corona news

Covid Alert : China witnesses surge in COVID cases, more than 2500 cases in 24 hours 

Beijing [China]: China on Monday reported 2,281 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday.

Of the new local infections, 1,902 were reported in Jilin, 110 in Fujian, 67 in Liaoning, 43 in Heilongjiang, 31 in Shanghai, 25 each in Shandong and Guangdong, 14 in Jiangxi and 11 in Hebei, Xinhua reproted.
For other provincial-level regions, Tianjin and Hunan each reported eight cases, Henan and Shaanxi each reported seven, Beijing reported six, Gansu reported five, Jiangsu and Yunnan each reported three, Inner Mongolia, Zhejiang and Chongqing each reported two, as per Xinhua.

According to the commission, a total of 57 imported COVID-19 cases were reported on Monday.

China is facing mounting pressure to guard against imported infections amid a recent surge in cases throughout the country.

Earlier, Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that Beijing will stick to its “zero Covid-19” policy, days after National Health Commission (NHC) released new guidelines easing its control measures.

NHC had uploaded a new document on its website. Titled the Novel Coronavirus Diagnosis And Treatment Plan, it was the ninth revision to a document setting out COVID-19 policy for the country of 1.4 billion.

China’s zero-COVID policy is pushing cash-strapped local governments to the brink amid rising health care costs and efforts to control debt.

Analysts said that the local governments in China are facing a growing financial burden to meet Beijing’s hardline zero-COVID strategy, according to a think tank, Policy Research Group (POREG).

China is battling its biggest virus surge in two years and numerous cities have imposed travel bans and lockdowns, including tech hub Shenzhen, which have shaken economic stability and global supply chains.

China has clung to a zero-tolerance approach to the virus that relies on stringent lockdowns, mass testing and quarantine in government facilities. (ANI)

 

Preclinical studies supports US Army’s pan-coronavirus vaccine development strategy

               

Washington [US]: The Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle (SpFN) COVID-19 vaccine developed by researchers at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) not only elicits a potent immune response but may also provide broad protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern as well as other coronaviruses, according to a series of recently published preclinical study.

According to a statement released by US Army, scientists in WRAIR’s Emerging Infectious Diseases Branch (EIDB) developed the SpFN nanoparticle vaccine, based on a ferritin platform, as part of a forward-thinking “pan-SARS” strategy that aims to address the current pandemic and acts as a first line of defence against variants of concern and similar viruses that could emerge in the future.
“The accelerating emergence of human coronaviruses throughout the past two decades and the rise of SARS-CoV-2 variants, including most recently Omicron, underscore the continued need for next-generation preemptive vaccines that confer broad protection against coronavirus diseases,” said Dr Kayvon Modjarrad, Director of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Branch at WRAIR, co-inventor of the vaccine and the US Army lead for SpFN.

“Our strategy has been to develop a ‘pan-coronavirus’ vaccine technology that could potentially offer safe, effective and durable protection against multiple coronavirus strains and species.”

Pre-clinical studies published today in Science Translational Medicine indicate that the SpFN vaccine protects non-human primates from disease caused by the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 and induces highly-potent and broadly-neutralizing antibody responses against major SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern including the SARS-CoV-1 virus that emerged in 2002, the statement read.

SpFN entered Phase 1 human trials in April 2021. Early analyses, expected to conclude this month, will provide insights into whether SpFN’s potency and breadth, as demonstrated in preclinical trials, will carry over into humans. The data will also allow researchers to compare SpFN’s immune profile to that of other COVID-19 vaccines already authorized for emergency use.

“This vaccine stands out in the COVID-19 vaccine landscape,” Modjarrad said. “The repetitive and ordered display of the coronavirus spike protein on a multi-faced nanoparticle may stimulate immunity in such a way as to translate into significantly broader protection.”

WRAIR developed a secondary candidate vaccine, a SARS-CoV-2 Spike Receptor-Binding Domain Ferritin Nanoparticle (RFN) vaccine, which targets a smaller part of the coronavirus Spike protein than the SpFN vaccine. Results from a study, published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that this vaccine potentially offers similar protection against an array of SARS-CoV-2 variants and SARS-CoV-1.

“The RFN vaccine candidate is more compact and has some natural advantages as we try to increase the immune response against multiple coronaviruses using a single vaccine platform, so it is still under consideration as part of our pan-coronavirus vaccine development pipeline,” said WRAIR structural biologist and vaccine co-inventor, Dr Gordon Joyce.

“The threat from COVID-19 continues as it evolves, and eventually there will be other emerging disease threats,” said Dr Nelson Michael, Director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research at WRAIR.

“Our investment in developing a next-generation vaccine is an important step towards getting ahead of COVID-19 and future disease threats.” (ANI)

People dropping out of taking second dose of COVID vaccine is cause of worry: TS Singh Deo

Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo on Wednesday raised concerns about the number of people who have dropped out of taking the second dose of the COVID vaccine.

