New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: India has inoculated four million people against COVID-19 within the first 18 days of the launch of the mega drive, becoming the fastest country in the world to do so, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.  

The nationwide drive was kicked off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 16, with priorities given to healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase. With 41 lakh beneficiaries, India is among the top five countries in terms of number of COVID-19 vaccination dozes administered to people.

"As on February, 1, India was among the top five countries in terms of number of COVID-19 vaccine dozes administered to people. India continues to undertake its vaccination drive at a fast pace," the Health Ministry said in a statement.  

The nationwide COVID-19 tally has reduced significantly over the past few weeks. The Ministry informed that as many as fourteen states and Union Territories did not report a single death in a span of 24 hours. Among these states are: Goa, Odisha, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Sikkim, Manipur, and Puducherry.  

India reported 11,039 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday -- the lowest in seven months. The active cases have declined to 1,60,057 -- a mere 1.5 per cent of the total infections. Eight states and Union Territories have weekly positivity rate higher than the national average, with Kerala leading the chart at 12 per cent weekly positivity rate. At 5,747, the state also contributed to the highest number of newly recovered cases in the past 24 hours. 

The country vaccinated 1,88,762 healthcare workers in the past 24 hours across 3845 sessions. A total of 41,38,918 people have been inoculated with Oxford-Astrazeneca's Covishield or Bharat Biotech's Covaxin in the past 18 days. 

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Lakshay Raja