A grandmother who claims to be the world’s oldest person at 124 has received her first coronavirus shot in India.
Rehtee Begum from the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir was one of 9,000 people in the district who received the Covid-19 vaccine on Wednesday.
She was given the vaccine as the doses were given door-to-door, and her ration card reportedly revealed she was 124 years old, although no further evidence was given.
Rehtee Begum from the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir was one of 9,000 people in the district who received the Covid-19 vaccine on Wednesday (pictured)
According to local reports, the news came when young people – initially too scared to get the shot themselves – were inspired to do so by her coming forward and offering to get the first dose.
Health workers explained that they were handing out coronavirus vaccines, with Ms Begum giving her permission to get the shot, local reports said.
“Rehtee was given the Covishield vaccine. It took place during a mobile vaccination campaign in the Srakwara area of the Baramulla district,” a local health worker explained.
Later, Jammu and Kashmir’s Ministry of Information and Public Relations also confirmed that the shot had been given to the elderly woman.
In a video recorded after receiving the vaccine dose, the woman said she felt and was doing well after being vaccinated.
Baramulla Bhupinder Kumar’s deputy commissioner also said an elderly woman from the district was vaccinated on Wednesday.
Pictured: An Indian woman receives an injection of the COVID-19 vaccine during the vaccination campaign for the students and residents who want to travel abroad, in Bangalore, India, June 3, 2021
Meanwhile, Abdul Rashid Ganie, Block Development Officer for Wagoora, said he joined the group to visit the family who housed a grandmother.
“The ration card revealed her age as 124,” Ganie said, adding that when asked about her age, she only said she had passed 100.
“We saw the family receipt that said she was 124 years old. Well, she certainly appears to be 100+, but I can’t confirm her real age,” he added.
If we are to believe the ration card, Rehtee is not only the world’s oldest surviving person to have received a Covid vaccine, but the world’s oldest person on record.
The officially oldest person on record was Jeanne Calment, a woman from France who died at the age of 122 years and 164 days.
Currently, the oldest known person alive is Kane Tanaka, a man in Japan who is 118 years and 152 days (as on June 3).
Rehtee also said he was excited to get the second shot in seven weeks.
She also said she thought the health agency has done remarkably well in its coronavirus vaccine program.
News of Rehtee’s vaccination offers some light at a particularly challenging time in India as it continues to battle a severe third wave of coronavirus.
Pictured: Students wearing a mask and standing in line while maintaining social distancing, before receiving an injection of the COVID-19 vaccine during the vaccination campaign for the students and residents who want to travel abroad, in Bangalore, India , June 3, 2021
India has struggled with the deadly virus for the past month, and while the number of cases has begun to decline, the country is facing a high daily death toll.
The number of new daily infections stood at 127,510 on Monday, the lowest daily increase in just over a month. This number increased slightly on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the number of new Covid deaths reported on Wednesday stood at 2,887 – down from the peak of more than 4,000 a day last week.
In total, India has seen more than 28.4 million reported cases and nearly 338,000 deaths – although experts believe both numbers are much higher than those reported by health officials.
It comes as the country’s capital, New Delhi, has gradually lifted its weeks-long lockdown from Monday, when factories were allowed to return to operation and construction work resumed.
The city registered peaks of 25,000 cases in April, but is now reporting fewer than 1,500 cases per day.
Despite the easing of certain restrictions, experts have warned that people in the country must continue to follow safety protocols, reaffirming that the pandemic in India is not over yet.
Medical researcher Bhramar Mukherjee told the BBC: ‘The idea that the peak is over can give anyone a false sense of security when their states are effectively entering crisis mode.
“We have to make it clear that no state is safe yet.”
The country is reeling after a deadly second wave of the virus in March.
Health workers have been set up across the country to record citizens’ temperatures
A health worker takes a swab from a man for a Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test along a road in New Delhi
Indian covid patients now contract deadly ‘black mold’ infection with spike causing shortage of drugs to treat it
A growing number of current and recovered Covid-19 patients in India are contracting a deadly and rare fungal infection, doctors said last week.
Mucormycosis, referred to as “black mold” by physicians, is usually most aggressive in patients whose immune systems have been weakened by other infections.
“The cases of mucormycosis infection in Covid-19 patients after recovery are almost four to five times higher than those reported before the pandemic,” Atul Patel, an infectious disease specialist in Ahmedabad, a member of the Covid-19 organization told task force of the state, to AFP.
Up to 300 cases have been discovered in the western state of Maharashtra, home to India’s financial hub, Mumbai, said Khusrav Bajan, a consultant at PD Hinduja National Hospital in Mumbai and a member of the state’s Covid-19 task force.
According to data from state hospitals, about 300 cases have been reported so far in four cities in Gujarat, including the largest, Ahmedabad.
The western state has ordered government hospitals to set up separate treatment wards for patients infected with ‘black mold’ as the number of cases rises.
“Mucormycosis – if left untreated – could be fatal,” the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), the scientific agency leading the government’s response, said in a treatment schedule published on Twitter.o. had long-term stays in hospital ICUs, the ICMR added.
Reporting by AFP
Hospitals, morgues and crematoria have been overcrowded ever since, and many parts of the country suffer from chronic oxygen deprivation.
In recent weeks, a horrific Covid-19 complication has also swept the country, with thousands of people contracting black mold.
The spate of infections with the previously very rare condition is attributed to overuse of steroids to treat the country’s millions of Covid patients, experts say.
Mucormycosis, as it is scientifically known, is very aggressive and surgeons sometimes have to remove the patient’s eyes, nose, and jaw to prevent it from reaching the brain. The death rate is over 50 percent.
India normally treats fewer than 20 cases of black mold a year, but now there are several thousand across the country, including more than 2,000 in the state of Maharashtra, home to India’s financial capital, Mumbai.
At least nine Indian states have declared the problem an epidemic. The cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bangalore have opened special departments.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, only those with severely compromised immunity, such as HIV or organ transplant patients, were at risk.
Earlier this week, a New York Times analysis was published that suggested the death toll in the country could reach as much as 1.6 million, compared to the official 310,000 reported fatalities.
The paper’s “more likely” scenario estimates the death toll at 1.6 million, while the worst could be 4.2 million.
By comparison, Britain recorded just nine deaths on May 27, totaling over 127,000 deaths. The US has approximately 590,000 registered, which is also suspected to be an undercount, out of a population of approximately 330 million.
Official figures in India estimate the toll at 310,000 on a population of 1.4 billion.
In consultation with more than a dozen experts, the Times said it was difficult to even get a clear picture of the total number of infections in India because of poor registration and lack of widespread testing.
Vinod Paul, head of India’s coronavirus task force, dismissed the study, saying it was “unsupported by any evidence and based on biased estimates.”
‘Our [fatality] number is 0.05 percent of those infected. They said 0.3 percent. Why? On what basis did you decide it’s 0.3 percent of that great infection universe? There is no base at all. Five people get together, call each other and then throw this number. That’s how this report came about,” Paul told NDTV.
“There may be some late reporting of deaths, but there is no intent from any state or the Center. If I applied the same triple standard to New York, there would be 50,000 dead. But they say it’s 16,000. So this is distorted,” he added.
Four family members carry a corpse of a Covid victim past shallow graves covered with cloths on the banks of the Ganges River in Shringverpur village