malls reopened after nearly two months on Monday morning.
The 2,427 new fatalities include 618 from Maharashtra, 434 from Tamil Nadu, 320 from Karnataka, 227 from Kerala and 107 from West Bengal.
A total of 3, 49,186 deaths have been reported so far in the country, including 1,00,130 from Maharashtra, 31,580 from Karnataka, 27,005 from Tamil Nadu, 24,591 from Delhi, 21,236 from Uttar Pradesh, 16,259 from West Bengal, 15,076 from Punjab and 13,217 from Chhattisgarh.
Several lawmakers and governors have urged the Biden administration to ensure India receives Covid vaccines and medical aid, saying the crisis in the country is 'devastating' and that the US has a responsibility to help its close allies fight the pandemic.
The Delhi Metro resumed services on Monday after a hiatus of nearly three weeks in view of the improved Covid situation in the national capital, but with 50 per cent seating capacity and no provision for standing travel for commuters, officials said.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) services were fully suspended since May 20 in view of the Covid-induced lockdown, which was first imposed on April 19 and then successively extended by the city government.
Metro services initially ran partially, catering only to people from essential services, but from May 10, it was suspended in view of rising cases amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.