corona virus news

Pakistan reports 471 new COVID-19 cases, 20 more deaths

Islamabad [Pakistan] : Pakistan on Saturday confirmed 471 new COVID-19 cases and 20 more deaths, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) said on Sunday.
The NCOC, a department leading the campaign against the pandemic, said that the country has conducted 21,101,314 tests so far, confirming 1,276,711 cases, including 1,225,363 recovered cases. There are 22,810 active cases under treatment across the country, including 1,233 in critical condition.
The pandemic killed 20 people on Saturday, bringing the death toll to 28,538.
Pakistan’s southern Sindh province is the most affected region of the country with 471,733 infections, followed by the eastern Punjab province which has reported 441,051 infections.

China facing pressure to prevent rise in domestic COVID-19 cases due to imported virus infections

Beijing [China] : China’s Deputy Director from the National Health Commission Disease Control Bureau, Wu Liangyou, during a press conference, has said that the pressure that China is facing to prevent the rebound of domestic coronavirus with imported cases remains a major risk, reported a local media.
The current wave of COVID-19 has hit 44 cities across 20 provinces of China resulting in the confirmation of about 918 new cases linking back to multiple imported sources unrelated to each other, Global Times reported citing a senior official of NHC. Asked about the consideration by the Chinese authorities about abandoning the “dynamic zero COVID” policy on pandemic prevention and control, the deputy director claimed that China’s strict policy fits “national conditions” and scientific philosophy behind pandemic prevention and control, reported Global Times.
Wu further stated that China will keep the strict pandemic prevention and control measures for building a strong barrier aiming to contain domestic resurgence.
Amid a surge in coronavirus cases, a holiday resort has been closed in China’s Jiangxi province and traffic has been restrained in the area, local media reported.
According to Global Times, Yanshan district in eastern China closed down a holiday resort, restrained traffic after one positive COVID-19 case working at a local holiday resort was reported.
“The county at one point said that all traffic lights will be switched to red to discourage traffic but the policy was quickly revoked on Sunday,” Global Times reported citing media reports.

Philippines logs 2,656 new COVID-19 cases

Manila [Philippines] : The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) reported 2,656 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, pushing the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 2,800,621.
The DOH also reported that 154 more people died from COVID-19 complications, bringing the country’s death toll to 42,239. Eight laboratories failed to submit data. The number of deaths reported in the daily bulletin includes deaths from previous months, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told a virtual news conference Saturday.
She said the country now tallies an average of dozens of deaths daily from a peak of 193 in September. In October, the average number of deaths per day was 73.
Of the 154 deaths reported on Saturday, 118 were previously tagged as recoveries and reclassified as deaths after final validation, the DOH said.
The country has battled three waves of infections since the outbreak last year. The last wave peaked in September when the DOH reported its highest daily tally on Sept. 11 with 26,303 cases.
The Philippines, which has a population of around 110 million, has tested more than 21.5 million people since the pandemic.

Over 107.92 cr COVID-19 vaccine doses administered so far in India

New Delhi [India] : India has administered over 107.92 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses so far under the nationwide vaccination drive, the Ministry for Health and Family Welfare informed on Saturday.
As per the ministry, 1,07,92,19,546 vaccines doses have been administered in the country so far. Meanwhile, India reported 10,929 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. The country’s active caseload stands at 1,46,950 the lowest in 255 days.
Active cases account for less than one per cent of total cases, currently at 0.43 per cent, lowest since March 2020.
With 12,509 recoveries in the last 24 hours, the total recoveries in the country have been increased to 3,37,37,468. The recovery rate is currently at 98.23 per cent which is the highest since March 2020.
The daily positivity rate is 1.35 per cent which is less than two per cent for the last 33 days and the weekly positivity rate stands at 1.27 per cent which is less than two per cent for the last 43 days.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 8,10,783 samples were tested for the presence of the virus in the last 24 hours taking the cumulative tests conducted in the country to 61,39,65,751.

S.Korea reports 2,248 more COVID-19 cases, 377,712 in total

Seoul [South Korea] : South Korea reported 2,248 more cases of COVID-19 as of midnight Friday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 377,712.
The daily caseload was down from 2,344 in the previous day, but it hovered above 2,000 for the fourth straight day. The recent resurgence was attributable to cluster infections in the Seoul metropolitan area.
Of the new cases, 912 were Seoul residents. The number of the newly infected people residing in Gyeonggi province and the western port city of Incheon was 687 and 142.
The virus spread also raged in the non-metropolitan region. The number of new infections in the non-capital areas was 478, or 21.5 percent of the total local transmission.
Twenty-nine cases were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 15,223.
The number of infected people who were in a serious condition grew 29 to 411.
Twenty more deaths were confirmed, leaving the death toll at 2,956. The total fatality rate stood at 0.78 percent.
Since the mass vaccination was launched on Feb. 26, the country has administered COVID-19 vaccines to a total of 41,470,313 people, or 80.8 percent of the total population.
The number of the fully vaccinated people was 39,261,124, or 76.5 percent of the population.

India logs 10,929 new COVID-19 cases, 392 deaths in last 24 hours

New Delhi [India] : India reported 10,929 new COVID-19 cases and 392 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Ministry for Health and Family Welfare informed on Saturday.
According to the ministry, the active caseload in the country, which accounts for less than one per cent of the total cases, stands at 1,46,950. The active cases account for 0.43 per cent of the total cases which is the lowest since March 2020.
With 392 fatalities reported in the last 24 hours, the death toll in the country now stands at 4,60,265.
As many as 12,509 people recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours taking the number of recovered patients to 3,37,37,468. The recovery rate is currently at 98.23 per cent which is the highest since March 2020.
The daily positivity rate is 1.35 per cent which is less than two per cent for the last 33 days and the weekly positivity rate stands at 1.27 per cent which is less than two per cent for the last 43 days.
With the testing capacity ramped up across the country, 8,10,783 samples were tested for the presence of the virus in the last 24 hours taking the cumulative tests conducted in the country to 61,39,65,751.
Meanwhile, over 107.92 crore (1,07,92,19,546) COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered so far under the nationwide vaccination drive, informed the health ministry today.

Massive COVID wave unlikely if large population already infected, says AIIMS Doctor

Delhi [India] : Responding to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) warning of a new COVID-19 wave, AIIMS Doctor and Epidemiologist Dr Sanjay K Rai on Friday said that it is unlikely if a large population has already been already infected by the virus.
The WHO had earlier warned of a massive COVID-19 wave in Europe and Central Asia. It also said that over 5,00,000 deaths (combined) are likely in this region by February 2022. “When large populations get infected, massive waves of the virus are unlikely. Natural infections lead to natural immunity which leads to a decline in the number of cases. Vaccinations also reduce disease severity and deaths. It will happen in Russia and Central Asia. A wave of infections is going on there, but this will reduce by February. This happened everywhere, including in India. A large amount of the population was infected, then cases started to decline rapidly. Whenever the cases rise rapidly, they decline quickly too,” he said.
He, however, said it was likely that the regions could touch the mark of 5,00,000 deaths by February and even vaccinations would not bring the rising deaths to a sudden halt.
He added that WHO was losing its credibility on the global stage.
“It has been giving controversial statements. It has not been able to figure out the origins of COVID-19. It took them over 1.5 years to understand that natural infections are giving protection to the people but they are still not giving much weightage to it,” he said.
Amid increasing COVID-19 cases in Europe and Central Asia, WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday warned of rising cases and deaths. According to the WHO, every single country in Europe and Central Asia is facing a real threat of COVID-19 resurgence or is already fighting it.

WHO chief warns about spike in COVID-19 as cases surge in Europe, Central Asia

Geneva [Switzerland] : Amid the latest rise in COVID-19 in Europe and Central Asia, WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday (local time) warned about the rising number of cases and deaths.
More than 5 million deaths have now been reported, and WHO believes the real number is higher. More than 50,000 people are losing their lives every week, UN News reported. In the last seven days, 56 countries, from all regions, reported an increase in deaths of more than 10 per cent. Tedros highlighted reports about lack of intensive care unit beds, lack of supplies, overwhelmed health workers, and hospitals deferring other needed procedures.
“Let me be very clear: this should not be happening”, he said. “We have all the tools to prevent COVID-19 transmission and save lives, and we continue to call on all countries to use those tools.”
According to the WHO, every single country in Europe and Central Asia is facing a real threat of COVID-19 resurgence or already fighting it.
In a statement issued on Thursday, WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge has raised “grave concern” about the rising pace of Covid transmission in Europe.
“Last week with nearly 1.8 million new cases and 24,000 new deaths reported, Europe and Central Asia saw a six per cent increase and 12 per cent increase respectively, as compared to the previous week,” Kluge said during a press briefing.
“Over the past four weeks Europe has seen a greater than 55 per cent increase in new COVID19 cases,” he added.
Noting that Europe is once again “at the epicentre” of the pandemic, the WHO Regional Director said the current pace of transmission across the 53 countries of the European Region, is of grave concern.

‘Air pollution may lead to severe COVID cases’

New Delhi [India] : Stating that air pollution could lead to more severe cases of COVID, All India Institute of Medical Science Director Dr Randeep Guleria said that pollution has a huge effect on respiratory health, especially among those who have lung diseases and asthma.
As pollution and COVID-19 affect the lungs and the high level of air pollution may worsen the disease, at times resulting in the death of a patient, said Dr Guleria in an exclusive interview with ANI. The pollution level in Delhi on Friday turned severe on the morning after Diwali due to bursting of firecrackers despite the ban.
Dr Guleria said due to little movement of wind in the air during October and November, burning of stubble and bursting of firecrackers, the pollutants tend to settle on the ground level and so the pollution level rises.
He said, “Respiratory problem is not the only concern during this period. Patients who have a cardiovascular issue, especially those who have underlying lung disease people with chronic bronchitis, COPD, or asthmatic patient also face breathing problem and they have to depend on nebulizer or the usage of inhaler goes up sharply. So it could lead to worsening of underlying respiratory diseases.”
He also spoke about the two sets of data supporting the claim of pollution affecting COVID-19 patients severely. Dr Guleria said, “One data suggests that the virus may stay in the air for a longer period when the pollutants are present in the air, turning the disease into the airborne disease. While the other data which has been analysed during the SARS outbreak in 2003 says that pollution causes inflammation and swelling in the lungs. Research from the SARS outbreak in 2003 in countries like the US and Italy has shown that the areas with higher levels of pollution impact those previously affected by COVID-19, causing inflammation and lung damage. The combination of pollution and COVID-19 could lead to higher fatality rates.”
Air pollution is also dangerous for children’s health. He said, “Before COVID-19, we had done a study on the number of admissions in emergency wards. We had found that whenever the pollution level is high, the patients, especially children, get admitted to emergency wards complaining about respiratory problem.”
Dr Guleria suggested that as a measure of prevention, people should wear masks, especially N95 masks and avoid going to places where the pollution level is high. He said that people should avoid going out for a morning walk when the pollution level is high.

Pakistan’s Sindh wastes over 700,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Karachi [Pakistan] : A whopping 760,935 doses of different Covid-19 vaccines have been wasted in Pakistan’s Sindh due to the “incompetent handling” and non-maintenance of vaccine temperature and cold chain issues, reported local media.
As per the standards set by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the wastage of only two per cent vaccines is acceptable. The amount of vaccines lost due to the “incompetent handling” falls way beyond the WHO accepted two per cent vaccine wastage, reported The News. As many as 220,675 doses of SinoVac, 170,675 doses of Sinopharm, 70,876 doses of single-dose Pakvac, 23,096 doses of Astrazeneca, 10,675 doses of Moderna, 10,178 doses of Pfizer and 85 doses of Sputnik were wasted, reported the newspaper citing the officials of the Sindh Health Department.
According to the Health Department officials primarily the vaccine temperature, cold chain issues along with vaccine administration due to the unprofessional attitude of vaccinator towards vaccine and the people and general mishandling caused the loss of vaccines, as per the newspaper.
Senior officials have informed that Pakistan could be facing the fifth wave of coronavirus in winter due to the slow pace of vaccination in the country.
“The government has achieved vaccination targets to some extent, millions in the country still need to be vaccinated against coronavirus,” said Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, Samaa TV reported.
Sultan warned that the fifth wave of coronavirus could hit Pakistan if the pace of vaccinations is not increased.
In total, more than 150 million people in the country need to be vaccinated. So far 26 per cent have been fully vaccinated and 20 per cent more have received a single dose.
“The second dose is vital for protection against Covid,” Sultan was quoted as saying by Samaa TV.

