India’s COVID vaccinations hit 2b, new cases at 4-month high

A health worker inoculates a man with a booster dose of the Covaxin vaccine against the COVID-19 coronavirus at a vaccination camp in New Delhi on July 15, 2022. (PRAKASH SINGH / AFP)

TOKYO / KUALA LUMPUR / WELLINGTON / ISLAMABAD / NEW DELHI  – The Indian government's COVID-19 vaccinations hit 2 billion on Sunday, with booster doses underway for all adults, as daily infections hit four-month high, official data showed.

Health ministry data shows India's COVID-19 death toll at 525,709, with 49 deaths recorded overnight

Prime Minister Narendra Modi extolled the vaccination milestone, celebrating the world's largest and longest-running inoculation campaign, which began last year.

"India creates history again!" Modi said in a tweet. The prime minister has faced allegations from the opposition of mishandling the pandemic that experts claim killed millions. The government rejects the claims.

Health ministry data shows the COVID-19 death toll at 525,709, with 49 deaths recorded overnight.

New cases rose 20,528 over the past 24 hours, the highest since Feb. 20, according to data compiled by Reuters.

The country of 1.35 billion people has lifted most COVID-19-related restrictions, and international travel has recovered robustly.

Some 80 percent of the inoculations have been the AstraZeneca vaccine made domestically, called Covishield. Others include domestically developed Covaxin and Corbevax, and Russia's Sputnik V.

The federal government has been accelerating its booster campaign to avert the spread of infections, edging higher in the eastern states of Assam, West Bengal and Karnataka in the south.

Residents wait to receive the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 16, 2021. (RAHMAT GUL / AP)


A COVID-19 immunization campaign has been launched in Afghanistan's northern Baghlan province, a local official said on Sunday.

Provincial public health director Massoud Ahmadi said "over 150,000 people, including men and women above 18" would receive COVID-19 vaccines across the province.

A similar campaign was also launched in Jawzjan province on Saturday.

Director of public relations office of Jawzjan provincial administration Hamidullah Darzabi said more than 100,000 people above 18 would be vaccinated in the province over the next 30 days.

Such campaigns were also launched earlier in the eastern Nangarhar and western Farah provinces.

A man receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in Tokyo, Japan, on June 25, 2021. (RODRIGO REYES MARIN / POOL / AFP)


Japan's daily COVID-19 infections hit a record of more than 110,000, Jiji news agency reported on Saturday.

Faced with a seventh COVID wave, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday urged the public to exercise maximum vigilance.

A man wearing a face mask walk in front of a closed store front with advertisements for property rentals in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Oct 18, 2021. (VINCENT THIAN / AP)


Malaysia reported 5,047 new COVID-19 infections, as of midnight Saturday, bringing the national total to 4,619,045, according to the health ministry.

There are three new imported cases, with 5,044 cases being local transmissions, data released on the ministry's website showed.

Four new deaths have been reported, pushing the death toll to 35,848.

New Zealand

New Zealand reported 6,223 new community cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, said the Ministry of Health in a statement.

The ministry also reported 733 current hospitalizations including 16 cases in ICU or HDU, and 22 deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday.

In addition, there were 270 new cases of COVID-19 that have recently traveled overseas, according to the ministry.

A health worker inoculates a student with a dose of the Pfizer vaccine against the coronavirus at his school in Karachi on Jan 24, 2022. (ASIF HASSAN / AFP)


Pakistan reported 605 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths during the last 24 hours, the country's ministry of health said on Sunday.

The tally of infected people increased to 1,546,252 after adding the new cases, according to the data released by the ministry.

According to the ministry's statistics, a total of 30,440 people died from COVID-19 in Pakistan, with two more deaths recorded on Saturday.

On Saturday 21,233 tests for COVID-19 were conducted in Pakistan while the positivity rate stood at 2.85 percent.