Coronavirus in India: Tracking Daily Updates in 2021

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  • January 19 – India reported 10,064 new COVID-19 cases and 137 deaths in the last 24 hours (Union Ministry of Health update 08:00 IST). The total COVID-19 caseload has reached 10,581,837, including 200,528 active cases, 10,228,753 discharged cases, and 152,556 deaths.  
  • India’s vaccination drive began Saturday, January 16. As of media reports on Monday, there has been a 64 percent turnout in the last two days. Low turn out to receive the vaccine was recorded in Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Tripura, and Puducherry; higher turnout of beneficiaries was registered in Assam, Delhi, and Jammu & Kashmir. Telangana has recorded the highest vaccine compliance at 87 percent. Public health experts say since the program has just begun, the number of beneficiaries are expected to pick up over the coming days.
  • Government officials are likely to hold a meeting with representatives of pharmaceutical industries and other stakeholders to discuss the future course of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in India, according to media reports.
  • January 18 – On Monday, India reported 13,788 new cases in the last 24 hours, continuing it low streak of new infections, and 145 deaths, which is the lowest number of fatalities registered in eight months (Union Ministry of Health update 08:00 IST). The number of people recovered from the disease rose to 10,211,342 pushing the national COVID-19 recovery rate to 96.59 percent. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.44 percent. Daily new cases have been below the 20,000 mark for the past 11 days. Active cases in the country: 208,012; death toll: 152,419.
  • India could approve 4 more vaccine contenders by June-July to strengthen India’s stockpile, as per officials quoted in the media.
  • January 15 – India reported a single day rise of 15,590 new cases and 191 COVID-19 fatalities. The country’s COVID-19 case tally is at 10,527,683, including 213,027 active cases, 10,162,738 discharged cases, and 151,918 deaths (Union Ministry of Health update 08:00 IST). 58 percent of the fresh caseload is from Kerala (5,490) and Maharashtra (3,579). Delhi has ordered 14-day quarantine for all air passengers arriving from the UK till January 31, 2021.
  • India’s vaccination drive will start January 16, 2021. According to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the capital Delhi has received 274,000 vaccine doses from the central government, which will be administered from 81 centers initially and, subsequently, from 175 centers and then 1,000 centers across the city. The vaccination will be administered on four days a week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Frontline and healthcare workers are the priority recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine in this phase.
  • January 14 India reported 16,946 new COVID-19 cases and 198 deaths in the last 24 hours (Union Ministry of Health update 08:00 IST), with the total caseload at 10,512,093. Active cases: 213,603; discharged cases: 10,146,763; death toll: 151,727.  
  • Bharat Biotech said on Wednesday that it has successfully air shipped its COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, to 11 cities in India and has donated 1.65 million doses of the vaccine for administration by the central government.
  • January 13 – India reported 15,968 new cases of COVID-19 and 202 deaths in the last 24 hours (Union Ministry of Health update 08:00 IST). Active cases: 214,507; discharged cases: 10,129,111; death toll: 151,529.  
  • India starts its nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16. 300 million people will be inoculated in the first phase, which will prioritize healthcare and frontline workers.
  • Serum Institute of India plans to produce 70-80 million doses [of the Covishield vaccine] every month, according to CEO-Owner Adar Poonawalla. He says, “Planning is underway to see how many will be given to India and foreign countries. [India’s] Health ministry has made logistics plans. We also have partnership with private players for trucks, vans and cold storage.” Meanwhile, foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Tuesday that India will decide on exports of coronavirus vaccines within the next few weeks. Governments around the world are eager to shore up on supplies, which will also be key to economic stabilization plans.
  • January 12 – India reported 12,584 new cases of COVID-19 and 167 deaths in the last 24 hours (Union Ministry of Health update 08:00 IST). Active cases: 216,558; discharged cases: 10,111,294; death toll: 151,327. 
  • “Arrangements are being made for shipping the vaccine supplies after orders are issued in coming days without wasting any time. Expeditious transport of vaccine is being ensured from state vaccine stores to last-mile cold chain points by all states and Union territories,” said Manohar Agnani, additional secretary, health ministry, during the Union health minister’s review of preparedness.
  • India’s vaccination drive to immunize against COVID-19 will start January 16. Priority for the vaccine will be given to about 30 million frontline workers and healthcare workers. India plans to vaccinate 270 million others in six to eight months.
  • January 11 – India reported 16,311 new cases of COVID-19 and 161 deaths in the last 24 hours (Union Ministry of Health update 08:00 IST). There are 222,526 active cases in the country. India has so far reported 10,092,909 recoveries; the death toll is now 151,160.
  • January 8 – India’s COVID-19 case count rose to 10,413,417 with 18,139 new infections and 234 new deaths reported in the last 24 hours (Union Ministry of Health 08:00 IST). Active cases: 225,449; discharged cases: 10,037,398; death toll: 150,570.
  • January 7 – India’s COVID cases are at 10,395,278, with 20,346 new infections reported. 222 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours (Union Health Ministry update as of 08:00 IST). Active cases: 228,083; discharged cases: 10,016,859; death toll: 150,336. 
  • January 6 – India’s COVID tally is at 10,374,932. The country reported 18,088 new cases and 264 deaths in the last 24 hours (Union Health Ministry update as of 08:00 IST). Active cases: 227,546; discharged cases: 9,997,272; death toll: 150,114.
  • India has given emergency use authorization to both vaccines – from Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech. In a Joint Statement, the two companies pledged global access to their COVID-19 vaccines and smooth roll-out in India.
  • January 5 – India recorded 16,375 new coronavirus cases (the lowest in six months) and 201 fatalities in the last 24 hours (Union Health Ministry update as of 08:00 IST). Total COVID-19 cases are at 10,356,844, including 231,036 active cases, 9,975,958 discharged cases, and 149,850 deaths.
  • Bharat Biotech has submitted all data as required by regulators to the DCGI and CDSCO regarding its (indigenous) vaccine candidate, Covaxin. (For Covaxin, the authorization is in clinical-trial mode, which means that monitoring of recipients will be in the same mode as those taking the trial.)
  • The Drugs Controller General of India has granted permission to the Serum Institute of India to manufacture the COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield.
  • January 4 – India reported 16,505 new COVID-19 cases and 214 deaths in this morning’s update from the Union Ministry of Health (08:00 IST). The country’s tally reached 10,340,470, including 243,953 active cases, 9,946,867 discharged cases, and 149,649 deaths.
  • The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine will be central to India’s pandemic response strategy as it can be stored in a standard refrigerator for six months and is cheaper to make. Meanwhile, the indigenous vaccine candidate, Covaxin, by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech is in the trial stage and is being developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Virology (NIV); if it receives the requisite regulatory approvals, Bharat Biotech will look at a Q2 roll-out in 2021. The other vaccine candidate is by Pfizer-BioNTech, which has requested more time as per the Indian government.
  • On Friday, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said: “For the Government of India, Covishield (Oxford vaccine) will cost about US$3 per dose, so US$6 [INR 440] per person, but for the private market, it will cost around INR 700-800.”
  • News18 reports: “More than 5 crore [50 million] doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have already been stockpiled by its local manufacturer, Serum Institute of India (SII), and sources said the shots could start to be transported from cold storage to all states as early as Saturday, when a country-wide dry run of the vaccination program will also be held.”
  • India’s Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), has recommended the authorization of the Covishield vaccine developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical major AstraZeneca. The Covishield vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, will be sent for a final approval to the regulator Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) by the government-appointed panel of experts. 
  • January 1 – India reported 20,036 new COVID-19 cases and 256 deaths in last 24 hours (as of the Union Ministry of Health’s update at 08:00 IST). The country’s coronavirus tally reached 10,286,710, including 254,254 active cases, 9,883,461 discharged cases and recoveries, and 148,994 total deaths.
  • For past updates, see our daily tracker here.

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