Guyana adds Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin to list of recognised COVID-19 vaccines

Georgetown [Guyana] : Guyana has recognised Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin COVID-19 vaccine, said High Commission of India in Georgetown, Guyana on Tuesday.
“#Guyana has recognized #India’s indigenous vaccine #COVAXIN-important step forward in the post-COVID partnership between India and Guyana,” the Indian Embassy tweeted. On Monday, Australian government gave recognition to Covaxin for the purpose of establishing a traveller’s vaccination status in the country.
The UN health body — World Health Organisation — has sought additional clarifications from Bharat Biotech, which manufactures Covaxin, and a decision on emergency use authorisation is expected soon.
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla has said that the government is carefully following the discussions taking place within the health body and hoped that approval for the indigenous COVID-19 vaccine will be granted soon.
“WHO’s technical advisory group (TAG), which is a regulatory body, met Bharat Biotech officials on October 26. They had a few questions for Bharat Biotech. From what we understand, the company will submit its reply soon. According to me, once the regulatory group is satisfied with the response, the approval for Covaxin should be given soon,” Shringla said.

UN chief calls for vaccine equity as global COVID-19 deaths exceed 5 million

New York [US] : UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for vaccine equity and continued vigilance against the coronavirus as global COVID-19 deaths exceeded 5 million.
“Today, the human family crosses a painful new threshold: 5 million lives lost to COVID-19,” he said in a statement. “This devastating milestone reminds us that we are failing much of the world.” While wealthy countries are rolling out third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, only about 5 percent of people in Africa are fully vaccinated. This is a global shame, he said.
The five-million threshold should also stand as a clear warning: guard against the virus cannot be lowered, he said.
There are still more deaths, overcrowded hospitals and exhausted health workers, and the risk of new variants spreading and claiming more lives. At the same time, other dangerous threats continue to allow COVID-19 to thrive — misinformation, vaccine hoarding and vaccine nationalism, and lack of global solidarity, he said.
“I urge world leaders to fully support the global vaccination strategy I launched with the World Health Organization last month. We need to get vaccines into the arms of 40 percent of people in all countries by the end of this year — and 70 percent by mid-2022. I call on them to deliver with urgency and scale, address funding gaps and coordinate their actions for success,” Guterres said.
It would be a mistake to think that the pandemic is over. As restrictions ease in many places, there is a need to match vaccines with vigilance, including through smart and proven public health measures like masking and social distancing, he said.
“The best way to honor those 5 million people lost, and support health workers fighting this virus every day, is to make vaccine equity a reality by accelerating our efforts and ensuring maximum vigilance to defeat this virus,” said Guterres.

Thailand allows quarantine-free entry to vaccinated travelers from 63 countries

Bangkok (Thailand) : Thailand will allow fully vaccinated tourists from 63 low-risk countries to enter the country without quarantine from Monday, the media reported.
On October 21, the government announced that from November 1, fully vaccinated travelers from 47 countries and territories will be allowed to enter Thailand without quarantine, provided that they pass a COVID-19 test upon their arrival, later adding 17 more countries to the list. “I’m confident the reopening will greatly benefit the country, especially in the tourism high season that normally lasts into early next year. TAT [Tourism Authority of Thailand] is now expecting over 1 million tourists to come in the next six months, or about 300,000 per month,” the authority’s governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, said, as cited by the Bangkok Post.
The governor of TAT also added that these numbers amount to about 10% of the pre-pandemic level recorded in 2019.
The original list included 46 low-risk countries exempt from quarantine: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bhutan, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.
As of Monday, the government added 17 more countries to the list, including Croatia, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Laos, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, the Philippines, Romania, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Vietnam, according to the media.
At the same time, the country still faces COVID-19 restrictions, as it is registering about 10,000 COVID-19 infections a day. As of October 29, there have been almost 1.9 million confirmed cases and over 19,000 deaths reported in the country, according to the World Health Organization. The infection rate has halved since August, when the highest daily average of more than 20,000 new cases was reported.

Pakistan may face fifth COVID-19 wave due to slow vaccination

Islamabad [Pakistan] : Senior officials have informed that Pakistan could be facing the fifth wave of coronavirus in winter due to the slow pace of vaccination in the country.
“The government has achieved vaccination targets to some extent, millions in the country still need to be vaccinated against coronavirus,” said Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, Samaa TV reported. Sultan warned that the fifth wave of coronavirus could hit Pakistan if the pace of vaccinations is not increased.
In total, more than 150 million people in the country need to be vaccinated. So far 26 per cent have been fully vaccinated and 20 per cent more have received a single dose.
“The second dose is vital for protection against Covid,” Sultan was quoted as saying by Samaa TV.
The number of active cases in Pakistan stands at 22,545. A total of 28,456 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in the country since the pandemic started, Geo News reported.

With 12,514 new COVID-19 cases, India’s active caseload stands at1,58,817, lowest in 248 days

New Delhi [India] : India has reported 12,514 new COVID-19 cases and 251 deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the Union Health Ministry on Monday.
Of these, Kerala reported 7,167 new cases and 167 deaths. As per the COVID-19 update issued by the ministry, India’s active caseload stands at 1,58,817, which is the lowest in 248 days. The active cases account for less than 1 per cent of total cases and are currently at 0.46 per cent, the lowest since March 2020.
With 12,718 recoveries reported in the last 24 hours, the total recoveries mounted to 3,36,68,560. The recovery rate is presently at 98.20 per cent.
India’s death toll is 4,58,437.
The daily positivity rate is 1.42 per cent, which is less than 2 per cent for last 28 days. The weekly positivity rate is 1.17 per cent. It has remained below 2 per cent for last 38 days.
So far, 60.92 crore tests have been conducted to detect the presence of the virus in the population.
Meanwhile, in the ongoing nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive, the cumulative coverage crossed 106.31 crores. A total of 1,06,31,24,205 vaccine doses have been administered so far. The vaccination drive in the country commenced on January 16 this year.
As per the ministry, more than 112 crore (1,12,93,57,545) vaccine doses have been provided to States/UTs so far through the Government of India (free of cost channel) and through the direct state procurement category.
“More than 13 crore (13,45,61,536) balance and unutilized COVID Vaccine doses are still available with the States/UTs to be administered,” the ministry said.

Mumbai reports 315 fresh COVID-19 cases in past 24 hours

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Mumbai has reported 315 fresh COVID-19 infections and 429 recoveries in the past 24 hours, said Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar said on Monday.
Addressing a press conference in Mumbai today, Pednekar said, “315 new infections, 429 recoveries were reported in Mumbai in the last 24 hours. The number of active cases in the city is 3,849.” Meanwhile, India has reported 12,514 new COVID-19 cases and 251 deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the Union Health Ministry on Monday.
The country’s active caseload stands at 1,58,817 and a total of 1,06,31,24,205 vaccine doses have been administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive.

Delhi reports 531 new dengue cases in last week, 6 deaths this year

New Delhi [India] : Delhi has reported 531 new dengue cases in the last week, informed South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC).
The civic body further informed that six people have died due to vector-borne disease this year. As per an official statement from SDMC, 1,537 cases have been reported this year.
Meanwhile, amid a rampant surge in cases, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya chaired a review meeting today on the dengue situation across the country.
As per sources, the Union Ministry of Health will constitute an expert team to monitor rising dengue cases in the national capital. They also informed that awareness campaigns will be held in schools and speed testing for the vector-borne disease will also be done in Delhi.
Amid a surge in dengue cases, private hospitals in the national capital are either increasing the number of beds or cancelling the planned surgeries in order to accommodate dengue patients.
With the rising number of dengue cases, breaching the 1,000-mark in recent days, the government and the private hospitals across Delhi have ramped up the beds and other medical facilities. As the COVID-19 cases subsided in Delhi, the rising of cases of Dengue has been a headache for the healthcare workers.
Dengue cases in the national capital have seen an unprecedented spurt with cases crossing a thousand mark in which more than 650 cases are being recorded in the month of October alone.
The vector-borne disease has claimed its first death in the month of September in Delhi where a 35-year-old woman died.
According to a recent civic report from SDMC, 1,006 cases of Dengue have been reported in Delhi while 154 cases of malaria and 73 cases of Chikungunya have been reported in Delhi.

Australia adds Covaxin to list of ‘recognised’ COVID-19 vaccines

Canberra [Australia] : Australian government on Monday gave recognition to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin COVID-19 vaccine for the purpose of establishing a traveller’s vaccination status in the country.
“Today, the Therapeutic Goods Administration determined that Covaxin (manufactured by BharatBiotech) vaccine would be ‘recognised’ for the purpose of establishing a traveller’s vaccination status,” Australia’s High Commissioner to India Barry O’Farrell informed in a tweet. “Importantly, recognition of Covaxin, along with the previously announced recognition of Covishield (manufactured by AstraZeneca India, means many citizens, as well as other countries, will now be considered fully vaccinated on entry to Australia,” the High Commissioner added in the tweet.
COVID-19 vaccines are approved for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) after an assessment and approval process.


“In recent weeks, the TGA has obtained additional information demonstrating these vaccines provide protection and potentially reduce the likelihood that an incoming traveller would transmit COVID-19 infection to others while in Australia or become acutely unwell due to COVID-19,” a statement from Australia’s Department of Health informed.
Recognition of Covaxin, along with the previously announced recognition of Covishield (manufactured by AstraZeneca, India), means many citizens of India, as well as other countries where these vaccines have been widely deployed, will now be considered fully vaccinated on entry to Australia, the statement said.
“This will have significant impacts for the return of international students, and travel of skilled and unskilled workers to Australia,” the statement added.
From 1 November 2021, vaccinated Australians and permanent residents aged 12 and over may depart Australia without the need to seek a travel exemption, the Australian Health Department said.
The UN health body — World Health Organisation — has sought additional clarifications from Bharat Biotech, which manufactures Covaxin and a decision on emergency use authorisation is expected early next month.
WHO giving approval for Emergency Use Authorisation for India’s indigenous COVID-19 vaccine ‘Covaxin’ would facilitate the process of assisting other countries, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Saturday addressing a media briefing on the first day of G20 summit in Rome.

PM to review vaccination

New Delhi [India] : Immediately after returning to India after attending the G20 Summit and COP26, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a review meeting with districts having low COVID-19 vaccination coverage on November 3 at 12 noon via video conferencing.
As per an official statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, the meeting will include districts with less than 50 per cent coverage of the first dose and low coverage of the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
The Prime Minister will interact with District Magistrates of over 40 districts in Jharkhand, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, and other States with districts having low vaccination coverage. Chief Ministers of these States will also be present on the occasion, it added.
Meanwhile, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage exceeded 106.14 crore. A total of 1,06,14,40,335 vaccine doses have been administered to eligible beneficiaries. Of these, 68,04,806 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours.

India administers over 56 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses in last 24 hrs, cumulative coverage exceeds 105.43 cr

New Delhi [India] : With the administration of 56,91,175 COVID-19 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 105.43 crore, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday.
As per provisional reports till 7 am today, 1,05,43,13,977 doses have been administered through 1,05,30,690 sessions. Meanwhile, India logs 14,313 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours and witnessed 13,543 recoveries.
The active caseload of the infection is presently at 1,61,555.
According to the ministry, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.19 per cent.
A total of 11,76,850 COVID-19 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, informed the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) today.
A total number of 60,70,62,619 tests have been conducted so far.

India reports 14,348 COVID-19 new cases in last 24 hours

New Delhi [India] : India reported 14,348 COVID-19 new cases in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family welfare on Friday.
With this India’s active caseload stands at 1,61,334. Active cases account for less than 1 per cent of total cases, currently at 0.47 per cent, the lowest since March 2020. The country also registered 13,198 new recoveries in the last 24 hours, taking the recovery rate to 98.19 per cent.
India has so far conducted over 60.58 crore COVID-19 tests.
Meanwhile, more than 104.82 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far under Nationwide Vaccination Drive

Russia records 39,849 COVID-19 cases in past 24 hours

Moscow [Russia] : Russia registered 39,849 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, down from the record 40,096 the day before, bringing the cumulative total to 8,432,546, the federal response center said on Friday.
“Over the past day, 39,849 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across 85 Russian regions, including 3,442 cases (8.6%) without clinical symptoms,” the center said, adding that the rate of increase fell to 0.47%. Moscow has the highest number of new cases with 7,511 infections, down from 8,440 the day before. The Russian capital is followed by St. Petersburg with 3,452 cases, up from 3,186, and the Moscow region with 2,556 cases, down from 2,639.
The response center reported a new single-day record of 1,163 deaths linked to the coronavirus, up from 1,159 the day before, bringing the country’s death toll to 236,220.
In the same 24 hours, 30,462 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals across the country, up from 29,318 the day before, bringing the total to 7,302,515.

S Korea to launch ‘living with COVID-19’ guideline in November

Seoul [South Korea] : South Korea planned to launch the so-called “living with COVID-19” guideline from next month as the full vaccination rate topped the key precondition of 70 per cent, the health ministry said Friday.
Starting from November 1, the business hour restrictions on all multiuse facilities, including restaurants and cafes, will be lifted except for nightlife entertainment facilities such as nightclubs, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Under the first phase of the three-stage “living with COVID-19” scheme, nightlife facilities will be allowed to operate until midnight.
Currently, restaurants and cafes are allowed to open until 10:00 p.m. local time in the Seoul metropolitan area, while the business hour was limited to midnight in other parts of the country.
Under the new guideline, the maximum number of private gatherings will be raised to 10 people in the metropolitan area regardless of the vaccination from the current eight.
In the non-metropolitan regions, the number will be increased to 12 people from the current 10.
For those who have yet to be fully vaccinated, up to four people will be allowed to gather at restaurants and cafes where people have to take off masks for eating and drinking.
The so-called “vaccine pass” system will be introduced with a grace period to require people to show a vaccination certificate or a negative test result when visiting risky facilities, including nightlife facilities, karaoke, public bathhouse, indoor sports facilities, racecourse, bicycle race track and casino as well as medical institutions.
The eased antivirus measures came as the country’s full vaccination rate surpassed 70 per cent of the population.
In the latest tally, the country reported 2,124 more cases of COVID-19 for the past 24 hours, lifting the total number of infections to 360,536. The daily caseload hovered above 1,000 for 115 days since July 7.
The first phase of the new guideline will be maintained for six weeks. Under the second phase, the operating hour restriction on nightlife entertainment facilities will be lifted.
Under the third phase, the limit on the number of private gatherings will be removed.

Restrictions till Nov 30

New Delhi [India] : Ahead of the festive season, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday extended the COVID-19 restrictions across the country till November 30 to prevent any further spread of the pandemic.
Notably, India recorded its highest COVID-19 recovery rate today since March 2020 at 98.20 per cent, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. According to the ministry, the recovery of 17,095 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally of recovered patients to 3,36,14,434.
With 16,156 new COVID-19 cases reported in the last 24 hours, India’s total active caseload has reached 1,60,989.
Meanwhile, the Centre will soon start a mega COVID-19 vaccination campaign ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ in poor-performing districts aiming to achieve full vaccination by the end of November, said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday

Maharashtra Home Minister tests positive for COVID-19

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], : Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil on Thursday informed that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
“After experiencing mild symptoms I decided to get tested for COVID-19. I have tested positive. My condition is stable and I am following my doctor’s advice. I urge all those who came in contact with me during Nagpur and Amravati tour, and other programs, to get themselves tested,” Patil said in a tweet. Meanwhile, India reported 16,156 new COVID-19 cases and 733 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday. The active caseload of the infection in the country stands at 1,60,98.

India : 16,156 new COVID-19 cases, 733 deaths

New Delhi [India] : India reported 16,156 new COVID-19 cases and 733 deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday.
The country also reported 17,095 recoveries in the last 24 hours, taking the recovery rate at 98.20 per cent, which is the highest since March 2020. The country’s active caseload stands at 1,60,989, which is the lowest in 243 days.
The active cases account for less than 1 per cent of the total cases, currently at 0.47 per cent, which is the lowest since March 2020.
At 1.19 per cent, the weekly positivity rate is less than 2 per cent for the last 34 days. The daily positivity rate stands at 1.25 per cent, which is less than 2 per cent for the last 24 days.
The total number of samples tested for COVID-19 till October 27 is 60,44,98,405 including 12,90,900 samples tested on Wednesday, as per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Meanwhile, 104.04 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive.

K’taka’s guidelines for int’l travel

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Karnataka government has issued a new set of guidelines for international passengers arriving in the state.

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] : According to the notification issued on October 25, passengers coming from countries including the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand and Zimbabwe would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing. As per the new guidelines, all passengers planning to travel to Karnataka have to submit a self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal before the scheduled travel.
“They are also supposed to upload a negative RT-PCR COVID test report on the portal, conducted within 72 hours prior to the journey. Each passenger should also submit a declaration with respect to the authenticity of the test report. Finally, they should provide an undertaking at the portal or to the Ministry of Civil Aviation through the concerned airlines before their travel that they would abide by the decision of the appropriate government to undergo home-quarantine/self-health monitoring,” said the notification.
The state government asked the concerned airlines/agencies to provide a list of do’s and don’ts, along with tickets to the travellers and instructed them to allow boarding by only those passengers who have filled in the Self Declaration Form on the Air Suvidha portal, and uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report
It further instructs airport authorities to advise passengers to download Arogya Setu on their phones.
“If any passenger reports symptoms of COVID-19 during flight, he/she shall be isolated as per protocol,” added the circular.
Asking the airlines staff to follow all COVID-19 related guidelines, the government said that in case of any symptomatic person during the screening, the airport authorities should isolate that person and take it to the medical facility as per protocol. “His/her contacts should also be identified as per protocol,” added the circular.
As per the guidelines, if a fully vaccinated person is travelling from a country that along with India accepts WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines, they shall be allowed to leave the airport and undergo self-monitoring for two weeks.
In case of partial or no vaccination, they will have to submit a negative RT-PCR report, undergo a compulsory home quarantine for a week and a retest on the eighth day. If negative, they are advised to self-monitor further for seven days.
“Travellers under home quarantine or self-health monitoring, if develop signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-I9 or test positive for COVID-19 on re-testing, they will immediately self-isolate and report to the in the nearest health facility or call National helpline number (1075)/ State Helpline Number,” added the circular.
International travellers via seaports/land ports will also have to follow the same protocols, except no online registration is available and a self-declaration form must be given to concerned sea ports/land ports authorities of the Government of India.

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.

US financing body, Biological E finalise agreement to expand COVID manufacturing capabilities in India

In a move towards fulfilling the commitment set by the “Quad” leaders, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation and Biological E. Limited unveiled the expansion of Biological E.’s vaccine manufacturing facility in Hyderabad on Monday.

Hyderabd (Telangana) [India] : According to a press release by the US Mission India, the facility finalised a U.S. government financing arrangement formalizing USD 50 million to expand the company’s capacity to produce COVID-19 vaccines. This is being done to bolster near-term COVID-19 response efforts. It will also benefit long-term global health in India and throughout the Indo-Pacific region, said to the press release.
Chief Operating Officer, DFC, David Marchick said, “DFC’s partnership with Biological E will support capacity for production of more than one billion vaccine doses by the end of 2022 for India and for developing countries around the world.”
The managing director of Biological E. Limited, Mahima Datla expressed her pleasure for the financial support from the US government which was announced at the Quad Summit in March 2021.
“This investment will not only help us augment our capacity to produce more COVID-19 vaccines, but also help the global community that has been relentlessly fighting against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Datla said.
The release further said that DFC’s investment in Biological E. Limited is part of the agency’s Global Health and Prosperity Initiative, which is focused on supporting the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthening health resilience in developing countries.

India reports 14,306 new COVID-19 cases with Kerala contributing 8,538 fresh infections

New Delhi [India] : India reported 14,306 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday.
Out of 14,306 new cases and 443 deaths in the country, Kerala reported 8,538 new cases and 71 deaths, yesterday. The active caseload remained below the 2 lakh mark at 1,67,695 which is the lowest in 239 days. Active cases presently constitute 0.49 per cent of the country’s total positive cases, which is the lowest since March 2020.
The recovery of 18,762 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally of recovered patients to 3,35,67,367.
Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.18 per cent and it is currently at its highest peak since March 2020.
With 443 new fatalities, the cumulative death toll mounted to 4,54,712 in the country.
The weekly positivity rate is at 1.24 per cent and it remained below 2 per cent for the last 31 days now.
At 1.43 per cent, the daily positivity rate has remained below 2 per cent for the last 21 days and below 3 per cent for 56 consecutive days now.
The testing capacity across the country continues to expand. The last 24 hours saw a total of 9,98,397 COVID-19 tests being conducted. India has so far conducted 60,07,69,717 cumulative tests.
Meanwhile, with the administration of 12,30,720 COVID-19 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has gone up to 1,02,27,12,895 as per provisional reports till 7 am today.

Singapore to allow travelers from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka

Singapore on Saturday eased travel restrictions caused due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resumed entry of travellers from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to visit the nation.

Singapore : “We had previously announced that all travellers with a 14-day travel history to Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore. We have reviewed the COVID-19 situation in these countries, and all travellers with a 14-day travel history to Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka prior to departure to Singapore will be allowed to enter and transit through Singapore from 26 October 2021, 23:59 hours,” said the Ministry of Health (MOH) advisory. These travellers will be subject to Category IV border measures. All travellers from Category II non-Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL)), III and IV countries will no longer need to undergo an on-arrival Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, and will only undergo an end of Stay-Home Notice (SHN) exit PCR test, read the MOH statement.
Meanwhile, all travellers from Category III countries/regions will serve their 10-day SHN at their declared place of residence/accommodation regardless of the travellers’ and their household members’ vaccination status and travel history.
By default, they will not be allocated accommodation in any dedicated SHN facilities. Returning residents should ensure that alternative accommodation is secured prior to their return if their homes are unsuitable for their SHN. Travellers from Category IV countries/regions will still be required to serve their 10-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities, read the statement.
Along with it, the MOH also allowed necessary workers and students to enter Singapore’s borders in a safe and calibrated manner from 1 November 2021, on the condition that they are fully vaccinated before arrival.
As part of this move, Singapore will facilitate the entry of more domestic workers, to meet the urgent domestic and caregiving needs of local households, while regulating the numbers carefully as the global situation evolves.

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.

Russia confirms new single-day record of 37,141 COVID-19 cases: Response Center

Moscow [Russia] : Russia registered a new single-day record of 37,141 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, up from the previous record of 36,339 cases confirmed the day before, bringing the cumulative total to 8,168,305, the federal response center said on Friday.
“Over the past day, 37,141 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across 85 Russian regions, including 3,397 cases (9.1 per cent) without clinical symptoms,” the center said, adding that the rate of increase grew to 0.46 per cent. Moscow has the highest number of new cases with 8,166 infections, up from 7,897 the day before. The Russian capital is followed by St Petersburg with 3,233 cases, down from 3,280, and the Moscow region with 2,428 cases, up from 2,318.
The response center reported a new record of 1,064 deaths linked to the coronavirus, up from 1,036 the day before, bringing the country’s death toll to 228,453.
In the same 24 hours, 25,453 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals across the country, down from 25,895 the day before, bringing the total to 7,117,060.

Cinema halls, theatres to reopen

Maharashtra government on Friday reopened cinema halls, theatres and auditoriums with 50 per cent seating capacity as COVID-19 cases are going down in the state.

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : Addressing a press conference, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said that if the situation is in control after Diwali then the seating capacity will be increased. “We have re-opened theatres with 50 per cent capacity from today. The theatre owners are demanding to reopen with 100 per cent seating capacity but we have told them to wait till Diwali. After Diwali if the situation is under control, then we will increase the capacity,” said Pawar.
Earlier on Monday, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had said that amusement parks, auditoriums and theatres would be reopened from October 22.
In a tweet, the chief minister said, “Restrictions are being gradually eased as the number of COVID cases is on the decline. Amusement parks, auditoriums, and theatres will be opened from October 22nd. Guidelines for extending the hours of restaurants and shops across the state will be out soon.”
The Chief Minister also said that the guidelines for extending the hours of restaurants and shops across the state will be released soon.
Cinema halls and theatres, shut since March 2020, were reopened in November last year. However, they closed again in April 2021 after the second coronavirus wave hit Maharashtra.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, there are 27,899 active COVID-19 cases in the state.

‘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.

Agra Fort lit up in tricolour to mark 100 cr vaccination

Agra (Uttar Pradesh) [India] : Agra Fort in Uttar Pradesh was lit up in the Tricolour on Thursday, on the occasion of the completion of the 100 crores COVID-19 vaccination mark by India.
Under the Archaeological Survey of India’s initiative, 100 monuments across India were being illuminated in colours of the National flag following the feat. The illumination is taking place as a mark of respect and gratitude to corona warriors -vaccinators, sanitation staff, paramedical, auxiliary workers, police personnel who have contributed relentlessly in the fight against the covid pandemic.
The 100 monuments being lit up in tri-colour include UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb and Qutab Minar in Delhi, Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh, Konark Temple in Odisha, Mamallapuram Rath temples in Tamil Nadu, St Francis of Assisi Church in Goa, Khajuraho, the forts of Chittor and Kumbhalgarh in Rajasthan, the excavated ruins of the ancient Nalanda University in Bihar and Dholavira (recently accorded world heritage status) in Gujarat.

UK records more than 50,000 new coronavirus cases

Another 52,009 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first time that figure has been above 50,000 since July 17, according to official figures released Thursday.

London [UK] : The latest figure came after more than 40,000 daily cases of COVID-19 were reported for eight consecutive days, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 8,641,221. The country also reported a further 115 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 139,146. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.
There are currently 8,142 patients in hospital with COVID-19.
Meanwhile, separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics showed there have now been 162,620 deaths registered in Britain where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted that the level of COVID cases is “high” and he is “watching the numbers very carefully every day”.
However, he has insisted he is “sticking with our plan”. The British government has so far resisted calls to move to Plan B of its autumn and winter COVID response for easing pressures on the National Health Service (NHS).
Speaking at a Downing Street news conference on Wednesday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid cautioned that the coronavirus pandemic “is not over”. Javid has even predicted there could be as many as 100,000 COVID cases a day heading into winter.
Britain has lifted most COVID restrictions thanks to the progress of its vaccine rollout.
More than 86 percent of people aged 12 and over in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and around 79 percent have received both doses, the latest figures showed.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.

Iran reports 11,788 new COVID-19 cases, 5,833,525 in total

Tehran [Iran]: The Iranian health ministry reported on Thursday 11,788 new COVID-19 cases, taking the country’s total infections to 5,833,525.
According to an official briefing published on the ministry’s official website, the pandemic has claimed 124,763 lives in the country so far, after 178 new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours. A total of 5,375,475 people have recovered from the disease or been discharged from hospitals across the country, while 4,486 remain in intensive care units, the ministry said on its official website.
By Thursday, 50,036,416 Iranians have received their first doses of COVID-19 vaccines, while 27,604,934 have taken two.
A total of 34,443,370 tests have so far been carried out across the country.

Let’s give govt credit : Shashi Tharoor

The CoWin portal on Thursday mentioned that a total of 100 crore vaccine doses has been administered so far to the eligible population under the vaccination drive in India.

News delhi( India ) : After India on Thursday achieved a major milestone of 100 crore vaccination, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said that the credit should be given to the government and this is a matter of pride for the entire country.

“This is a matter of pride for all Indians. Let’s give the Government credit. After severe mismanagement of the second #Covid wave & botching the vaccination orders that might have prevented it, Govt has now partly redeemed itself. It remains accountable for its earlier failures,” Tharoor said in a tweet.

The CoWin portal on Thursday mentioned that a total of 100 crore vaccine doses has been administered so far to the eligible population under the vaccination drive in India.

India’s vaccination drive against the Covid pandemic was launched on January 16, 2021. The healthcare workers were the first ones to get doses. Later, the frontline workers were also included in the drive from February 2. The state and central police personnel, Armed Forces, Home Guards, Civil Defence and others were included in the vaccination drive.

The vaccination drive was expanded from March 1 to include people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with associated specified comorbidities. From May 1, the vaccination drive was thrown open to all above 18 years of age.

Prime Minister Modi said in a tweet, “India scripts history. We are witnessing the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore Indians. Congrats India on crossing 100 crore vaccinations. Gratitude to our doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat.

100 cr vaccination mark : WHO chief congratulates PM Modi, scientists, health workers for efforts

Geneva [Switzerland] : As India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive achieved another milestone with a cumulative administration of over 100 crore vaccine doses on Thursday, World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with scientists, health workers and people of India for efforts to protect people from coronavirus.
“Congratulations, Prime Minister @narendramodi, the scientists, #healthworkers and people of #India, on your efforts to protect the vulnerable populations from #COVID19 and achieve #VaccinEquity targets,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a tweet. In a landmark achievement, India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed 100 crore doses on Thursday.
A total of 100 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far to eligible beneficiaries, as per the CoWIN portal at 9:47 am today.
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 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

Bhutan PM congratulates India for crossing 1 billion COVID vaccine doses

Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering congratulated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for achieving one billion COVID-19 vaccination doses on Thursday morning.

Thimphu [Bhutan] : “I would like to congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this achievement. My appreciation also goes to all the healthcare providers and people involved in making this possible, more specifically the 1,000 million people who came forward to take the jab. It reflects the trust people have in the system. I always believe that the collective, unconditional faith in leadership and the system is key to any nation’s success,” Prime Minister Office said in a Facebook post. He also stated that Bhutan being a close neighbour to India, feel more secure.
“I have been closely following the spiralling numbers and this morning, in what is a huge accomplishment not just for your country but the world, India hits the one billion mark of COVID-19 vaccination doses this morning. On behalf of the people of Bhutan, I congratulate India! Narendra Modi PMO India.
“Being able to administer the shots in one billion arms, despite all the challenges, is a feat not many can easily achieve. At this time of the pandemic, any individual getting vaccinated is a progression that contributes to global herd immunity. This will be significant for all of us in emerging from the pandemic sooner. And on a practical note, being a close neighbour, we feel more secure,” Prime Minister Tshering said in the post.
The Prime Minister further expressed his appreciation to PM Modi for contributing to global welfare through sharing of vaccines, medical supplies and other supports. “Bhutan has benefitted a lot and remains grateful,” he added.
In a landmark achievement, India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed 100 crore doses on Thursday.
A total of 100 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far to eligible beneficiaries, as per the CoWIN portal at 9:47 am today.
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 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.

India thanks Bhutan PM for wishing on country’s achievement of reaching 1 billion vaccination doses

Indian embassy in Bhutan on Thursday thanked Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering for his wishes on India’s achievement of reaching the milestone of one billion vaccination doses.
“Thank you Dr Lotay Tshering @PMBhutan for your best wishes on India’s achievement reaching the milestone of 1 Billion Vaccination Doses as well as your appreciation for the #VaccineMaitri initiative launched by PM @narendramodi,” the embassy tweeted. In a landmark achievement, India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed 100 crore doses on Thursday. A total of 100 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far to eligible beneficiaries, as per the CoWIN portal at 9:47 am today.
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 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.

Decades worth of experience of Universal Immunisation Programme helped Health Ministry proceed with COVID-19 vaccination rapidly: ICMR DG

As India achieved the landmark of inoculating 100 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses on Thursday, the Director-General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Dr Balram Bhargava said that the decades worth of experience gained through the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) helped the Union Health Ministry go forward with the vaccination drive rapidly. “Years of experience that the Health Ministry gained via the Universal Vaccination Programme helped them proceed with the COVID-19 vaccination drive at such a rapid pace. The prioritisation and nimbleness displayed by the ministry during this entire drive are commendable,” stated Dr Bhargava.

New Delhi [India] : Congratulating the countrymen and every stakeholder involved in the vaccination programme, Dr Bhargava said, “Since India has over one-billion people, we have contributed to protecting one-seventh of the global population. The entire world should gain protection against COVID. No one is truly protected until everyone is protected and we have to take care of this,” he added.
The ICMR DG further noted that even though the accomplishment of administering 100 crore vaccine doses is commendable and worth celebrating, there should be no space for complacency until the entire adult population is vaccinated.
On Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin awaiting the World Health Organisation’s approval, he said, “WHO is following all scientific processes. All the data was submitted to them. We have more than 15 publications on Covaxin variants. I am optimistic that approval will be given after following all the processes.”
World Health Organisation (WHO), which is reviewing the data provided by Bharat Biotech for Emergency Use Listing of COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, said on Monday that it is “expecting one additional piece of information from the company today”.
WHO chief scientist on Sunday informed that the organisation’s technical advisory group will meet on October 26 to consider emergency use listing (EUL) for Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin.
After the evaluation of data, Covaxin is yet to get approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for the vaccination of children between 2-18 years old. Speaking on the issue, Dr Bhargava said that the work is ongoing on the matter.
“During the fourth serosurvey, not only did we find out that 67 per cent of adults have antibodies to fight COVID-19, but children also have 50-55 per cent antibodies to fight COVID-19. So they are also well-protected,” he added.
The fourth edition of the national serosurvey was conducted in 70 districts in June-July and included children of 6-17 years of age and the survey found the overall seroprevalence of India to be 67.6 per cent.

India logs 18,454 fresh COVID-19 cases, recovery rate highest since March 2020

A total of 18,454 new COVID-19 cases and 160 deaths were reported in the country in the last 24 hours, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Thursday.

New Delhi [India] : The active caseload remained below the two lakh mark with 1,78,831 active cases which account for less than one per cent of the total cases. Currently, the active cases account for 0.52 per cent of the total 3,41,27,450 COVID-19 cases reported in the country so far. With 17,561 recoveries reported in the last 24 hours, the cumulative recoveries in the country climbed to 3,34,95,808 while the recovery rate, which was recorded 98.15 per cent, is the highest since March last year.
A total of 160 deaths were registered in the last 24 hours. With this, the death toll in the country reached 4,52,811.
The weekly positivity rate is at 1.34 per cent, which is less than three per cent for the last 118 days. The daily positivity rate, which is 1.48 per cent, also remained below three per cent since the last 52 days.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a total of 12,47,506 samples were tested for the presence of the virus on October 20, while the total tests conducted so far reached 59,57,42,218.
Meanwhile, in the ongoing nationwide COVID vaccination drive, India exceeded 100 crore mark today at 9.47 am.
Also, the health ministry in an official statement informed that over 103 crore vaccine doses have been provided to state and union territories so far, while more than 10.85 crore balance and unutilised COVID vaccine doses are still available with the states and union territories to be administered.

Over 103 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses provided to States, UTs: Centre

New Delhi [India],3): The government has provided more than 103.5 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses to States and union territories (UTs), said the Union Health Ministry on Thursday.
A total of 1,03,53,51,045 vaccine doses have been provided to States and UTs so far through the Government of India (free of cost channel) and through the direct state procurement category, said the ministry in an official statement. It further stated that more than 10.85 crore (10,85,69,250) balance and unutilized COVID vaccine doses are still available with the States and UTs to be administered.
Meanwhile, India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed 100 crore on Thursday at 9.47 am.
India started its COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16 this year.
“As part of the nationwide vaccination drive, Government of India has been supporting the States and UTs by providing them COVID Vaccines free of cost. In the new phase of the universalization of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, the Union 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,” said the ministry.

India’s vaccination drive set new record : Gadkari

As the country crossed the milestone of 100 crore COVID-19 inoculations, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said the vaccination drive in India has set a new record in the history of the world.

New Delhi [India] : “The world’s largest vaccination campaign under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a new record in the history of the world by completing 100 crore vaccinations today,” said Gadkari in a tweet (roughly translated from Hindi). “This achievement shows the commitment of our government in the war against the COVID pandemic. Giving unprecedented momentum to this vaccination campaign, which started on 16 January 2021, this splendid achievement has been achieved today,” added Gadkari.
“This has been possible because of the selfless service and dedication of our healthcare workers. For this achievement, I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and former Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. I congratulate and thank them,” tweeted Gadkari.
As the country achieved the milestone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “India scripted history” and expressed his gratitude to doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat.
“India scripts history. We are witnessing the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore Indians. Congrats India on crossing 100 crore vaccinations. Gratitude to our doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat. #VaccineCentury,” PM Modi tweeted.
Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya congratulated the citizens of India on crossing 100 crore COVID-19 vaccination coverage and attributed the achievement to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive was launched on January 16.

India now has strong armour of 100 cr COVID vaccine to combat biggest pandemic in 100 yrs: PM Modi

As India achieved the milestone of 100 crore vaccination coverage, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it was a historic day for the country and said that the nation now has strong armour of 100 crore COVID vaccine doses to combat the biggest pandemic in 100 years.

New Delhi [India] : Addressing the launch event of the Infosys Foundation made 806-bedded Vishram Sadan, PM Modi said, “Today, this day of October 21, 2021, has been recorded in history. The nation now has strong armour of 100 crore Covid vaccine doses to combat this biggest pandemic in 100 years. India has crossed the 100 crore vaccine dose mark sometime back.” The Prime Minister further said that this achievement belongs to every citizen of India.
“I express my gratitude to all the vaccine manufacturing companies of the country, workers engaged in vaccine transportation, health sector professionals engaged in vaccine development,” the prime minister said.


In a landmark achievement, India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed 100 crore doses on Thursday. A total of 100 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far to eligible beneficiaries, as per the CoWIN portal at 9:47 am today.
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.

Corporate, private sectors have continuously contributed to strengthening health services: PM Modi

New Delhi [India] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that India’s corporate sector, private sector and social organizations have continuously contributed to strengthening the healthcare services of the country.
“India’s corporate sector, private sector and social organizations have continuously contributed to strengthening the health services of the country. Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana is also a great example of this,” said PM Modi, while addressing at the launch event of Infosys Foundation Vishram Sadan. He said, “When the patient gets free treatment under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, then an act of service is accomplished. It is this service motive that has made the government take steps to reduce the prices of about 400 cancer medicines.”
The Prime Minister further praised the Infosys Foundation for constructing the building of Vishram Sadan and AIIMS Jhajjar for providing the land, electricity and water.
He expressed his gratitude to the AIIMS management and Sudha Murthy’s team for this service.
“Today in AIIMS Jhajjar, patients coming for cancer treatment has got a great convenience. This Vishram Sadan, built in the National Cancer Institute, will reduce the worries of patients and their relatives,” he said.
The Prime Minister also expressed his gratitude to all the vaccine manufacturing companies of the country, workers engaged in vaccine transportation, health sector professionals engaged in vaccine development.
“Today is a historic day as India has crossed the 100 crore vaccine dose mark. To counter the largest pandemic in 100 years, the country now has a strong protective shield of 100 crore vaccine doses. This achievement belongs to India and its citizens,” he added.
Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Chairperson of Infosys Foundation, Sudha Murthy, were also present on the occasion.
The 806 bedded Vishram Sadan, is a part of Infosys’ Corporate Social Responsibility, to provide air-conditioned accommodation facilities to the accompanying attendants of the Cancer Patients, who often have to stay in hospitals for a longer duration, as per the press note released by the Prime Minister’s Office.
“It has been constructed by the Foundation at a cost of about Rs 93 crore. It is located in close proximity to the hospital & OPD Blocks of NCI,” the release added.

