40m people in India haven’t taken ‘even single COVID dose’

A health worker inoculates a woman with a dose of the Covishield vaccine against the COVID-19 coronavirus at a Public Health Centre (PHC) on the outskirts of Bangalore on Aug 11, 2021.

NEW DELHI / SINGAPORE / WELLINGTON – The Indian government has stated an estimated 40 million eligible beneficiaries in the country have not taken even a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

At present, the Indian government is focusing on promoting booster doses as the uptake for the third dose has been low

The statement was made by junior federal health minister Bharati Pravin Pawar in the lower house of the Indian parliament (locally called Lok Sabha) on Friday.

Pawar said in a written reply to the parliament that as on Monday, "an estimated 4 crore (40 million) eligible beneficiaries have not taken even a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine."

The minister said a total of 926,172,661 beneficiaries (87.4 percent) had received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine until Monday.

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Pawar stated precaution doses, or the third doses, were available free of cost to healthcare workers, frontline workers and all beneficiaries above 60 years of age from March 16 in government COVID-19 Vaccination Centres and for 18-59 years age group from April 10 in private CVCs.

On July 15, the Indian government launched a 75-day drive to administer precaution doses free of cost to all aged 18 years and above at government vaccination centers.

At present, the Indian government is focusing on promoting booster doses as the uptake for the third dose has been low.

According to officials, the exercise is aimed at improving the booster dose coverage among the people in the wake of the detection of new variants.

People visit a COVID-19 testing station during a nationwide lockdown in Wellington on Au 18, 2021.

New Zealand

New Zealand reported 5,535 new community cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, said the Ministry of Health in a statement.

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers of COVID-19 in New Zealand now sits at 8,563. The ministry also reported 720 current hospitalizations including 21 cases in ICU (intensive care unit) or HDU (High Dependency Unit), and 14 deaths of COVID-19 on Sunday.

In addition, there were 318 new cases of COVID-19 that have recently travelled overseas, according to the ministry.

New Zealand has reported 1,551,939 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. The total number of publicly reported deaths with COVID-19 reached 1,990 in the country, according to the ministry.

New Zealand is currently under the orange settings of the COVID-19 Protection Framework, where there is no limit for gatherings.

Children walk home with their guardians after school in Singapore on May 17, 2021, as the country prepares to shut all schools and switch to home-based learning until the end of the term due to a rise in the number of Covid-19 coronavirus cases. (Roslan RAHMAN / AFP)


Singapore reported 7,889 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the total tally to 1,652,981.

Of the new cases, 804 cases were detected through PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and 7,085 through ART (antigen rapid test) tests, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Health.

Among the PCR cases, 763 were local transmissions and 41 were imported cases. Among the ART cases with mild symptoms and assessed to be of low risk, there were 6,829 local transmissions and 256 imported cases, respectively.

A total of 739 cases are currently warded in hospitals, with 11 cases in intensive care units.

Four deaths were reported from COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the total death toll to 1,472, the ministry said.