Member Health NITI Aayog Dr VK Paul on Friday said India has overtaken the United States in terms of the number of people who have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

“As per the data, the number of people who have received at least one dose of vaccine in India is 17.2 crore. We have overtaken the US in terms of the number of people in our country who have received the first dose of vaccine,” Paul said.

Asserting that country needs more time to achieve high coverage of vaccination, he said: “When the peak is declining and we suddenly get into same behaviour as a society like in January and February, it (the virus) will come back again in a certain way. We have to buy time to ensure that we achieve high coverage of our vaccination.”

Meanwhile, Union Health Ministry’s Joint secretary, Lav Agarwal commented about the drop in the number of active cases, and said, “There has been a continuous decrease in districts reporting more than 100 average daily new cases; 257 districts report more than 100 daily cases.”

The ministry also stated that 377 districts have been reporting less than 5 per cent case positivity currently.

India’s daily new COVD-19 cases reported a decline on Friday as the country recorded 1,790 less cases as compared to Thursday.

Down from yesterday’s 1,34,154 cases, India today reported 1,32,364 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the country’s infection tally to 2,84,41,986, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Friday.

India’s active caseload further declined to 16,35,993 as active cases decreased by 77,420 in the last 24 hours. The active cases in the country have been less than 2 lakhs since eight successive days. (ANI)