President Ram Nath Kovind is administered the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Army R&R Hospital in New Delhi (Twitter/@rashtrapatibhvn)

India Coronavirus Live Updates: India recorded 14,989 new Covid-19 cases and 98 deaths on Tuesday, taking the country caseload to 1,11,39,516, while its toll increased to 1,57,346. At present, India is reporting 1,70,126 active cases, according to data released by the Union Health Ministry. 

President Ram Nath Kovind was administered the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Army R&R Hospital in New Delhi on Wednesday. He was accompanied by his daughter. The President thanked doctors, nurses, health workers and administrators who were implementing India’s vaccination drive, and urged other eligible citizens to get inoculated.

A number of top political leaders are set to receive their first shots today. Earlier in the day, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was administered the vaccine at a Primary Health Centre in Sanquelim.

With over 50 lakh beneficiaries registering for Covid-19 vaccination since the second phase of the inoculation drive started on Monday, the Centre on Tuesday directed states to utilise all private hospitals, including those that are not empanelled under government health insurance schemes, for the vaccination exercise.

The Centre has also permitted hospitals to extend their vaccination sessions in consultation with state governments. States and hospitals have been directed to “open vaccination slots for 15 days to a month”. Currently, beneficiaries applying on the Co-WIN portal can only find slots for a week.

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India Coronavirus Live Updates: India records 14,989 new Covid cases, 98 deaths in last 24 hrs; President Ram Nath Kovind gets vaccine shot; Centre extends reach of vaccination; Follow latest updates here

More than 1.48 crore doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered till 1 pm yesterday since the second phase of the inoculation drive kickstarted Monday, the government informed. Out of this, 2,08,791 people are above the age of 60 or are aged between 45-60 with comorbidities. Also, the government has received 50 lakh registrations on CoWIN for COVID-19 vaccination so far.

Addressing a press briefing, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan further said that although certain states in the country have seen a surge in the number of active cases, the recovered cases are more than 97 per cent and the active cases are still less than 2 per cent. He added that the COVID-19 pandemic is close to being under control with India’s overall case positivity at 5.11 per cent. “According to the World Health Organisation, if 140 tests per million are being conducted per day and the case positivity rate is at 5 per cent or below, it means the COVID-19 pandemic is under control. We are very close to that mark at 5.11 per cent overall case positivity”.

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