India inoculates over 100 cr COVID-19 vaccine doses

As the country achieved the milestone of vaccinating over 100 crore Indians against COVID-19 on Thursday India’s role as the pharmacy of the world became more entrenched with the nation manufacturing COVID vaccines and many drugs used in the treatment against the virus.

New Delhi [India] : Even after witnessing the havoc created by the two waves of the pandemic, India emerged out of its effects by ramping up the pharma manufacturing sector and maintaining a resilient supply chain of essential drugs. The Centre in an official statement has stated that vaccination drive has been ramped up through the availability of more vaccines, advanced visibility of vaccine availability to states and union territories for enabling better planning by them and streamlining the vaccine supply chain.
During the second wave in the pandemic that hit the country around April this year, the Department of Pharmaceuticals undertook the task of making the essential COVID-related drugs available across the country in active partnership with the manufacturers of these drugs.
According to official information, the monitoring of production and availability of drugs has been carried out as a joint exercise by the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) under the Department of Pharmaceuticals and the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW).
A COVID Drugs Management Cell (CDMC) was formally set up on April 26 this year in the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) to oversee the management of smooth supply of drugs used in COVID-19 management during the pandemic.
Amid the pandemic, production of essential drugs like Remdesivir, Liposomal Amphotericin-B and notably the COVID-19 vaccines were increased.
License to manufacture Remdesivir was granted to seven Indian pharmaceutical companies. The domestic production capacity of all the seven licensed manufacturers was augmented from 38 lakh vials per month in April 2021 to nearly 122 lakh vials per month in June 2021.
For, Liposomal Amphotericin B, a drug used in the treatment of Mucormycosis also known as black fungus, new licenses were granted by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) in favour of 11 new manufacturers during the months of May-June 2021 in addition to the existing five manufacturers of this drug. The domestic production was also increased from 62,000 vials in April 2021 to 3.45 lakh vials in July 2021. Similarly, quantities of imports have substantially increased from 26,165 in April 2021 to 5.09 lakh in July 2021.
It is interesting to look at the nation’s vaccination journey. India commenced its nationwide COVID vaccination drive on January 16, 2021. Starting initially by inoculating vaccines to healthcare workers, it was then expanded to frontline workers, followed by people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with comorbidities. Later it was also expanded to all above 45 years of age and then those above 18 years of age.
To fortify the vaccination drive, pharmaceutical companies like Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute of India, Zydus Cadila, Biological E, among others were roped in to manufacture a sufficient number of vaccine doses.
When the world was gripped by the clutches of the pandemic, the country looked at setting up manufacturing units of COVID-19 vaccines and expediting the global vaccine delivery. With the establishment of vaccine manufacturing units, countries across the world looked at India for its supply.
Ahead of the sixth edition of the annual program on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Device sector – India Pharma & India Medical Device 2021– held in February this year, former Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers D V Sadananda Gowda had said, “India is a leading exporter of affordable generics and a major hub for medical devices and diagnostics. India has been serving more than 200+ countries and territories with its Pharma products and will continue to discharge its responsibilities.”
He said, “The total market size of the Indian pharma industry is expected to reach USD 130 billion by 2030. The medical devices industry in India has the potential to reach USD 50 bn by 2025.”
Meanwhile, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya had said, “During the pandemic, Indian pharma industries supplied the necessary medicines to over 120 countries while fulfilling the country’s own needs. He said that India has launched the world’s largest Covid-19 vaccination program and is at the centre of the global effort to provide vaccines to other countries.”
India, having low-cost manpower, pushed its pharmaceutical sector to provide a sufficient supply of vaccines to other countries but at the same time ensured that its own population gets vaccinated.
Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, India’s standing as ‘the pharmacy of the world’ remained intact.
‘Vaccine Maitri’, an initiative that was started by the Central government to provide COVID-19 vaccines to countries around the world, reinforced India’s credentials as a trusted, reliable manufacturer and supplier of quality vaccines.
The government on October 7 permitted the Serum Institute of India (SII) to export 10 lakh Covishield doses each to Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh. It allowed Bharat Biotech to provide 10 lakh doses to Iran.
By exporting vaccines, India remained a critical node in the global health supply chain and established itself as a selfless contributor to global health security.
The country emerged as a net provider of health security and successfully shouldered its responsibility as the pharmacy of the world. Even amidst the pandemic, India continued to export critical life-saving medicines to the countries.
In the recent past, the country’s efforts have been noted by leaders abroad. Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in March had appreciated India’s role as the pharmacy of the world.
Earlier, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had said that the capacity to produce vaccines of India is one of the “best assets that the world has today”.
Terming India as ‘pharmacy of the world’, the UK in January had lauded the efforts regarding the production of coronavirus vaccine and said, “India already supplies more than 50 per cent of the world’s vaccines, and the UK and India have worked closely together throughout the pandemic.”
In line with its Neighbourhood First policy, India has rolled out Indian-made Covishield vaccines to several countries including Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal to aid the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten lakh doses of Covaxin have been exported to Iran under Vaccine Maitri. 

UK Health Minister warns COVID-19 cases could rise to 1,00,000 a Day

London [UK] : UK Health Minister, Sajid Javid, warned on Wednesday that COVID-19 cases could rise to 100,000 a day in the United Kingdom, but stressed that the government will not reintroduce any coronavirus restriction for now.
“Cases are rising. They could go yet as high as 1,00,000 a day. This pandemic is not over,” Javid said during a televised press briefing from 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British Prime Minister. The health secretary said, however, that despite the current rise in positive cases, COVID-19-related deaths, and the increasing pressure on the National Health Service (NHS), no contingency measure will be enacted at this moment.
“We are looking closely at the data, we are not implementing Plan B at this point,” he said.
Earlier, the head of the NHS Confederation, Matthew Taylor, urged the government to reintroduce some anti-COVID-19 measures, such as mandatory mask-wearing in crowded places, working from home, and a ban on unnecessary indoor gatherings, as hospitals are on the verge of being overwhelmed ahead of winter.
Javid put emphasis, instead, on the successful rollout of the vaccination campaign that has seen over 45 million people fully vaccinated since December 2020.
He also announced that the government has secured deals with pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Merck for two antiviral drugs, to provide treatment for COVID-19 and tackle the surge over winter.

Pakistan records 554 new COVID-19 cases, 12 deaths

Pakistan added 554 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) said on Wednesday.

Islamabad [Pakistan] : The overall tally of the infected people climbed to 1,266,204 across the country, said the NCOC, the department leading Pakistan’s campaign against the pandemic. A total of 28,312 people died of COVID-19 in Pakistan, including 12 patients who lost their lives to the pandemic over the last 24 hours, the NCOC said.
Pakistan’s southern Sindh province has been the worst hit with a total of 466,432 cases, followed by eastern Punjab province where the virus was detected in 438,271 people.
Over the last 24 hours, 977 patients have recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 1,212,687, said the NCOC.

India reports 14,623 new COVID-19 cases, active cases lowest since March 2020

India reported 14,623 new COVID1-9 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative count of infections to 3,41,08,996, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday.

New Delhi [India]: Of the 14,623 new infections reported in India in the last 24 hours, Kerala reported 7,643 new cases and 77 deaths. With this, the active caseload has fallen below the 2-lakh mark and is currently at 178,098, which is now the lowest in 229 days.
The country’s active cases presently constitute 0.52 per cent of the total positive cases, which is the lowest since March 2020.
The recovery of 19,446 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally of recovered patients to 3,34,78,247.
Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.15 per cent and it is currently at its highest peak since the beginning of the pandemic.
With 197 deaths, the cumulative death toll has mounted to 4,52,651.
The weekly positivity rate is at 1.34 per cent and it remained below 3 per cent for the last 117 days now while the daily positivity rate is reported to be at 1.10 per cent. The daily positivity rate has remained below 3 per cent for the last 51 days and below 5 per cent for 134 consecutive days now.
The testing capacity across the country has been enhanced. With a total of 13,23,702 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, India has so far tested 59,44,29,890 samples.
Also, 41,36,142 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours. India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 99,12,82,283 as per provisional reports till 7 am today.

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.

India and Israel agree on mutual recognition of COVID vaccination certificates

External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar and Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Monday agreed on mutual recognition of the COVID-19 vaccination certificates.

Tel Aviv [Israel] : This development was announced during Jaishankar’s three-day visit to Israel. The minister also thanked Israel for joining the International Solar Alliance. The Foreign Ministers decided at a meeting to resume negotiations on FTA (Free Trade Agreements) between the two countries as early as November, with the hope that the agreement will be ready for signature by mid-2022.
This comes a day after EAM Jaishankar on Sunday held a productive meeting with members of Israeli chambers of commerce and said that there are several priority areas for collaboration, including the health sector, agriculture and green growth.
“A productive meeting with Israeli chambers of commerce and the innovation ecosystem. Appreciate their visible enthusiasm for doing more partnerships with India. Many post-Covid priorities including digital, health, agriculture and green growth are natural areas for our collaboration,” EAM Jaishankar tweeted.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had informed that Hungary and Serbia agreed for mutual recognition of India’s COVID-19 vaccination certificate.
India and Israel elevated bilateral relations to a Strategic Partnership during the historic visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel in July.

98 crore Covid-19 vaccine jabs given : Health Minister

New Delhi [India] : Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya confirmed that India has administered 98 crore Covid-19 vaccine jabs to the people till Monday afternoon.
In a tweet about the number of COVID vaccinations, Mandaviya said, “98 crores done. India is quickly making its way to the COVID-19 vaccine century! Just two more steps to go.” He also posted a picture along with the tweet of the Union health ministry. In the photo, it is written, “India marches ahead with another achievement in its fight against COVID-19. 98 crore COVID Vaccine Doses Administered.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today congratulated the people of Uttarakhand after the State administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to its entire eligible population

Russia sees new record of 34,325 daily COVID-19 cases

Moscow [Russia] : Russia confirmed a new record high of 34,325 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, up from 34,303 the day before, bringing the cumulative total to 8,027,012, the federal response center said on Monday.
“Over the past day, 34,325 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across 85 Russian regions, including 2,821 cases (8.2%) without clinical symptoms,” the center said, adding that the rate of increase exceeds 0.43%. Moscow has the highest number of new cases with 6,823 infections, up from 6,740 the day before. The Russian capital is followed by St. Petersburg with 3,097 cases, down from 3,323, and the Moscow region with 2,768 cases, up from 2,759.
The response center reported 998 deaths linked to the coronavirus, up from 997 the day before, bringing the country’s death toll to 224,310.
In the same 24 hours, 16,431 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals across the country, down from 18,717 the day before, bringing the total to 7,017,055.

PM lauds Uttarakhand for Vvaccination

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday congratulated the people of Uttarakhand after the State administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to its entire eligible population.

New Delhi [India] : “Many congratulations to the people of Devbhoomi. This achievement of Uttarakhand is very important in the country’s fight against Covid. I am confident that our vaccination campaign is going to be the most effective in fighting the global pandemic and people’s participation is crucial in this,” PM Modi tweeted. Taking to Twitter after Uttarakhand achieved the historic feat, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami wrote, “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttarakhand has become the state to administer first dose of Covid vaccine to all eligible beneficiaries in the state. Congratulations to all the people of the state. #SabkoVaccineMuftVaccine.”
As per the CoWIN dashboard till 2:36 pm on Monday, Uttarakhand had vaccinated 74,34,732 beneficiaries with the first dose while 34,83,685 are fully vaccinated.

Nadda asks BJP leaders to publicise 100 cr Covid vaccination achievement

Bharatiya Janata Party national President JP Nadda on Monday chaired a meeting of the party’s national office bearers to chart the organisation’s course of action for the upcoming crucial Assembly polls in five states.
According to sources, BJP office bearers were asked to take achievement of the country globally when the country completes the administration of 100 crores Covid vaccine doses. The BJP chief also slammed the opposition for misleading the nation on issues that were in the interest of the nation, sources stated.
The leadership also thanked the Prime Minister for making possible the task of 100 crore Covid vaccinations. The BJP chief has asked party members to take this historical achievement to the world.
As per the CoWin portal till 1:45 pm today, 97.9 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far in the country.
The BJP chief discussed the future course of action, especially in poll-bound states in the meeting held at party headquarters here. This is Nadda’s first meeting post-Covid lockdown and after assuming the top post in the organisation.
The party leadership thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for extending the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana benefit to the poor for a second year.
Approximately 80 crore people were provided with food grains and rations during the Covid pandemic.
Dr Raman Singh, national vice president, BJP said that the meeting is to delineate the course of organisation in the coming three months. “Nadda ji said that our plans should be of a nature where the relevance of party workers can be re-emphasised. The role of Opposition was to create an atmosphere of fear within people,” said Singh.
Singh also said that Congress is at its all-time low. They have lost their relevance, he added.
BJP’s national executive council meeting is also scheduled for November 7.
Assembly elections are scheduled in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur, and Punjab in early 2022.

More than 101.7 cr vaccine doses provided to states, UTs so far: Centre

New Delhi [India] : More than 101.7 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been provided to states and union territories, out of which, over 10.42 crore balance and unutilised doses are still available with them, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday.
According to the ministry, the Centre has provided 1,01,78,96,755 vaccine doses to all the states and union territories so far (free of cost channel) through the direct state procurement category. It further stated that more than10.42 crore (10,42,45,455) balance and unutilised COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the States, UTs to be administered.
Meanwhile, India reported 14,146 fresh COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours.
The daily infection count is lowest in 229 days marking the daily positivity rate at 1.29 per cent. The new cases pushed the cumulative number of COVID cases in the country to 3,40,67,719.
As many as 19,788 patients have been recovered in the last 24 hours taking the total number of recoveries to 3,34,19,749. The current recovery rate is 98.10 per cent, the highest since March 2020Meanwhile, the country’s active caseload stands at 1,95,846 which is said to be the lowest in 220 days.

Russia sees new high of 34,303 daily COVID-19 cases

Moscow [Russia], October 17 : Russia’s coronavirus response center recorded a record 34,303 COVID-19 cases in the past day, with a further 997 patients dying from the disease.
The country is only 7,313 cases away from hitting the eight million milestones. The total death toll stands at 223,312. Another 18,717 patients were discharged from clinics, taking the recovery count past 7 million. Moscow continues to lead the national tally, with 6,740 new daily cases and 70 deaths, followed by St Petersburg with 3,323 new cases and the Moscow region with 2,759 new cases.

Philippines logs 6,913 new COVID-19 cases, total rises to 2,720,368

Manila [Philippines] : The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) reported 6,913 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total tally to 2,720,368.
The DOH also reported that 95 more people died from COVID-19 complications in the country, bringing the overall death toll to 40,675. The Southeast Asian country has recorded a daily rise of fewer than 8,000 cases since Wednesday, while people were urged to remain vigilant against the coronavirus to prevent a new wave of infections. The DOH reported the highest ever daily tally on September 11, at 26,303 cases.
The Philippines, which has around 110 million population, has tested more than 20.5 million people for COVID-19 since the outbreak in January 2020.

Australia orders two more COVID-19 treatments amid battle against 3rd wave

The Australian government has secured access to two new COVID-19 treatments as the country continues to battle the third wave of infections.

Canberra [Australia] : Health Minister Greg Hunt on Sunday announced the government has purchased 15,000 doses of the antibody-based therapy, Ronapreve, which can be administered intravenously for COVID-19 patients in a health care facility and is expected to be targeted for use in unvaccinated people who are at risk of developing severe disease. If approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Ronapreve will be available to Australian patients by the end of October.
Clinical trials have shown it can reduce the likelihood of hospitalization and death among COVID-19 patients by up to 70 per cent, according to the media release on Sunday.
The government has also secured access to 500,000 treatment courses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 oral antiviral drug, to be used in combination with the protease inhibitor drug Ritonavir, subject to regulatory approval by the TGA.
Paul Kelly, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, said adding treatments to the National Medical Stockpile was necessary as the country opens up and learns to live with the virus.
“During 2020 and for a large part of 2021, we’ve very heavily relied on those non-pharmaceutical interventions — the public health and social measures including lockdowns,” he told reporters on Sunday.

“There are ways of preventing the illness, and absolutely the first way and the most important way for that is vaccination,” he said. “But there are now treatments that are being developed, antiviral treatments that will actually assist to prevent infection, or prevent even mild or asymptomatic infection and disease.”
Kelly also announced that quarantine-free travel from New Zealand’s South Island to Australia will resume from Wednesday.
Australia on Sunday reported more than 2,100 new locally acquired COVID-19 infections and 17 deaths from the pandemic.
As of Saturday, 84.6 per cent of Australians aged 16 and over have received one coronavirus vaccine dose and 67.8 per cent were fully inoculated, according to the latest data released by the Department of Health.

India logs 16,862 new COVID-19 cases, 379 fatalities

India reported 16,862 new COVID-19 cases and 379 fatalities in the last 24 hours, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Friday.

New Delhi [India], October 15 : Of these, 9,246 new COVID-19 cases and 96 deaths were reported in Kerala on Thursday. With the addition of new cases, the total cases reported across the country since the onset of the pandemic reached 3,40,37,592. Of these, 2,03,678 are active cases, the lowest in 216 days. The active cases account for less than one per cent of total cases. Currently, it is at 0.60 per cent, the lowest since March 2020.
As per data released by the ministry, Kerala has the highest active caseload with 96,421.
With 19,391 recoveries in the last 24 hours, the total recovery count touched 3,33,82,100. Consequently, the recovery rate is at 98.07 per cent, the highest since March 2020. The death toll has jumped to 4,51,814.
India has a weekly positivity rate of 1.42 per cent, which remained less than three per cent for the last 112 days. The daily positivity rate also remained below three per cent for the last 46 days at 1.43 per cent.
To tackle the infection, in the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive, over 97.14 crore (97,14,38,553) vaccine doses have been administered so far as per provisional report till 7 am today. In the last 24 hours, 30,26,483 doses were inoculated to eligible beneficiaries.
The last 24 hours saw a total of 11,80,148 COVID-19 tests being conducted in the country. India has so far conducted over 58.88 crores (58,88,44,673) cumulative tests.
As per the ministry, more than 100 crore (1,00,35,96,665) vaccine doses have been provided to States and union territories (UTs) so far through the Government of India (free of cost channel) and through the direct state procurement category.
More than 10.53 crore (10,53,11,155) balance and unutilised COVID vaccine doses are still available with the States/UTs to be administered, said the ministry. (

India’s nationwide COVID-19 vaccination coverage reaches 97 cr

New Delhi [India], October 14 : India’s nationwide COVID-19 vaccination coverage on Thursday reached 97 crores, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Meanwhile, India reported 18,987 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, said Union Health Ministry on Thursday. With 19,808 recoveries in the last 24 hours, the cumulative recoveries climbed to 3,33,62,709. Currently, India has 2,06,586 active cases of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday informed that a total of 13,01,083 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. With this, the total samples tested up to October 13 touched 58,76,64,525.

WHO: Mortality from COVID-19 around the world dropped to lowest level

The number of weekly coronavirus deaths worldwide continues to decline and is now at its lowest level in nearly a year.

Geneva [Switzerland], October 14 : This was announced on Wednesday at a briefing in Geneva by the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, quoted by TASS. “The number of reported deaths from COVID-19 continues to decline and is now at its lowest level in nearly a year,” he said. However, this number is still unacceptably high – almost 50 thousand cases per week, and the real number is undoubtedly even higher,” said the head of the WHO.
“Mortality is declining in all regions except Europe, where several countries are facing new waves of disease and death,” Gebreyesus said, stressing that mortality is highest in countries and populations that “have the least access.” to vaccines against COVID-19 ‘.
To date, the WHO has reported 238,229,951 cases of coronavirus infection worldwide since the beginning of the pandemic and 4,859,277 deaths.

US to open Mexico, Canada land borders for vaccinated travellers

Washington [US] October : Washington has announced that it will open its land borders for non-essential travellers from Mexico and Canada from November.
As per the statement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, fully vaccinated people for COVID-19 from both countries will no longer be restricted from entering the US for non-essential purposes. “In alignment with the new international air travel system that will be implemented in November, we will begin allowing travellers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to enter the US for non-essential purposes via land and ferry border crossings,” Mayorkas said in a statement.
Mayorkas added that the easing of travel restrictions will boost economic activity in the border communities, and noted that the DHS will continue to take steps to “resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable manner.”

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.

Over 97 crores COVID-19 vaccine doses provided to states, UTs : Centre

New Delhi [India], October 12 : The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday informed that 97,00,24,165 vaccine doses have been provided to states and union territories so far, through all sources.
According to the health ministry, 8,22,69,545 balance and unutilized COVID Vaccine doses are still available with the states and union territories to be administered. “The Union Government is committed to accelerating the pace and expanding the scope of COVID-19 vaccination throughout the country. The new phase of universalization of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from 21st June 2021,” it said.
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 Government of India has been supporting the States and UTs by providing them COVID Vaccines free of cost.
In the new phase of the universalization of the COVID19 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 union territories.

Covaxin gets emergency approval for children aged 2-18 years

Subject Expert Committee gave recommendation to DCGI to use Covaxin for children, say official sources

New Delhi [India], October 12 : Subject Expert Committee (SEC) has given a recommendation to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for the use of Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin for the beneficiaries 2-18 years, the official sources said.
Earlier, Dr Sanjay K Rai, a professor at Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) had claimed almost similar data. Meanwhile, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has crossed 95 crores.
The nationwide vaccination drive started in India on January 16 with the healthcare workers (HCWs) and the frontline workers getting inoculated in the first phase.
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.
The country launched vaccination for all people aged more than 45 years from April 1.
The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 to be vaccinated from May 1.

Over 8.43 cr unutilized COVID vaccine doses available with states, UTs to be administered

New Delhi [India], October 11 : As many as 8,43,17,810 COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states and union territories to be administered, informed Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday.
The ministry further said that 96,75,07,995 vaccine doses have been provided to states and UTs so far through the free of cost channel and through the direct state procurement category. More than 8.43 Cr (8,43,17,810) balance and unutilized COVID Vaccine doses are still available with the States/UTs to be administered.
The Union Government is committed to accelerating the pace and expanding the scope of COVID-19 vaccination throughout the country. The new phase of universalization of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from June 21.
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 Government of India has been supporting the States and UTs by providing them COVID Vaccines free of cost.
In the new phase of the universalization of the COVID19 vaccination drive, the Union 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.

Rajasthan allows religious events

Rajasthan Government on Monday released revised COVID-19 related guidelines, allowing religious programmes with a limited number of people.

Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], October 11 : The order, issued to all district collectors and superintendents of police by Home Secretary Abhay Kumar, comes amid the festive season across the country. As per guidelines, a maximum of 200 people, who have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, will be allowed to attend religious events.
Such functions can be ogranised only after the prior permission of the district magistrate concerned from 6 am to 10 pm, the guidelines read.
Apart from this, events like Haat Bazaars and Pashu Haat fairs have also been approved in the new guideline. Similarly, keeping in mind the festival season, shops in the markets have been allowed to open from 10 pm.
“All shops, shopping malls, and business establishments are allowed to open till 10 am,” the guideline reads.
Outlets like petrol pump-CNG have been allowed to open on time.
The state government also said that the night curfew will continue to remain in place between 11 pm and 5 am every day.
Meanwhile, according to Health and Family Welfare, there are 37 active cases in the state.

Gujarat: 1-litre edible oil for taking COVID-19 vaccine shot

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], October 10 : Amdavad Municipal Corporation (AMC) in Gujarat is offering a litre of edible oil and a lucky draw contest for those taking their COVID-19 vaccination doses.
As per information shared by the Medical Officer of AMC, Dr Rajnikant Hemraj the initiative was started to create awareness among poor section of the people to get vaccinated so that 100 per cent vaccination can be achieved in the district. “We started this initiative to create awareness among slum and poor populations to get vaccinate and achieve 100 per cent vaccination target,” Dr Hemraj told ANI.
He further said that a lucky draw contest is also taking place for those taking their jabs.
“Additional gifts worth Rs 10,000 each will be given to 25 people on winning the lucky draw,” he said.
A beneficiary of the new scheme said that it is a good initiative to increase vaccination coverage.

Over 94 cr COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India

New Delhi [India], October 10 : India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed the landmark of 94 crores, with 66,85,415 vaccine doses administered in the last 24 hours, the Union Minister informed on Sunday.
According to the provisional reports issued by the ministry at 7 am on Sunday, India has so far administered 94,70,10,175 COVID-19 vaccines. This has been achieved through 92,12,314 sessions.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry earlier in the day informed that India reported 18,166 fresh COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, the lowest in over 7 months.
India reported 214 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours. The death toll in the country now stands at 4,50,589.
The active caseload of the country is presently at 2,30,971.
Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 97.99 per cent, the highest since March 2020.

NZ reports 61 new cases of COVID-19 Delta variant

Wellington [New Zealand], October 10 : New Zealand reported 61 new cases of COVID-19 Delta variant, said the Ministry of Health in a statement on Sunday.
Of the 61 new cases of COVID-19 reported, 60 were community cases in Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty, and one were imported cases at the border, said the Ministry. The total case number of COVID-19 in the current Delta variant outbreak in New Zealand community reached 1,587 including 1,538 in Auckland, 31 in Waikato, 17 in Wellington, and one in Bay of Plenty.
There were 29 COVID-19 patients in New Zealand hospitals including seven in ICU or HDU.
New Zealand recorded 4,265 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
New Zealand’s largest city Auckland is at COVID-19 Alert Level Three restrictions. Gatherings are limited to 10 people.
The Northland region was upgraded from Alert Level Two to Level Three from Friday night after one positive case of COVID-19 was found. Part of the Waikato region in
North Island has already been in Level Three due to community cases. The rest of the country is at Alert Level Two restrictions with indoor activities limited to 100 people.

India exports vaccine

India has exported COVID-19 vaccine doses to Myanmar, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Iran, sources informed on Sunday.

New Delhi [India], October 10 : According to sources, Myanmar, Nepal, and Bangladesh received ten lakh doses of Covishield each, while Iran received three lakh doses of Covaxin. Earlier, on September 20, the Government of India had announced its decision to resume the export of vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19 ) from October.
Announcing the decision, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said India will resume the export of COVID-19 vaccines under its ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative to fulfill the country’s commitment towards COVAX. 

India reports 18,166 fresh COVID-19 infections, lowest in over 7 months

New Delhi [India], October 10 : India reported 18,166 fresh COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, the lowest in over 7 months (214 days), informed the Union Health Ministry on Sunday.
India reported 214 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours. The death toll in the country now stands at 4,50,589. The active caseload of the country is presently at 2,30,971, which is the lowest in 208 days, and constitutes 0.68 per cent of the country’s total positive cases, the ministry said.
As per a statement issued by the Union Health Ministry, as many as 23,624 patients recovered from the COVID-19 virus in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative tally of the recovered patients, since the beginning of the pandemic, to 3,32,71,915.
Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 97.99 per cent, the highest since March 2020.
A total of 12,83,212 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, the ministry said. So far, India has conducted over 58.25 crores (58,25,95,693) COVID tests.
As the testing capacity improves across the country, the weekly positivity rate at 1.57 per cent remains less than 3 per cent for over 3 months (107 days) now.
The ministry also informed that the daily positivity rate has been reported to be 1.42 per cent. “The daily positivity rate has remained below 3 per cent for last 41 days and below 5 per cent for over 4 months (124 consecutive days) now.”
With the administration of 66,85,415 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed the landmark of 94 crores (94,70,10,175), as per provisional reports till 7 am today.
As per the ministry, this has been achieved through 92,12,314 sessions.

S Korea reports 1,594 more COVID-19 cases

Seoul [South Korea], October 10 : South Korea reported 1,594 more cases of COVID-19 as of midnight Saturday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 331,519.
The daily caseload was down from 1,953 in the prior day, but it hovered above 1,000 for 96 straight days since July 7. The daily average tally for the past week was 1,917. The recent resurgence was attributable to cluster infections in the Seoul metropolitan area.
Of the new cases, 579 were Seoul residents. The number of newly infected people residing in Gyeonggi province and the western port city of Incheon was 541 and 94.
The virus spread also raged in the non-metropolitan region. The number of new infections in the non-capital areas was 346, or 22.2 percent of the total local transmission.
Thirty-four cases were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 14,711.
Fifteen more deaths were confirmed, leaving the death toll at 2,575. The total fatality rate stood at 0.78 percent.
A total of 1,779 more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, pulling up the combined number to 296,708. The total recovery rate was 89.50 percent.
Since the mass vaccination was launched on Feb. 26, the country has administered COVID-19 vaccines to a total of 39,920,919 people, or 77.7 percent of the total population.
The number of fully vaccinated people was 30,426,399, or 59.3 percent of the population.

US to see drop in COVID-19 deaths this winter, says Anthony Fauci

US top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci expects the number of coronavirus fatalities to go down during the cold season.

Washington [US], October 10 : “I strongly suspect that you’re going to start seeing the deaths go down similar to the hospitalizations; how quickly they go down and how thoroughly they go down is going to depend a lot on a number of circumstances, which will be influenced by things like the colder weather, people doing things indoors, how well they go by the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines,” Fauci said in an interview with Greta Van Susteren, as quoted by The Hill. Fauci, who is the chief medical advisor to the US president, advised people to wear masks during outside gatherings regardless of whether an individual is vaccinated or not, since there are communities with a high COVID-19 prevalence.
“Fortunately, right now, over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a turnaround in the slope in going down in both cases and hospitalizations. Deaths are still up, but it’s really flattening, so it’s a lagging indicator,” Fauci said in the interview to be aired on Sunday.
In September, the infectious disease expert warned that the Delta variant remains of primary concern in the US, having increased the share of new cases in the United States to over 98 percent, from 13.5 percent in June.
The United States has the largest total number of confirmed coronavirus cases and the greatest COVID-19 death toll of all the countries in the world. According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, the US has registered over 44.3 million cases since the start of the pandemic and the number of fatalities has surpassed 712,000.
At the start of this month, when the total COVID-19 death toll in the United States surpassed 700,000, US President Joe Biden said that the fact that the US death toll from the coronavirus infection is increasing means that more people need to get vaccinated in the country.

Looking forward to receiving vaccines from India: Columbian envoy

Colombian Ambassador to India Mariana Pacheco on Saturday said her country is looking forward to receiving vaccines from India for the refugee population in the country.

New Delhi [India], October 9 : “In the meantime, we get technology transfer and we can finish off the deals with pharma companies in India for production of vaccine in Columbia. We look forward to getting vaccines from India especially for the refugee population in Columbia,” Pacheco told ANI here. This comes after India announced that it will resume the export of the COVID-19 vaccines to the world.
Ambassador Pacheco stated that Colombia has more than two million Venezuelan refugees in Columbia and they look forward to receiving the Indian vaccine under the Covax scheme.
She also hailed the idea of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam espoused by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Generosity and openness of Indian government and Indian centres of excellence, universities and pharma companies was wonderful. They follow the one family concept of Prime Minister Modi and that is what we are here for not just for good of India or also for citizens of Columbia but for humanity,” ambassador Pacheco said.
Last week, Colombian Vice President and Foreign Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez was in India. The focus of the visit was on building bridges with India in various sectors, especially in the pharmaceuticals.
Ramirez is the first woman Vice President of Colombia to visit India leading a big delegation of more than 35 officials and business representatives from various sectors especially pharmaceuticals, health, science and technology, education, and space.

India records 19,740 new Covid-19 cases

India’s active cases declined by 3,578 in 24 hours. With this, the country’s active caseload now stands at 2,36,643, which is the lowest in 206 days.

New Delhi [India], October 9 : India reported 19,740 fresh COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, taking the active caseload of the country to 2,36,643, which is the lowest in nearly seven months (206 days), the Union Health Ministry informed on Saturday.
With the recovery of 23,070 patients in the last 24 hours, the cumulative tally of recovered patients since the beginning of the pandemic stands at 3,32,48,291. Consequently, India’s recovery rate now stands at 97.98 per cent, currently at its highest peak since March 2020, the ministry reported.
As many as 12,69,291 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the last 24 hours, taking the number of cumulative tests to over 58.13 crores (58,13,12,481).
As per the ministry, with the enhanced testing capacity across the country, the weekly positivity rate at 1.62 per cent remains less than 3 per cent for the last 106 days now. The daily positivity rate reported to be 1.56 per cent and has remained below 3 per cent for the last 40 days and below 5 per cent for 123 consecutive days now.
India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage stands at nearly 94 crores, with more than 79.12 lakh (79,12,202) doses administered in the last 24 hours, the ministry reported.

India to issue fresh guidelines for UK nationals

New Delhi [India], October 8 : The Ministry of Health will issue fresh guidelines for foreign nationals from the UK after the country ordered to discontinue mandatory testing and quarantine norms for those vaccinated with Covishield travelling from India to the UK, sources told on Friday.
The UK on Thursday announced that it will scrap Covid quarantine travel rules for 47 destinations, including India from Monday (11 October). According to the latest restrictions, the UK would recognise the vaccine status of arrivals from more countries.
The Indians, who are fully vaccinated with locally produced Covishield Covid-19 vaccine, will not be required to get 10-day quarantine.
“Eligible fully vaccinated passengers and eligible under 18s returning from countries and territories, not on the red list, can do with just a day 2 test,” said the statement released by the UK government.
The new eased restriction will be followed from 4 AM (UTC), October 11. Eligible travellers vaccinated in over 47 new countries and territories including Brazil, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, South Africa, and Turkey will also be treated the same as returning fully vaccinated UK residents, so long as they have not visited a red list country or territory in the duration of 10 days before arriving in England, according to the statement.

Russia records 27,246 COVID-19 cases in past 24 hours

Russia recorded 27,246 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, down from 27,550 the day before, bringing the cumulative total to 7,717,356, the federal response center said on Friday.

Moscow [Russia], October 8 : “Over the past day, 27,246 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across 85 Russian regions, including 2,346 cases (8.6%) without clinical symptoms,” the center said, adding that the rate of increase fell to 0.35%. Moscow has the highest number of new cases with 4,595 daily infections, down from 5,404 the day before. The Russian capital is followed by St. Petersburg with 2,501 cases, up from 2,418, and the Moscow region with 1,490 cases, up from 1,454.
The response center reported a new record of 936 deaths linked to the coronavirus, up from 924 the day before, bringing the country’s death toll to 214,485.
In the same 24 hours, 20,566 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals across the country, up from 20,330 the day before, bringing the total to 6,819,796.

PM lauded the country’s capability to battle the COVID-19 pandemic

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday lauded the country’s capability to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and recalled India’s journey from being an importer to an exporter of masks and kits.

Rishikesh (Uttarakhand) [India], October 7 : In his address at an event here, the Prime Minister said, “The facilities that India has prepared in such a short time to fight against COVID-19 shows the capability of our country. A network of about 3,000 testing labs from just one testing lab has been created. It is a journey from being an importer to exporter of masks and kits.” “We have facilities of new ventilators even in remote areas of the country. We have rapid and large-scale manufacturing of made in India COVID-19 vaccines. We are carrying out the world’s largest and fastest vaccination campaign. What India has done is a symbol of our determination, our service, our solidarity,” said PM Modi.


On this day the Prime Minister also completed 20 years in public service.
He said, “On this day, 20 years ago, I got a new responsibility to serve the public. My journey of serving the people, living among the people was going on for many decades ago, but 20 years ago today, I got a new responsibility to serve as the Chief Minister of Gujarat.”
The Prime Minister also extended his greetings on the occasion of Navaratri.
The Prime Minister said, “The holy festival of Navratri is also starting from today. Maa Shailputri is worshipped on the first day today. Mother Shailputri is the daughter of Himalaya. And, on this day, I am here to bow down to this soil and saluting this land of Himalayas…what can be a greater blessing in life than this.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation 35 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen plants established under the PM CARES Fund, said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Wednesday. The ceremony had begun at 11 am at AIIMS Rishikesh, the PMO’s statement said. 

India: COVID-19 active caseload lowest in 203 days

After 24,770 recoveries were recorded in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 active caseload dropped to 2,46,687, the lowest in 203 days.

New Delhi [India], October 6 : As per the official release by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 18,833 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours. At present, active infections account for less than 1 per cent of total cases and are currently at 0.73 per cent, the lowest since March 2020.
The Union Health Ministry informed that the weekly positivity rate is at 1.68 per cent, which is less than 3 per cent for the last 103 days whereas the daily positivity rate has remained under 3 per cent for the last 37 days and is currently at 1.34 per cent.
With 24,770 fresh recoveries, the cumulative recoveries have gone up to 3,31,75,656. The national recovery rate is currently at 97.94 per cent, which is the highest since March 2020.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the total number of samples tested up to October 5 is 57,68,03,867 including 14,09,825 samples tested yesterday.
Active coronavirus cases in Kerala continue to remain over 1 lakh and are currently at 1,25,030. Maharashtra has 36,744 active infections while there are 16,749 active cases in Tamil Nadu.
As many as 92.17 crore Covid vaccine doses have been administered so far under the nationwide vaccination drive which began on January 16 this year.
Under the new phase of universalisation of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from June 21, the Government of India is procuring and supplying (free of cost) 75 per cent of the vaccine doses being produced by the vaccine manufacturers in the country to States and UTs.
More than 92.57 crore (92,57,51,325) vaccine doses have been provided to States/UTs so far through the Government of India (free of cost channel) and through direct state procurement category, read the release by the Union Health Ministry.
More than 6.93 crore (6,93,46,080) balance and unutilised COVID vaccine doses are still available with the States/UTs to be administered.
On October 4, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed that 70 per cent of the population has been administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
India started the world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16 this year in a phased manner with healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated first. The vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started on February 2. The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 for those over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.
India launched vaccination for all people aged more than 45 from April 1 while vaccinations for people belonging to the age group 18-44 began from May 1.

