New Delhi, March 23:

The government has decided that everybody above 45 years of age will be eligible for vaccination from April 1. Announcing this, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said, “We request that all eligible should immediately register and get vaccinated.”

Till date, only people above 60 years of age and those in the age group of 45-60 who have co-morbidities were eligible for vaccination. According to the Centre’s estimate, around 27 crore people belong in these categories. Anybody suffering from serious cardiovascular ailments, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, AIDS and persons with disabilities had been included in the list of people suffering from comorbidities.

Eighty-one per cent of the latest 401 samples sent by Punjab for genome sequencing turned out positive for the new UK Covid variant, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said on Tuesday. Singh appealed to the people to get themselves vaccinated, even as he urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to widen the vaccination ambit to cover those below 60, since the UK variant mutant has been found to be infecting young people more.

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry said that Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu accounted for 80.90% of new cases reported in last 24 hours.