Coronavirus (Covid-19) India Highlights: Drone delivers vaccine, syringes in a remote village of Karnataka; Kerala records 6849 new cases, 388 deaths

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Coronavirus Variants and Vaccinations, Coronavirus Active Cases in India Today’s News, November 17 Highlights: The Delta variant, first detected in India a little less than a year ago, now accounts for 99.5% of all genomic sequences reported to public databases and has “outcompeted” all other variants in most countries, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. Many experts now believe that all future strains will be offshoots of Delta. The variant is largely concentrated in the UK where it makes up nearly 10% of sequenced virus samples, reported Reuters.

With Coronavirus infection declining globally, except for Europe, and heading to the endemic stage in some of the countries, the focus now has shifted to treatment through Covid pills. Drugmaker Pfizer on Tuesday announced a deal to allow other manufacturers to make its experimental Covid-19 pill, a move that could make the treatment available to more than half of the world’s population. Pfizer said it would grant a license for the antiviral pill to the Geneva-based Medicines Patent Pool, which would let generic drug companies produce the pill for use in 95 countries, making up nearly 53% of the world’s population. The move will further strengthen the fight against Coronavirus.

Meanwhile, India reported 10,197 fresh Coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, taking its overall Covid-19 tally to 3,44,66,598, while the number of active cases in the country declined to 1,28,555, the lowest in 527 days, according to data from the Union Health Ministry’s data on Wednesday. With 301 fresh fatalities, India’s Covid-19 death toll climbed to 4,64,153, the Health Ministry said. The daily rise in new Covid-19 cases has been below 20,000 for the past 40 days and less than 50,000 for 143 consecutive days now. The active cases now account for 0.37% cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate improved to 98.28%, the highest since March 2020, the Health Ministry said. There was no sign of a major spike in Covid-19 cases in recent times even as the main festive season is over. The nationwide vaccination drive has picked up the pace.