About 20 million Chinese people are now under lockdown

A nurse administers a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine to a health worker at Nair Hospital in Mumbai, India on Monday.
A nurse administers a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine to a health worker at Nair Hospital in Mumbai, India on Monday. (Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times/Getty Images)

India administered nearly 1 million Covid-19 vaccine booster doses to its eligible population on Monday, as the country continues to witness a sharp rise in cases driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

Authorities are taking steps to prevent a potentially devastating third wave of infections by expanding their inoculation drive and increasing medical resources.

At least 984,676 people were given a third Covid-19 vaccine dose on Monday — the first day of India’s booster rollout, according to the country’s Health Ministry. A limited group of people are eligible for booster shots, including frontline and health care workers and individuals above age 60 with pre-existing medical conditions.

More than 26 million children ages 15-18 have received a first Covid-19 vaccine shot since India began inoculating the age group on January 3, the ministry added.

“India began administering Precaution Doses. Kudos to those who have got vaccinated today. I would request all those who are eligible to get vaccinated. As we all know, vaccination remains among the most effective means to fight COVID-19,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted Monday.

Omicron spread: Since the start of this year, India has been recording a surge in new daily cases, particularly in capital city Delhi and financial capital Mumbai, despite varying levels of restrictions imposed in different states.

Over the past few days, Delhi and Mumbai have registered an average of 20,000 cases each day. At the start of December, new cases in the cities hovered in the dozens.

India reported 168,063 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing its total to 35.8 million since the start of the pandemic. Just over 46% of India’s 1.3 billion people are fully vaccinated, according to Johns’ Hopkins University.

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