India conducts over 57 cr COVID-19 test so far: ICMR

The testing capacity has been ramped up extensively and so far India has conducted 57,68,03,867 COVID-19 sample tests, informed the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Wednesday.
Of the total test conducted, 14,09,825 samples were tested yesterday. Meanwhile, India on Tuesday recorded 18,346 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, of which 8,850 new cases were reported in Kerala. The active caseload of the country stands at 2,52,902; accounting for less than 1 per cent of the total cases. The ministry also informed that, under the Nationwide Vaccination Drive, India has administered 91.54 (91,54,65,826) crore vaccine doses, of which 72,51,419 were administered in the last 24 hours. A total number of 57,53,94,042 tests have been conducted so far.

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.

Priority will be children with comorbidities in paediatric COVID vaccine drive: NTAGI chief

Once the COVID-19 vaccination drive for children commences in India, priority would be given to children with comorbidities however severe, said National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NTAGI) Chairperson Dr NK Arora.

New Delhi [India], October 3 : In an interview, Dr Arora said, “We are going to prioritise COVID-19 vaccination for children with severe comorbidities and comorbidities so that we immediately immunise them and rest of the children who are healthy can be immunised subsequently.”
While speaking on how to prioritise the vaccination for children, Dr Arora stated, “We are working on that and we are trying to identify those who are at highest risk of getting the severe disease and the need for hospitalisation. Within the next couple of weeks, the list will be available in the public domain. In addition, we are also making arrangements at different parts of the country so that these children do not have to travel and within their district, the vaccine is made available.”
Earlier in August, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had approved Zydus Cadila’s DNA vaccine for emergency use in adults and children aged 12 years and above. Now, the vaccines are waiting to be introduced in the national vaccination programme.
In the month of June, WHO-AIIMS in a joint survey found out that seroprevalence was 55.7 per cent in the age group below 18 years and 63.5 per cent in 18 years and above.
Further, the study noticed that there was no statistically significant difference in prevalence between adults and children.
Earlier in September, schools in the national capital for classes 9 to 12 re-opened after a prolonged closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the context of school reopening, Dr Arora said, “Children are vectors. They spread the infection but they themselves do not get infected. So it is important that adults who are surrounding them – be it family members, teachers, non-teaching staff – they need to be immunised and surrounded by a ring of protection.”
In addition, he stated, “Our national target is to immunise all adults. We have reached half the landmark. Once adults are immunised we have about 44 crore children below 18 years of age and we are prepared for giving immunisation to children at the same speed.”
According to Dr Arora, seropositivity results are showing an almost similar level of exposure to the virus however the disease symptomatic infection or severe disease is very uncommon in children, particularly below ten years.
“In fact, there are some estimation that as compared to those who are above 18 years of age, the risk of severe disease, hospitalisation and death is almost 1/15th of those who are older than adults,” Dr Arora noted.
Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a press briefing stated that Zydus Cadila’s COVID-19 vaccine will soon be introduced in the national vaccination programme.
ZyCoV-D is a needle-free vaccine manufactured by Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila. Till date, this is the only vaccine that has received Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for administering in children between 12 to 18 years of age group.
“In addition, India is also preparing other paediatric vaccines so that we can immunise the rest of the child population. In Covaxin trial patient recruitment is over and the result should be available this year. Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine, Covovax by Serum Institute of India (SII) which is for five to 17 years is under process and there will be another vaccine for children immunisation. By the end of the year all these results will be available so that when we enter next year, we have two or three options for our child population,” stated Dr Arora.

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.

Cambodia: Covid-19 infected woman forced to work by Chinese-owned casino dies

A woman in Cambodia employed at a Chinese-owned casino died after owners forced her to continue working even as she was infected with the coronavirus.

Phnom Penh [Cambodia] October 2 : The deceased woman identified as Hean Sreynich was employed at The Century Casino. Hean who contracted the COVID-19 virus five days ago, died of food poisoning and dehydration, Radio Free Asia reported citing a doctor consulted by the victim’s family.
The dead woman’s family has also urged Cambodian authorities to order the Chinese owner to pay them compensation for forcing her to continue working while ill, Ros Leng, cousin of Sreynich said.
“The casino did not inform the family about Hean Sreynich’s death or offer to pay them her salary.
The family learned about her death from her coworkers, Ros added.
Days ago, news that 437 workers of the casino had contracted the virus had also spread after a group of employees live-streamed on Facebook, Radio Free Asia reported.
The employees said that they were forced to perform their jobs, including managing online gambling platforms, while they were ill and that they had been forced to remain inside the building since March without any treatment.

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.

US COVID-19 deaths cross 7,00,000-mark

Washington [US], October 2 : The United States on Friday (local time) surpassed 7,00,000 deaths due to COVID-19. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, 7,00,258 Americans have died and more than 43.61 million have been infected by the virus till now. The Spanish flu pandemic from 1918 to 1919 killed about 6,75,000 people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Researchers at the University of Washington project that an additional 100,000 Americans will die during the forthcoming winter, Sputnik reported.

India reports 24,354 new COVID-19 infections in last 24 hours

India reported 24,354 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday.

New Delhi [India], October 2 : India’s active caseload stands at 2,73,889 which is the lowest in the last 197 days. The active cases account for less than 1 per cent of total cases, currently at 0.81 per cent, the lowest since March 2020.
The recovery rate presently stands at 97.86 per cent, the highest since March 2020.
According to the health ministry, the recovery of 25,455 patients in the last 24 hours has taken the cumulative tally of recovered patients since the beginning of the pandemic to 3,30,68,599.
The country reported a weekly positivity rate of 1.68 per cent which is less than 3 per cent for the last 99 days. The daily positivity rate in the country stands at 1.70 per cent, less than 3 per cent for the last 33 days.
As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), as many as 14,29,2548 samples were tested on Friday, taking the total cumulative of COVID-19 tests conducted so far in the country to 57,19,94,990.
The country has administered 89.74 crore vaccine doses so far under the nationwide vaccination drive. (

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.

Australia reports record-high COVID-19 cases amid battle against 3rd wave

Australia reported a new record number of coronavirus cases on Thursday when the country continues to battle the third wave of COVID-19 infections.

Canberra [Australia], September 30 : There were more than 2,400 new locally-acquired infections reported nationwide on Thursday morning, the figure of which surpassing 2,000 in a single day for just the second time. New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s most populous state with Sydney as the capital city, reported 941 new local cases and six deaths.
Victoria, the second-most populous state with Melbourne as the capital city, reported a further 1,438 new local cases and five deaths.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) reported 31 new cases on Thursday, at least 17 of which were infectious in the community ahead of some lockdown restrictions easing.
From Friday Canberrans will be allowed to gather outdoors in groups of five for up to four hours, the ACT’s national parks and nature reserves will reopen and households will be allowed two visitors.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said in order for the lockdown to end as planned on Oct. 15, Canberrans must take advantage of earlier vaccine appointments.
“Over the next few weeks our absolute priority is to ensure that everyone who wants a vaccine has the opportunity to get one,” he said.
According to the latest data released by the Department of Health, 77.3 per cent of Australians aged 16 and older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 53.4 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Teachers, staff of Delhi govt schools to be considered on leave if not vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct 15

The Delhi government has announced that teachers and non-teaching staffers of the government schools, who have not been vaccinated against the COVID-19, will not be allowed to attend school from October 15. They would be considered on leave.

New Delhi [India], September 30 : According to an order issued by the Directorate of Education on Wednesday, the officers in all districts and school principals have to ensure that all teachers and school staffers should be vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 15. “We all are aware that the country is threatened with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is necessary to take all effective measures to prevent the spread of the same. The schools under DoE have been reopened in a phased manner, so it is the prime concern of the Delhi government that the environment of the schools remains safe with the appropriate implementation of SoPs and measures,” the order issued by the Directorate of Education read.
“It is imperative that Directorate of Education ensures all the government schools teachers and staffs get vaccinated on an immediate basis, therefore, head of all the government schools of Directorate of Education was directed to take all necessary steps for vaccination of all the government school teachers on urgent basis,” it said.
“Further, in order to ensure that all the students/teachers/other school staff remain secure and safe, all DDE (District), DDE (Zone) and HoS of government schools of Directorate of Education are directed to – ensure that all teachers and school staff who have not vaccinated should be vaccinated by October 15. All such teachers and school staff who have not got themselves vaccinated by October 15 should not be allowed to attend the school and their absence would be treated as on leave,” it added.
Earlier on Wednesday, following the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) meeting, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal said, the decision regarding the reopening of schools for classes 6 to 8 in Delhi will be taken after the festival season.
“As suggested by the experts, it was decided to consider opening middle school classes 6-8, after the festive season,” Baijal said.
Schools in the national capital for classes 9 to 12 re-opened on September 1 after a prolonged closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Kochi: Medical evacuation with helicopter

In a coordinated operation between the Indian navy and the Coast guard, a medical evacuation on the high seas was undertaken in Kochi on Tuesday, informed the Ministry of Defence.

New Delhi [India], September 29 : The coordinated operation was undertaken by headquarters Southern Naval Command (SNC), using Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), from Merchant Vessel MV Lyric Poet. SNC received input regarding a suspected COVID-19 positive case of a Phillipino male crew from Coast Guard Headquarters.
The Merchant Vessel’s (MV) local agent intimated that the medical condition of the Chief Officer, Michel John Abaygar was severely deteriorating with depleting oxygen levels and required immediate medical evacuation.


An ALH was immediately launched from INS Garuda to undertake the Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) from onboard the MV which was en route from Gibraltar to Machong. The pilots of the helicopter displaying tremendous skill and professionalism successfully completed the mission in adverse weather conditions and ensured safe evacuation of the patient.
The patient was brought to INS Garuda and transferred to the Naval Hospital, INHSSanjivini, for further medical assistance adhering to all COVID-19 protocols.

SC declines to hear pleas for registration of COVID-19 vaccine by toll-free number

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to entertain two pleas seeking directions for adequate medical facilities to non-COVID-19 patients during the second wave of pandemic and registration for COVID vaccine by a toll-free number.

New Delhi [India], September 28 : A Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud said that petitions have become infructuous due to changed circumstances. While disposing of plea seeking directions for registration for COVID-19 vaccine by a toll-free number, the Bench declined to hear it saying the COWIN app doesn’t need only online registration and as a matter of policy walk-in registration are provided.
The plea has become infructuous by subsequent developments that have taken place and as a matter of policy walk-in registration is provided, the Bench said.
The PIL was filed by one Bibhuti Bhushan Mishra.
The Apex Court also disposed of another plea that sought direction to the Central Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and all states and union territories to provide adequate facilities to non-COVID-19 patients during the second wave of the pandemic.
The Bench said this plea has also become infructuous now.
The petition was filed by advocate GS Mani highlighted the hapless condition of non-COVID patients who are struggling for medical care and facilities in government and private hospitals across the states.
The plea filed during the second COVID wave had said health is a fundamental right, and States should take steps to provide medical care for non-COVID patients with heart or kidney diseases, pregnant women, HIV, hepatitis haemophilia, thalassemia, etc.
The petition stated that the COVID-19 second wave had been particularly devastating and medical care and facilities and hospitals had been converted for treating the pandemic patients. Despite this, hundreds were struggling to get proper medical admission, treatment and facilities.

India: Lowest cases in 201 days

With 18,795 new COVID-19 infections reported in the last 24 hours, India on Tuesday recorded less than 20,000 cases after 201 days, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

New Delhi [India], September 28 : Out of 18,795 new COVID-19 cases across India, 11,699 cases were reported in Kerala yesterday. India’s cumulative tally has reached 3,36,97,581, and the number of active cases has declined to 2,92,206, which is the lowest in 192 days.
The active cases account for less than 1 per cent of total cases, currently at 0.87 per cent, the lowest since March 2020
According to the health ministry, 32,9,58,002 people have recovered from the disease so far, out of which 26,030 recovered in the last 24 hours.
The country reported the highest recoveries since March 2020, and it currently stands at 97.81 per cent.
The death toll climbed to 4,47,373 with 179 new fatalities.
Meanwhile, the daily positivity rate was recorded at 1.42 per cent. It has been less than 3 per cent for the 29th consecutive day while the weekly positivity rate has also declined to 1.88 per cent. It has been less than 3 per cent for the last 95 days.
As many as 13,21,780 tests were conducted on Monday taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far in the country to 56,57,30,031, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The country has also administered 87.07 crore vaccine doses so far under Nationwide Vaccination Drive.
The cumulative number of COVID vaccine doses administered in the country so far has reached 87,07,08,636 of which doses 1,02,22,525 were administered in the last 24 hours.

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.

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. (

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