India Coronavirus Dispatch: Budget’s vaccine outlay can cover 500 mn people

Budget’s Covid vaccine allocation can cover 500 million people

The allocation of Rs 35,000 crore in the Budget announced on Monday towards the country’s Covid-19 vaccination programme will cover the cost of inoculating 500 million people, T V Somanathan, expenditure secretary in the finance ministry told the ThePrint. The Centre will allocate more funds towards the vaccination exercise later in the year, if and when necessary. The details for the later stages of the rollout are yet to be decided. While the exact costing and pricing of the doses are yet to be worked out, a rough estimate of Rs 700 a person for two doses has been factored in. Read more here Read more here

IN NUMBERS: 11,039 fresh infections

On Wednesday, the country’s Covid-19 caseload rose by 11,039 fresh infections, according to a report in the Scroll. This pushed the overall tally to 1,07,77,284. The death toll rose by 110 to 1,54,596. The active caseload is at 1,60,057 and India has seen 1,04,62,631 total recoveries since the start of the pandemic. 41,38,918 recipients have been inoculated under the nationwide vaccination programme that began on January 16. Currently, only healthcare workers are getting the shots. Read more here

Health workers turn to social media to bust vaccine myths

The need to dispel misconceptions and misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines has prompted scientists and health workers to turn to social media platforms such as TikTok, according to a report in the World Economic Forum. The short-form video sharing app, which is currently banned in India, was downloaded 315 million times in other countries during the first quarter of 2020 alone. The popularity of the app could be key in combating vaccine hesitancy among younger people. Getting all age groups to participate in the vaccination exercises will be important as a certain proportion of the population needs to be inoculated to achieve herd immunity, the report said. Read more here

How the loss of smell is affecting people long-term

Loss of the ability to smell is a common Covid-19 symptom. While some people recover their sense of sme within days or weeks, it is taking others, according to a report in The Conversation. Scientists are still unclear how many people are affected by anosmia, a condition that leads to a complete loss of the ability to smell. This is taking a toll on those that have lost their sense of smell for months or in some cases up to a year at this point. This can affect your quality of life. Some people have reported weight loss due to a dip in appetite. Read more here

Six Mumbai wards report no fatality in last week of January

In the last week of January, 6 out of 24 Mumbai wards did not record a single Covid-19 fatality, according to a report in The Times of India. While the caseload in the wards have been on a declining trend recently, this is the first time many wards have gone an entire week without reporting a death related to Covid-19 since the start of the outbreak. Read more here

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