General mobilization in India. Indian authorities began carrying out vaccination simulations across the country on Saturday, January 2, before launching a massive campaign of injections against the coronavirus this week in this country of 1.3 billion inhabitants. A government commission recommended Friday January 1 to use the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca and the first injections could come this week after the final green light given by the Indian drug authority.
India wants to vaccinate 300 million people by mid-2021
India, the third country in the world most affected by the coronavirus after the United States (20 million cases and nearly 350,000 deaths) and Brazil (7.7 million cases and 195,000 deaths), has given an ambitious goal of vaccinating up to 300 million people by mid-2021. According to a report drawn up Friday, January 1 by Agence France-Presse from official sources, India had 148,994 dead and more than 10 million cases of contamination.
India’s Serum Institute, the world’s largest vaccine producer, has already stocked tens of thousands of doses of the Covishield vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, and some 96,000 healthcare workers have been trained to inoculate it. The exercises Saturday, January 2 consisted precisely in the fact that healthcare workers exercise on mannequins or volunteers in centers specially set up for the upcoming vaccination campaign across the country.
Curfew in New Delhi and several major cities in the country
In the face of the pandemic, Indian authorities have imposed a nighttime curfew on New Delhi and several of the country’s major cities from Thursday, December 30, on New Year’s Eve, as part of their efforts to prevent the spread of the new variant of the coronavirus. In the Indian capital, a curfew will be enforced from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. for two days with a ban on gatherings of more than five people.
Britain’s novel coronavirus variant worries Indian authorities
Usually tens of thousands of people gather in central New Delhi, which has a population of over twenty million, to welcome the New Year. The authorities had already imposed a night curfew until January 5 in several other cities, including the financial capital, Bombay, and in the state of Karnataka where Bangalore is the seat of Indian high-tech. Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, which usually attract large numbers of tourists on holiday season, as well as Tamil Nadu and Gujarat all have a curfew for New Years Eve. .
The emergence of the new variant of the coronavirus in the United Kingdom is of great concern to the authorities. A large community of Indian origin resides there and thousands of them have returned to India for the holiday season. India announced on December 23 the suspension of all passenger flights from the UK.