New Delhi [India] : “A cause of worry is that the number of people who have dropped out of taking the second dose of COVID vaccine. Wherever there is vaccine hesitancy, we should reach out to people through social, religious, and other organisations,” Deo told ANI. Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday said that 77 per cent of the eligible population in India has been vaccinated against COVID-19 with the first dose, while as many as 32 per cent people have received both doses.
“More than 10 crores people haven’t taken the second dose of vaccine,” the Union Health Minister said while urging all eligible people to take the second dose of the vaccine.
Mandaviya also informed that the Centre is going to launch a mega vaccination campaign ‘
Har Ghar Dastak’. “We’ve decided that for the next one month, healthcare workers will go door-to-door to vaccinate people eligible for the second dose and also those who have not taken the first dose,” he said.
The Union Health Minister held a meeting with health ministers of states and union territories to discuss the scaling up of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country.
Meanwhile, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage exceeded 103.53 crores as per a provisional report issued by the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday.
“With the administration of 55,89,124 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 103.53 Cr (1,03,53,25,577) as per provisional reports till 7 am today,” the health ministry said.

India adds 13,451 new COVID-19 infections, active cases lowest in 242 days

New Delhi [India] : India reported 13,451 new COVID-19 cases and 585 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative tally to 3,42,15,653, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday.
Of the new infections reported in India in the last 24 hours, Kerala reported 7,163 new cases. With this, the country’s active caseload stands at 1,62,661, which is the lowest in 242 days.
The active cases account for 0.48 per cent of total cases, which is the lowest since March 2020, the release said.
The country also reported 14,021 recoveries in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s recovery rate to 98.19 per cent, which is the highest since the beginning of the pandemic.
The weekly positivity rate stands at 1.22 per cent currently, while the daily positivity rate remained at 1.03 per cent.
India has also ramped up testing capacity and has, so far, tested 60.32 crore samples for COVID-19.
The country has also administered 103.53 crore vaccine doses under Nationwide Vaccination Drive, till now.

PM Modi to interact with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers today

New Delhi [India] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to interact with the seven Indian manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday, days after the country crossed a milestone of administering 100 crore vaccinations.
During the interaction, the PM will take stock of the experiences of the manufacturers as well as discuss various issues like furthering vaccine research. As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, with the administration of 68,48,417 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has surpassed the 100 Crore mark to reach 101.30 Cr (1,01,30,28,411) as per provisional reports till 7 am today.

‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas’

Administration of 100 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses isn’t just a number, but shows India’s ability as a nation, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.
Addressing the nation, the Prime Minister said India’s vaccine campaign is a living example of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas aur Sabka Prayas’. “

New Delhi [India] : On 21 October, India achieved the difficult but unparalleled target of administering 100 crore vaccine doses. This has come about by the unified efforts of 130 crore Indians. I congratulate our citizens on achieving this feat,” the Prime Minister said.
“100 crore vaccination mark is not just a number but shows our ability as a nation… It is a new chapter in history, a testament that India can achieve a tough aim successfully. It shows that country works hard for the fulfilment of its goals,” he added.


PM Modi noted that there were apprehensions over India’s vaccination programme.
“When the biggest pandemic of 100 years came, questions started arising on India. Will India be able to fight this global pandemic? From where will India get the money to buy so many vaccines from other countries? When will India get the vaccine? Will the people of India get the vaccine or not? Will India be able to vaccinate enough people to stop the pandemic from spreading? There were various questions, but today this 100 crore vaccine dose is answering every question,” he stated.
He said that today many people are comparing India’s vaccination programme with other countries of the world. “The speed with which India crossed the 100 crore mark is also being appreciated,” he added.
The Prime Minister further said the Central government ensured that VIP culture does not overshadow India’s vaccination program and everyone was treated equally.
On October 21, India has achieved the difficult but extraordinary target of 1 billion, 100 crore vaccine doses.
Meanwhile, more than 100.59 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far to eligible beneficiaries, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
From February 2, front line workers were made eligible for vaccination. These included State and Central Police personnel, Armed Force Personnel, Home Guards, Civil Defence and Disaster Management Volunteers, Municipal workers, Prison Staff, PRI Staff and Revenue workers involved in containment and surveillance, Railway Protection Force and election Staff.
The vaccination drive was expanded from March 1 to include persons above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with associated specified 20 comorbidities. It was further expanded to all people above 45 years of age from April 1. From May 1, all persons above 18 years of age were made eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. 

PM Modi lauds COVID vaccination programme for being ‘science-born, science-driven, science-based’

Emphasising on the scientific approach of India amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that it is a matter of pride that the vaccination programme was “science-born, science-driven and science-based”.
In an address to the nation, PM Modi said, “India’s entire COVID vaccination programme is born in the womb of science, has grown on scientific grounds and has reached all four directions through scientific methods. It is a matter of pride for all of us that the entire vaccination programme has been science born, science-driven and science-based. From the development of vaccines to inoculation, science has been the base for all processes.” At the same time, the Prime Minister also warned that complacency can be dangerous, and caution regarding COVID-19 should continue.
“No matter how good the shield is, no matter how modern the armour is, even if the armour gives a complete guarantee of protection, weapons should not be thrown away while the battle is still on. I request that we have to celebrate our festivals with the utmost care,” PM Modi said.
He further asserted that the 100 crore vaccine landmark is symbolic of the country’s strength.
“100 crore vaccine dose is not only a figure, but it is also a reflection of the country’s strength. It is the creation of a new chapter in history. This is a picture of a New India that knows how to achieve difficult goals,” he further asserted.
On October 21, India has achieved the difficult but extraordinary target of 1 billion, 100 crore vaccine doses.
Meanwhile, more than 100.59 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far to eligible beneficiaries, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

