New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: With the country crossing the grim mark of 1 crore coronavirus cases, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Saturday said that the central government is on the cusp of authorising the first set of vaccines against the deadly COVID-19 infection.

While chairing the 22nd meeting of the High-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 crisis via a video conference, Vardhan said that government is planning to inoculate 30 crore people in the next six to seven months.

"India's recovery rate has peaked to 95.46 per cent, while the strategy of testing 1 million samples has decreased the cumulative positivity rate to 6.25 per cent," the Health Minister was quoted as saying by news agency IANS.

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In India, Pfizer, Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech have applied for the emergency use authorisation of their respective coronavirus vaccines. While the government will unlikely procure Pfizer COVID vaccine 'due to its high cost', media reports suggest that 'Covishield' -- which is developed by the SII -- will likely get a nod for emergency use approval.

According to reports, the Centre, which considers "safety, efficacy and immunogenicity" of the vaccine a "sensitive matter", will likely give a nod to Covishield if it gets a go-ahead in the United Kingdom (UK).

Meanwhile, India on Saturday crossed the somber milestone of one crore COVID-19 cases, adding 10 lakh infections in nearly a month, even as the virus spread slowed and recoveries surged to over 95.50 lakh, according to Union Health Ministry data.

The country's COVID-19 case tally had surpassed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, and 40 lakh on September 5.

It went past 50 lakh on September 16, 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, 80 lakh on October 29, and surpassed 90 lakh on November 20.

The health ministry's data updated at 8 am on Saturday showed the total number of cases mounted to 1,00,04,599, and the death toll to 1,45,136 with the virus claiming 347 more lives in a span of 24 hours.

However, the COVID-19 case fatality rate has further declined to 1.45 per cent.

(With agency inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma