India hit an important milestone on Thursday, vaccinating over a million people in a single day against COVID-19. Some 10.93 lakh people were given the vaccine till 7 pm, Health Ministry data showed, taking the total to 1.77 crore since launching the campaign on January 16.
The country expanded its vaccination drive from healthcare and frontline workers to seniors above 60 and those over 45 with illnesses and has eased rules for private hospitals to vaccinate people.
The milestone comes amid a surge in cases in Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Karnataka, accounting for 85.51 per cent of fresh cases, according to the union health ministry.
A total of 17,407 new infections have been registered in the past 24 hours.
Maharashtra reported the highest daily new cases at 9,855. This is the highest number recorded in the state since October 18 when 10,259 new cases were reported.
It is followed by Kerala with 2,765 while Punjab reported 772 new cases. The total number of cases with UK, South Africa and Brazil variants of SARS-CoV-2 in the country as on date has reached 242, the ministry said.
India's total COVID-19 active caseload has reached 1,73,413 comprising 1.55 per cent of India's total cases.