India administered more than 10 million Covid-19 vaccine doses on Friday, a national record that Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed as a “momentous feat” for the country, which is facing another surge in infections.
India has administered about 628 million vaccine doses in total, with more than half of the country's 944 million adults having received at least one dose and about 15 per cent having been fully vaccinated.
The government wants the entire adult population immunised by December.
“Record vaccination numbers today!” Modi said on Twitter. “Crossing 1 crore [10 million] is a momentous feat.”
The previous daily record was 9.2 million.
India's vaccine production jumped in August, thanks mainly to the Serum Institute of India, which is now making about 150 million doses a month of its version of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The sharp rise in vaccinations came as India reported more than 40,000 new infections for a second consecutive day on Friday.
Cases had fallen to a five-month low of 25,166 in the middle of the month but have risen sharply in the last three days, mainly in the southern state of Kerala, the site of a large festival that brought many families together.
India reported 44,658 new Covid-19 infections on Friday, taking the total to 32.6 million, the highest in the world after the US. The death toll rose by 496 to 436,861.
Kerala has accounted for about 60 per cent of new coronavirus cases in the past week and more than half of the total active cases, followed by 16 per cent in the western state of Maharashtra.
“Any laxity in ensuring a strict adherence to the five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccinate and ensuring Covid appropriate behaviour may result in a further surge in Covid-19 transmission in Kerala and its neighbouring states,” India's Ministry of Health told the Kerala state government in a letter shared with journalists.
The state said it would impose a lockdown on Sundays until further notice.