ECONOMY

Coronavirus India Updates: Government Seeks Vaccine Price Cuts Amid Record Surge In Covid Cases

India continued to report a record number of fresh Covid-19 cases and deaths daily, at a time the centre and the states seek to expand an inoculation drive that would help contain the unprecedented spread of infections.

More than 3.5 lakh people tested positive for the virus in a 24-hour period, once again marking the highest number of new infections recorded by any country in a single day, according to the Health Ministry’s update as of 8 a.m. on April 26.

Deaths due to the coronavirus continued to rise, overwhelming the country’s crematoriums and burial grounds. Over 2,800 people succumbed to the illness in just 24 hours, taking India’s total death toll to 1.95 lakh.

The central government directed Serum Institute of India Ltd. and Bharat Biotech International Ltd. to reduce prices of their coronavirus vaccines, PTI reported citing people it didn’t identify.

  • The Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has fixed the price of its vaccine, Covaxin, at Rs 600 per dose for state governments and at Rs 1,200 per dose for private hospitals.
  • The Pune-based Serum had announced a price of Rs 400 per dose for ‘Covishield’, for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals.
  • Both vaccines are available to the central government at a rate of Rs 150 per dose.

Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Sikkim and Goa have said they would bear the cost of vaccinations for everyone between the age of 18 and 45. The centre has announced free vaccines for all above 45 years.

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