PM Modi urges people to follow COVID protocols during celebration of festivals

After India achieved the landmark of administering over 100 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged citizens to celebrate upcoming festivals with the utmost care, adding the armour of inoculation does not guarantee complete protection against the virus.
Addressing the nation, PM Modi urged people to keep following COVID protocols and said, “No matter how good the armour is, no matter how modern the armour is, even if armour guarantees complete protection, weapons are not thrown while the battle is on. I request that we have to celebrate our festivals with the utmost care.” “I appeal to all those who have not taken the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to give utmost priority to getting vaccinated. Those who are vaccinated should encourage others,” he added.
The Prime Minister also reiterated his clarion call of “Vocal For Local” and appealed to people to buy ‘Made in India’ products during the festival season.
“Emphasis should be given to buying made in India products. This will be possible only with the efforts of everyone. We have to put –buying things made by Indians, being Vocal For Local– into practice,” he stated.
Meanwhile, more than 100.59 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far to eligible beneficiaries, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Kejriwal lauds healthcare, frontline workers

New Delhi [India] : As India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage surpassed the 100 crore mark on Thursday, Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal lauded the efforts of the healthcare and frontline workers.
Taking to Twitter, Kejriwal said, “Congratulations to all the countrymen on administering 100 crore vaccines. Salute to the doctors, nurses and frontline workers who made this possible. All of us countrymen together faced this disease. Together we will defeat this forever.” India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive was launched on January 16, 2021.
Initially, the vaccination was opened for Health Care Workers (HCWs) only.
From February 2, front line workers were made eligible for vaccination. These included State and Central Police personnel, Armed Force Personnel, Home Guards, Civil Defence & Disaster Management Volunteers, Municipal workers, Prison Staff, PRI Staff and Revenue workers involved in containment and surveillance, Railway Protection Force and election Staff.
The vaccination drive was expanded from March 1 to include persons above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with associated specified 20 comorbidities. It was further expanded to all people above 45 years of age from April 1. From May 1, all persons above 18 years of age were made eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister said, “India scripted history” as the vaccination figure surpassed 100 crore mark.

Malaysia reports 5,745 new COVID-19 cases

Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia] : Malaysia recorded 5,745 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours as of midnight Tuesday, bringing the total tally to 2,401,866, according to the health ministry.
Twelve of the new cases were imported, and 5,733 were locally transmitted cases, showed data released on the ministry’s website. An additional 69 deaths from the pandemic were reported in the Southeast Asian country, bringing the overall coronavirus death toll to 28,062.
An additional 8,933 recovered patients were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recoveries from COVID-19 in Malaysia to 2,287,888.
Of currently the 85,916 active cases, 676 are being held in intensive care units, with 330 of them in need of assisted breathing.
Malaysia reported 134,684 vaccine doses administered on Tuesday alone and some 77.3 per cent of the population have received at least one dose and 70.6 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Israel detects 1st case of COVID-19 Delta variant “AY4.2”

: The first case of the new COVID-19 Delta variant “AY4.2” was detected in Israel on Tuesday, the country’s Ministry of Health said.

Jerusalem [Israel] : This is the variant that was previously detected in several European countries, the ministry noted. It was diagnosed in an 11-year-old boy, who underwent a coronavirus test at Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv, upon his return from Moldova.
The ministry added that the epidemiological investigation is being conducted, and all types of COVID-19 variants and their development are being constantly monitored in the country.
Also on Tuesday, the ministry reported 1,487 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total tally of infections in the country to 1,319,001.
The death toll from the coronavirus in Israel rose by 11 to 8,021, while the number of patients in serious condition decreased from 357 to 353.
The total recoveries from the virus climbed to 1,293,854 after 1,750 newly recovered cases were recorded, while active cases decreased to 17,126.

Hima Das vows to ‘come back stronger after testing COVID positive

Ace Indian athlete, Hima Das has tested positive for COVID, the 21-year-old announced on Wednesday.

New Delhi [India], October 13 : Das took on Twitter and wrote: “I would like to inform everyone that I have been tested positive for Covid-19. I am stable and at the moment in isolation. I look forward to utilising this time to recover and come back stronger than before. A gentle reminder for everyone to stay safe and wear mask.” After failing to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, the 2018 U-20 World Champion in 400 metres took a short break to nurse her hamstring injury.
Hima had sustained the hamstring injury while running in the 100m heats of the National Inter-State Athletics Championships in June.
Hima Das was in decent shape in the run-up to the Olympics and clocked 23.21s seconds at Federation Cup in March, missing the 200m Olympic qualifying mark of 22.80s.

35 PSA oxygen plants dedicated to nation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday dedicated 35 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Oxygen Plants established under PM CARES across 35 states and Union Territories (UTs) at AIIMS Rishikesh.

Rishikesh (Uttarakhand) [India], October 7 : Uttarakhand Governor Gurmeet Singh, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya are present on the occasion. According to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), with the inception of these 35 PSA oxygen plants, all districts of the country will now have commissioned PSA oxygen plants.


Till now, a total of 1,224 PSA oxygen plants have been funded under PM CARES all across the country, out of which more than 1,100 plants have been commissioned, providing an output of over 1,750 MT oxygen per day.
Operations and maintenance of these plants have been ensured by training more than 7,000 personnel. They come with an embedded Internet of Things (IoT) device for real-time monitoring of their functioning and performance through a consolidated web portal, said PMO.

India records 18,346 fresh COVID-19 infections, lowest in over 6 months

New Delhi [India], October 5 (ANI): India recorded 18,346 fresh COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, the lowest in over 6 months, the Union Health Ministry informed on Tuesday.
With this, the active caseload of the country stands at 2,52,902; accounting for less than 1 per cent of the total cases. As per the ministry, the recovery rate of India is at its highest since March 2020 and currently stands at 97.93 per cent.
As many as 29,639 recoveries were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the total recoveries to 3,31,50,886.
A total number of 57,53,94,042 tests have been conducted so far.

India conducts 11,41,642 COVID-19 tests on Monday

As many as 11,41,642 COVID-19 tests were conducted on Monday, informed the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) today.
A total number of 57,53,94,042 tests have been conducted so far. Meanwhile, India reported 18,346 new cases in the last 24 hours, the lowest in 209 days. The active caseload stands at 2,52,902, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
The national recovery rate currently stands at 97.93 per cent.

50,000 ex-gratia for Corona deaths

The Supreme Court on Monday while approving Centre’s disaster management guidelines on payment of Rs 50,000 ex-gratia compensation to the next kin of those who died of COVID-19, said the money to be disbursed within 30 days of applying.

New Delhi [India], October 4 : A Bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice AS Bopanna ordered that no state should deny the ex-gratia compensation of Rs 50,000 to the next kin of persons who died of COVID on the sole ground that the death certificate does not mention COVID-19 as the cause of death. The Bench approved the guidelines issued by the National Disaster Management Authority for grant of compensation in COVID-19 death cases.
The apex court asked the Centre and States to give wide publicity to the ex-gratia scheme.
Next of kin of deceased died due to COVID-19 will get ex gratia of 50,000, which shall be minimum and over and above amounts paid by Centre and State under various schemes, the Bench directed.
The payment will be from State Disaster Relief Funds, it added.
No State shall deny the Rs 50,000 benefit on the ground that cause of death in death certificate is not COVID-19, the Bench ordered, adding that the district authorities to take remedial steps to have the cause of death corrected. District level committee details to be published in print media, it said.
Earlier, the top court had expressed happiness in the Central government’s decision to provide Rs 50,000 as ex-gratia to families of those who died of COVID-19 saying it will bring some solace to the persons who have suffered.
The Central government had informed the top court that the NDMA has recommended an amount of Rs 50,000 as ex-gratia to be paid to families of those who died of COVID-19 including those who were involved in relief operations or associated with preparedness activities subject to the cause of death being certified as COVID 19.
In an affidavit filed before the top court, the Centre has said NDMA had proposed the amount which has to be distributed by State governments from the State Disaster Response Fund.
The apex court was hearing a petition filed by lawyer-cum-petitioner, Gaurav Kumar Bansal, seeking an ex-gratia compensation for those family members, who died due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The top court had directed the Central government to issue simplified guidelines for the issuance of an official document relating to COVID-19 deaths to the family members of the deceased, who died due to coronavirus.
Bansal had moved the apex court seeking direction to the authorities concerned to provide an ex-gratia monetary compensation of Rs 4 lakhs (notified in the financial aid) to the family members of the deceased, succumbed to COVID-19, as per MHA letter in view of Section 12 of The Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The petitioner had sought immediate appropriate directions to the concerned authorities to pay financial help as laid down by the Central government in its statute and rules to the family members of the deceased, who succumbed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

India records 20,799 fresh COVID-19 infections, active caseload drops to 2,64,458

India reported 20,799 new COVID-19 infections and 180 deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday.

New Delhi [India], October 4 : India’s active caseload stands at 2,64,458 which is the lowest in the last 200 days. The active cases account for less than 1 percent of total cases, currently at 0.78 percent, the lowest since March 2020. The recovery rate presently stands at 97.89 percent, the highest since March 2020.
With 180 deaths, the cumulative death toll has mounted to 4,48,997.
According to the health ministry, the recovery of 26,718 patients in the last 24 hours has taken the cumulative tally of recovered patients since the beginning of the pandemic to 3,31,21,247.
The country reported a weekly positivity rate of 1.63 percent which is less than 3 percent for the last 101 days. The daily positivity rate in the country stands at 2.10 percent, less than 3 percent for the last 35 days.
As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 9,91,676 tests were conducted on October 3. A total number of 57.42 crore tests have been conducted so far.
The country has administered 90,79,32,861 crore Covid vaccine doses so far under the nationwide vaccination drive.

India logs 22,842 new COVID-19 cases, 244 deaths in last 24 hours

New Delhi [India], October 3 : India reported 22,842 new COVID cases and 244 deaths due to infection in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry informed on Sunday.
Of these, Kerala logged 13,217 new COVID cases and 121 deaths in the last 24 hours. According to the ministry, there are 2,70,557 active cases of COVID infection in the country, while 4,48,817 people have succumbed to the infection so far.
With 25,930 recoveries in the last 24 hours, the cumulative recovery in the country now stands at 3,30,94,529.
The recovery rate currently stands at 97.87 per cent.
The country reported a weekly positivity rate of 1.66 per cent which is less than 3 per cent for the last 100 days. The daily positivity rate in the country stands at 1.80 per cent, less than 3 per cent for the last 34 days.
As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 57.32 crore COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the country so far.
The country has administered 90.51 crore COVID vaccine doses so far under the nationwide COVID vaccination drive.

Russia sees 25,219 daily COVID-19 cases, 886 deaths

Moscow [Russia], October 2 : Russia saw 25,219 new COVID-19 cases and 886 virus-related deaths over the past 24 hours, the national crisis response centre said on Saturday morning.
The biggest share of new cases was recorded in Moscow. A further 4,032 infections were confirmed in the capital, with 67 patients dying. St. Petersburg reported 2,494 new infections and 59 deaths. The country has recorded 7,560,767 million coronavirus cases since the outbreak began early last year. A total 2,09,028 people died of the virus.

Over 88.14 cr COVID-19 vaccine doses provided to States/UTs so far, says Health Ministry

New Delhi [India], October 2 : More than 88.14 crores (88,14,50,515) COVID-19 vaccine doses have been provided to the states and union territories so far by the Government of India through free of cost channel and through direct state procurement, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday.
According to the ministry, over 5,28,28,050 crore balance and unutilised COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with states/UTs to be administered. The ministry stated that the Union Government is committed to accelerating the pace and expanding the scope of COVID-19 vaccination throughout the country.
It further stated that the new phase of universalisation of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from June 21.
As per the ministry, the vaccination drive has been ramped up through the availability of more vaccines, advanced visibility of vaccine availability to states and UTs for enabling better planning by them and streamlining the vaccine supply chain.
As part of the nationwide vaccination drive, the Central government has been supporting the States and UTs by providing them COVID-19 Vaccines free of cost, stated the ministry.
In the new phase of the universalisation of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, the Central government will procure and supply (free of cost) 75 per cent of the vaccines being produced by the vaccine manufacturers in the country to states and UTs, it added.

Aussie state records deadliest day of COVID-19 cases

Australia’s state of New South Wales (NSW) announced on Friday that non-urgent elective surgery will recommence at private facilities while the state recorded a second deadliest day for COVID cases this week.

Sydney [Australia], October 1 : The state health authorities announced that from October 5, private facilities will be able to perform day surgeries. Emergency surgery and urgent elective surgery will continue to be performed in public hospitals, and surgery restrictions will only be in place as long as necessary. The state government is providing 30 million Australian dollars (about 21.6 million US dollars) to support private hospitals to undertake additional elective surgery to ensure that patients who have their elective surgery postponed will be scheduled for surgery as soon as possible.
The decision came as the state reported 864 locally acquired cases and 15 deaths in the 24 hours to 8:00 p.m. local time Thursday. It’s the second time that NSW recorded 15 fatalities this week, marking the highest daily COVID death toll.
Meanwhile, the COVID outbreak in the neighbouring state of Victoria keeps intensifying, as the state reported 1,143 local cases and three deaths on Friday.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced all authorised workers in the state must have at least one dose of vaccine by October 15 to continue working on-site, and they will need to be fully vaccinated by November 26.
“It is critically important that we do not see these cases continue to climb and go up and up and up so that our hospital system is under immense pressure even before we open up,” Andrews said.

India reports 26,727 new COVID-19 cases,277 deaths in last 24 hours

New Delhi [India], October 1 : India reported 26,727 new COVID-19 cases and 277 deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the Union Health Ministry on Friday.
As per the ministry, out of 26,727 new COVID-19 cases and 277 deaths across India, 15,914 cases and 122 deaths were reported in Kerala yesterday. India’s active caseload stands at 2,75,224; the lowest in 196 days. The active cases in the country account for less than 1 per cent of total cases, currently at 0.82 per cent, the lowest since March 2020.
With 28,246 recoveries in the past 24 hours, the total number of recoveries in the country has gone up to 3,30,43,144.
India’s recovery rate stands at 97.86 per cent, the highest since March 2020.
The weekly positivity rate in the country stands at 1.70 per cent, less than 3 per cent for the last 98 days. Presently, the daily positivity rate is 1.76 per cent, less than 3 per cent for the last 32 days.
As many as 15,20,899 COVID-19 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far in the country to 57,04,77,338.
The country has administered 89,02,08,007 vaccine doses so far under the nationwide vaccination drive, out of which 64,40,451 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours. (ANI)

Covishield approved by Australia for international arrivals

Australia on Thursday approved India-made Covishield for travelling into the country.

