"If supply remains consistent, we will be on course to innoculate most of our population by the end of the year, DN Patil, a senior health official in the country's richest state of Maharashtra said.
The ministry cited previous calls to curb "false news and misinformation" about the pandemic on social media as a basis for the order. It argued that the World Health Organisation did not link any country to the B.1.617 variant.
It would not be half as lethal as the second one, he added. The number of deaths rose by 560, taking the total to 413,091, according to ministry data.
The sustained and collaborative efforts by the Centre and the States/UTs continue the trend as less than 50,000 daily cases are being reported for fifty-eight consecutive days now.
India reported on Thursday reported 46,164 new coronavirus cases, around 22 per cent jump, in the last 24 hours. A total of 607 deaths were also reported in the time span, pushing the total death count in India at 4,36,365.
As many as 35,181 patients recovered across the country from the viral disease in the last 24 hours taking the total recoveries to 3,20,28,825, ANI reported. With 509 fatalities, the COVID death toll in the country reached 4,39,529.
The active cases declined by 5,672 to stand at 230,971, the lowest in 208 days, which is now 0.68 per cent of the total caseload, the Union Health Ministry said in an update on Sunday.
With this, the total tally rose to 3,28,10,845, according to Union Health Ministry's data released on Wednesday. Out of the total fresh COVID infections reported on Tuesday, 19,622 of them were from Kerala alone, the highest among the states.
After registering more than 30,000 coronavirus cases daily in the past few days, India recorded on Monday 27,254 new cases and 219 deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing the total to 33.26 million while deaths have risen to 442,874, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday.