New Delhi: India will expand its coronavirus vaccination programme today to cover people over 60 and those over 45 who have illnesses as it hopes to rein in a growing number of more infectious virus strains and a spurt in cases in some states, NDTV reported.
Registrations are set to open at 9 am at www.cowin.gov.in and the Aarogya Setu app and there will be walk-in vaccinations in some places as well. India began its vaccination drive on January 16 intending to inoculate 3 crore frontline workers but has struggled with hesitancy, giving out some 1.43 crore shots so far.
The government hopes to vaccinate 30 crore people by August in this second phase.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today tweeted to say that he took first dose of coronavirus vaccine at Delhi's premier All India Institutes of Medical Sciences.
"Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19," PM Modi tweeted as he shared an image of himself taking first dose of the vaccine.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu has extended existing coronavirus-related restrictions till March 31, meaning offices, shops, and industrial and commercial establishments will continue with staggered working hours.
Authorities have been directed to crack down on violations of these or any other Covid-related protocols. Police and municipal authorities have been further directed to ensure that measures in containment zones - which will now be demarcated at micro-levels - are strictly followed.
India registered a single-day spike of over 16,000 COVID-19 cases for the fourth day in a row on Sunday, pushing the infection tally to 1,10,96,731, while the recoveries surged to 1,07,75,169, according to Union Health Ministry data.
(with minor edits from NDTV)