Canberra [Australia], October 1 : The Therapeutic Goods Administration has advised that the China-made Sinovac and the India-made Covishield vaccines would be considered “recognised vaccines” when determining whether an incoming international traveller has been appropriately vaccinated, said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in an online briefing with the Indian media. The recognition of the vaccines will remove a significant barrier for international students seeking to study in Australia.
Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and the Janssen vaccine are already recognised in Australia.
Australian PM Morrison on Friday announced the reopening of international travel and easing of border restrictions.
Morrison said that the international border will reopen next month for states that have reached 80 per cent vaccination rates, starting with New South Wales, reported ABC News.
Fully vaccinated Australians and permanent residents arriving in NSW will be able to home quarantine for a week, instead of paying thousands to quarantine at a hotel for a fortnight, pending the success of the state’s home quarantine trial.
Commercial flights out of Australia will resume for vaccinated Australians.
Travellers must be fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine to home quarantine, unless they are under 12 or medically exempt, reported ABC News.
Meanwhile, unvaccinated travellers will be required to hotel quarantine for a fortnight.
The government will also work with the states to remove travel caps for vaccinated travellers.
COVID-19 Testing is expected to continue to be a part of travel, but the government is looking at using rapid antigen testing as part of the arrangement, reported ABC News.
On March 20 last year Australia introduced some of the world’s toughest border restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Strict restrictions were imposed by Australia from travelling overseas without permission for 18-months.

Russia records 23,888 COVID-19 cases in past 24 hours

Russia recorded 23,888 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, up from 22,430 the day before, bringing the cumulative total to 7,511,026, the federal response centre said on Thursday.

Moscow [Russia], September 30 : This is the highest single-day increase since July 25, when the country confirmed 24,072 new cases. “Over the past day, 23,888 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across 85 Russian regions, including 2,020 cases (8.5 per cent) without clinical symptoms,” the centre said, adding that the rate of increase grew to 0.32%.
Moscow has the highest number of new cases with 3,998 daily infections, up from 3,004 the day before. The Russian capital is followed by St. Petersburg with 2,077 cases, up from 1,933, and the Moscow region with 1,216 cases, down from 1,223.
The response centre reported a new record of 867 deaths linked to the coronavirus, up from 857 the day before, bringing the country’s death toll to 207,255.
In the same 24 hours, 18,826 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals across the country, up from 18,456 the day before, bringing the total to 6,672,767.

COVID-19: Mumbai Mayor issues guidelines for reopening of schools

Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Thursday announced strict standard operation procedures (SoPs) for reopening of school for classes 5 to 12 from October 4.

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], September 30: “We are ready with SoPs to reopen schools. The consent will be taken from the parents of the students and it would be mandatory to give it in writing,” the mayor said. Earlier on Wednesday Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued an order for re-opening of all schools in Mumbai for classes 8 to12 from October 4 with all COVID-19 protocols in place.
BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal also had said that all COVID-19 SoPs issued by the government will be implemented.
As per the guidelines issued by the mayor, one class will have a maximum of 50 students capacity and only one student will sit on a single bench. Students have been also asked to come on an alternate days basis.
Pednekar further specified the Covid-19 protocol and explained that all schools have to be connected with nearby Covid centres. Mask and sanitisers will be given by schools but parents have to make sure one extra mask is kept in the student’s bag and at least a small bottle of sanitisers too.
Maximum teachers are vaccinated but whoever is left shall get themselves vaccinated by visiting a nearby centre, read the guidelines.
Last week, the state education minister informed that the local authorities, collectors, and the commissioner had been told to monitor strict standard operation procedures (SoPs).
The education minister also clarified that there is no compulsion to attend physical classes. Students can attend online classes too. They will come to school only with the consent of their parents.

WHO to decide on Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin emergency usage in October

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday informed that the final decision on Bharat Biotech’s submission on emergency use listing (EUL) for its Covaxin COVID-19 vaccine will be made in October 2021.

New Delhi [India] September 30 : The status of assessment for Covaxin is “ongoing” as of now, the WHO informed in a document citing the status of COVID vaccines. On the WHO website, the decision date for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is October 2021.
Bharat Biotech had submitted EOI (Expression of Interest) on April 19 for its vaccine.
The duration of the emergency use listing process depends on the quality of the data which is submitted by the vaccine manufacturer.
The WHO has also asked for additional data from Bharat Biotech for Covaxin, sources from the WHO informed ANI.
“There is a procedure of submitting the documents for approval, WHO’s emergency use authorization to Covaxin is expected soon,” Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, MoS, Health had informed ANI.
According to Bharat Biotech Covaxin Phase 3 clinical trials of Covaxin demonstrated an efficacy rate of 77.8 per cent.
Bharat Biotech had also informed that the company has responded to clarifications sought by WHO and is awaiting further feedback.
“As a responsible manufacturer with several prequalified vaccines, we do not find it appropriate to speculate or comment on the approval process and its timelines,” a statement from Bharat Biotech informed.
Speaking to ANI, Chairman of the National Expert Committee on Vaccine Administration and Member of Health for NITI Aayog Dr VK Paul had also said that the WHO’s approval for Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, is likely to come before the end of this month.
The strategic advisory group of experts on Immunization (SAGE) of the WHO will be meeting in October to make its recommendations on Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin on EUL.
SAGE is authorised with advising WHO on overall global policies and strategies ranging in vaccines, technology, research and other health interventions.

India records 23,529 new Covid cases, 311 deaths; recovery rate at 97.85%

Out of 23,529 new cases and 311 deaths across India, 12,161 cases and 155 deaths were reported in Kerala on Wednesday.

New Delhi, India, September 30 : India on Thursday reported less than 25,000 coronavirus cases, according to Union Health Ministry data. According to the data showed on the Health Ministry site, 23,529 new Covid-19 cases were registered in the last 24 hours.

As many as 311 new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll. 4,48,062. 

Out of 23,529 new cases and 311 deaths across India, 12,161 cases and 155 deaths were reported in Kerala on Wednesday.

With 28,718 patients being cured during the same period, the recovery rate now stood at 97.85 per cent, which is the highest since March 2020.

There were 2,77,020 active cases at the moment and counted for 0.82 per cent of the total cases 3,37,39,980. The active caseload is also at its lowest since March 2020.

The Indian Council of Medical Research said 56,89,56,439 samples were tested for COVID-19 up to 29th September 2021. Of these, 15,06,254 samples were tested yesterday. The cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 88 crore on Wednesday, the Union Health Ministry said.

A total of 59,48,118 vaccine doses were administered till 7 pm.

Meanwhile, the daily vaccination tally is expected to increase with the compilation of the final reports for the day by late night. The vaccination exercise as a tool to protect the most vulnerable population groups in the country from COVID-19 continues to be regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level, the ministry underlined.

The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated in the first phase. The vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started from February 2.

Covaxin instead of Covishield !

The Delhi High Court on Monday sought the Centre’s stand on a petition filed by a cancer patient seeking direction to authorities concerned to allow him to take COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin as the second dose instead of Covishield, which was administered to the petitioner as the first dose.

New Delhi [India], September 27 : Justice Rekha Palli issued notice to the Centre asking it to file a reply and listed the matter for October 28. The petition was filed by advocate Madhur Mittal, an Opdivo Nivolumab Cancer patient, presently under cancer treatment taking immunotherapy. He submitted that for further treatment of cancer the petitioner wanted to travel to the USA and for the same, the petitioner wanted to get himself to get fully vaccinated.
The petition filed through advocate Sanjay S Chhabra, sought appropriate directions seeking to the respondent to allow the petitioner to take the Covaxin COVID-19 vaccine as the second dose in terms of the medical prescription/ advice instead of Covishield, which was administered to the petitioner as COVID-19 vaccine as the first dose. The petitioner was represented by Nitesh Jain, Sanjay S Chhabra and Deepak Agarwal.
On March 13, 2021, the petitioner got the first dose of Covishield and had a severe reaction and was hospitalised in Max Hospital, Saket in Delhi for four days.
He further submitted that he wanted to get vaccinated with both the doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and as per the doctor’s advice and prior complications of the Covishield vaccine, he was advised to take Covaxin as the second dose.
Thereafter, the petitioner through the respondent’s website cowin.gov.in tried to book a slot for the second dose as Covaxin, in terms of the doctor’s prescription but was not able to do so, as the said web application only booked a slot in the same category. That is the person who took the first dose as Covishield, can only slot for second does for Covishield only and the same is the situation for other COVID-19 vaccines.
The petitioner’s lawyers submitted that as per the government advisory, the respondent has advised the public at large to take the COVID-19 vaccine in both doses of the same company, but there are also many cases, where there is a mixing of COVID-19 vaccine with another vaccine and have given better results.

WHO to revive probe into COVID-19 origins: Report

The World Health Organization (WHO) is looking to revive an investigation into the origins of the COVID-19, a US media report said.

Geneva [Switzerland], September 27 : The world health body is assembling a team of 20 scientists to hunt for new evidence, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported. According to the WSJ report, the new probe comes following an initial WHO inquiry found that that the data provided by Chinese scientists was insufficient to answer key questions about the virus’ origin.
The report stated that the new team of scientists, which includes specialists in laboratory safety and biosecurity and experts in geneticists, may be charged with examining whether the novel virus emerged from a lab, as well as broader inquiries into future virus risks and the links with human behaviour.
WHO believes that the new initiative will help accelerate a probe that risks running out of time, and blood samples from early virus victims become unusable.
Earlier in August, the US had released a report tracing the origins of the COVID-19 virus. While rejecting the report, Beijing had lodged solemn representations with Washington terming the report as “completely political, and having no scientificity and credibility.”
In a strongly-worded statement, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu had said the US should “stop poisoning” the international cooperation on virus tracing and return to the correct path of scientific origins tracing and cooperation in the fight against the pandemic.
The declassified summary of a report stated that the US Intelligence Community (IC) assesses that the origins of the novel coronavirus disease may never be definitively identified without additional information.
According to the report, the US intelligence community is still divided about which of the two theories — that the virus came from a lab leak or that it jumped from animal to human, naturally. There is consensus among the intelligence agencies that the two prevailing theories are plausible, the report said.
A WHO-led team of scientists that travelled to China in early 2021 to investigate the origins of the virus struggled to get a clear picture of what research China was conducting beforehand, faced constraints during its visit, and had little power to conduct thorough and impartial research.

Congress demands Rs 5 lakh to kin of those who died of Covid-19

New Delhi [India], September 23 : The Congress said that the amount of Rs 50,000 announced by the Centre as ex gratia to families of those who died of COVID-19 is a joke and Rs 5 lakh should be given to the kin, said party national spokesperson Supriya Shrinate on Thursday.
“Congress party demands Rs 5 lakh to the kin of those people who lost their lives die to COVID-19 because numerous children lost their parents and people have become jobless. So, the help of only Rs 50,000 per deceased person is only a joke,” Shrinate told ANI. The Central government on Wednesday announced an amount of Rs 50,000 as ex gratia to families of those who died of COVID-19.
Taking a dig at the Centre, she said that the government has announced Rs 50,000 after the intervention of the court. The Centre is not declaring coronavirus infection a disaster because according to the law, there is a provision to give Rs 4 lakh on death due to disaster.”

India reports 26,115 new COVID-19 cases, 252 deaths

India on Tuesday reported 26,115 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

New Delhi [India], September 21 : The nationwide tally has now reached 3,35,04,534, while with 252 new fatalities the death toll stands at 4,45,385. The active cases have declined to 3,09,575, which is the lowest in 184 days, and now comprise 0.92 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020.
With 34,469 recoveries recorded in the last 24 hours, the cumulative recoveries have climbed to 3,27,49,574.
The national COVID-19 recovery rate has been recorded at 97.75 per cent.
The weekly positivity rate at 2.08 per cent has remained less than 3 per cent for the last 88 days now while the daily positivity rate is reported to be 1.85 per cent. It has been less than 3 per cent for the last 22 days.
India has substantially ramped up its COVID-19 testing capacity wherein over 55.50 crore tests have been conducted so far.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 55,50,35,717 samples were tested for COVID-19 up to 20th September 2021. Of these, 14,13,951 samples were tested yesterday.
Meanwhile, under the nationwide vaccination programme, a total of 81,85,13,827 vaccine doses have been administered so far of which 96,46,778 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours.

71 Covid deaths in Pakistan, Punjab province tally highest

Islamabad [Pakistan], September 19 : Pakistan on Sunday reported 2,580 fresh cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, reveals the country’s National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) data.
Out of the 55,027 tests of COVID-19 which were conducted throughout the country, 2,580 cases of COVID-19 were reported. The positivity rate stands at 4.68 per cent. A total of 71 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, COVID-19 being the reason for the decease, according to NCOC data. The total number of patients in critical care due to COVID-19 is 4,964.
Out of Pakistan’s 71 deaths due to COVID-19, the Punjab province alone adds 31 deaths to the country’s total COVID-19 death tally in the last 24 hours, reported The Tribune Express
Furthermore, even in the fresh cases of COVID-19 reported in Pakistan in the last 24 hours, the Punjab province leaves behind all the other provinces in Pakistan by adding 1,185 cases alone.
The province’s positivity rate for COVID-19 infection is 5.8 per cent, as compared to Pakistan’s 4.68 per cent, reported The Tribune Express. (

India: 40,134 new cases

              

New Delhi [India]: India reported 40,134 new cases of COVID-19 and 422 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the Union Health Ministry.

The total number of cases currently stands at 3,16,95,958. The death toll has climbed to 4,24,773. The number of active cases of COVID-19 in the country is 4,13,718.
A total of 36,946 patients recovered in the last 24 hours and 3,08,57,467 people have recovered from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. This constitutes an overall recovery rate of 97.35%.

Less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported since thirty-six continuous days. This is a result of sustained and collaborative efforts by the Centre, the States and UTs.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 47.22 crore. Cumulatively, 47,22,23,639 vaccine doses have been administered through 55,99,690 sessions, as per the provisional report till 7 am today. 17,06,598 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours.

The new phase of universalization of COVID-19 vaccination commenced on 21st June 2021. The Union Government is committed to accelerating the pace and expanding the scope of COVID-19 vaccination throughout the country.

With substantially ramped up testing capacity across the country, a total of 14,28,984 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours in the country. Cumulatively, India has conducted over 46.96 crore (46,96,45,494) tests so far.

The weekly positivity rate is currently at 2.37% and the daily positivity rate stands at 2.81 per cent today. The daily positivity rate has remained below 5 per cent for 56 consecutive days now. (ANI)

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