Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya sent for laddoos, celebrating with healthcare workers, as India crossed the milestone of two crore Covid vaccinations in a day for the first time in a major push to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday on Friday.
"Thank you, healthcare workers. Well done, India," the minister said in a video that he tweeted in which he was seen sharing laddoos with doctors, nurses and medical staff at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital.
Thank you all Health Workers.— Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) September 17, 2021
Well Done India! ???? pic.twitter.com/l7K7R9ZEtm
Mr Mandaviya had earlier written on Twitter that the historic feat is a gift to PM Modi on behalf of the health workers and countrymen.
"A gift to Prime minister Narendra Modi on behalf of the health workers and the countrymen. Today, on his birthday, India has crossed the historical figure of administering 2 crore vaccines in a day, setting a new record. Well done India!" the minister wrote.
Mr Mandaviya said this is the fastest pace at which one crore doses have been administered.
"On PM @Narendra Modi Ji's birthday, till 1:30 pm, the country has crossed the mark of 1 crore vaccines, the fastest so far, and we are continuously moving forward. I believe that today we will all make a new record of vaccination and give it as a gift to the prime minister," he said in a tweet in Hindi earlier along with the hashtags "VaccineSeva" and "HappyBdayModiji".
With a target of 2.5 crore vaccinations for Friday, India set a record by administering over two crore COVID-19 vaccine doses till the evening. The total number of doses administered in the country has crossed 78.72 crore.
The daily vaccinations crossed the one-crore mark for the fourth time in less than a month.
To stop a third wave of the pandemic, experts have said India needs to cover at least 60 per cent of the population with both doses of the vaccine by the year-end. This requires a vaccination rate of 1.2 crore doses per day.
Current projections show 39 per cent of the population will be fully vaccinated by December.
The government had announced a more ambitious target of administering 200 crore doses by December.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. The vaccination of frontline workers like policemen started on February 2.
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination began on March 1 for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with illnesses.
The country launched vaccination for all people aged more than 45 years from April 1.
The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 to be vaccinated from May 1.