New Delhi: India on Friday administered a record number of over 2.50 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses on the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 71st birthday, which Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya described as a golden chapter in the world history.
The numbers went up steadily through the day with the cumulative number of doses administered in the country crossing 79.33 crore at midnight (12 am), according to data on the Co-WIN portal.
Many including NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that India has created a world record in administering daily COVID-19 vaccine doses.
According to various reports, the earlier world record for daily doses was created by China with 2.47 crore vaccines being administered in June.
In a tweet in Hindi, Mandaviya said, "Congratulations India! India has created history today on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday. By administering more than 2.50 crore vaccines, a golden chapter has been written in the history of the country and the world."
The minister also lauded health workers for their efforts.
Hailing the achievement, Prime Minister Modi tweeted, "Every Indian would be proud of today's record vaccination numbers. I acknowledge our doctors, innovators, administrators, nurses, healthcare and all front-line workers who have toiled to make the vaccination drive a success. Let us keep boosting vaccination to defeat COVID-19."
"Fantastic! India makes the World Record of administering 2.1+ Crore vaccines in a day. Highest COVID-19 vaccinations in a day by any country. India beats China who did 2+ crore vaccines in day. Superb achievement!" NITI Aayog CEO Kant said in a tweet.
Officials said the final tally will be higher. Data from all centres will arrive till morning.
Karnataka administered the highest number of over 26.9 lakh vaccine doses, followed by Bihar with more than 26.6 lakh doses, Uttar Pradesh with over 24.8 lakh doses, Madhya Pradesh with over 23.7 lakh doses and Gujarat with over 20.4 lakh doses.
The government said India has crossed Europe in the total number of vaccine doses administered so far.
On Friday, it said, 17 lakh doses were administered per hour, 28,000 doses per minute and 466 doses per second.
Some opposition leaders said it would have been much better if the government conducted vaccination on such a large scale daily, and not just on PM Modi's birthday.
RJD MP Manoj Kumar Jha tweeted, "The scale of vaccination reached today underlines that we indeed have the capacity to increase the daily vaccination targets. Only thing required is to free the 'drive' from 'Event-Management' mode. Jai Hind."
The daily vaccinations crossed the one-crore mark for the fourth time in less than a month.
Mandaviya said this is the fastest pace at which one crore doses have been administered.
"On PM @Narendra Modi Ji's birthday, till 1:30 pm, the country has crossed the mark of 1 crore vaccines, the fastest so far, and we are continuously moving forward. I believe that today we will all make a new record of vaccination and give it as a gift to the prime minister," he had said in a tweet in Hindi earlier along with the hashtags "VaccineSeva" and "HappyBdayModiji".
The daily COVID-19 vaccinations in the country crossed the one-crore mark on September 6, August 31 and August 27.
The WHO South-East Asia Regional Office (WHO SEARO) congratulated India for reaching the milestone of administering two crore vaccine doses in a day.
WHO SEARO tweeted, "Congratulations India for yet another milestone!"
Mandaviya had on Thursday called for a major push to the COVID-19 vaccination drive on PM Modi's birthday, saying it would be the perfect gift for him.
The BJP had asked its units across the country to help get a large number of people vaccinated on the occasion.
India took 85 days to touch the 10-crore vaccination mark, 45 more days to cross the 20-crore mark and 29 more days to reach the 30-crore mark, according to the health ministry.
The country took 24 days to reach 40 crore from 30 crore doses and then 20 more days to cross the 50-crore vaccination mark on August 6, the ministry said.
It took 19 more days to go past the 60-crore mark and took only 13 days to reach 70 crore from 60 crore on September 7, it said.
The total number of doses administered crossed the 75-crore mark on September 13.
Today, the Union Ministry of Health is running the 'Vaccine Seva' campaign, official sources said.
As a part of this campaign, Mandaviya visited Safdarjung Hospital to take stock of the ongoing vaccination there.
"When the Union health minister was taking stock of the vaccination campaign in the hospital, at the same time the country crossed the figure of 2 crore vaccinations in a day at 5 pm. Expressing happiness, Mandaviya raised his fist in the air and said that 'we did it'," an official source said.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. The vaccination of frontline workers started from February 2.
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 for people aged over 60 and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.
The country launched vaccination for all people aged over 45 from April 1.
The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone aged above 18 to be vaccinated from May 1.