corona

Delhi logs 1,607 fresh COVID cases, 2 deaths

New Delhi [India]: The national capital reported 1,607 fresh COVID-19 infections on Friday, taking the active caseload to 5,609 in the city, informed a health bulletin by the Delhi government.

The city reported the highest number of fresh infections since February 4 this year when 2,272 cases were recorded, according to the Delhi health department.
The daily case positivity rate stands at 5.28 per cent.

As many as 1,246 COVID patients recovered from the disease yesterday. The total number of recoveries since the onset of the pandemic in the city has gone up to 18,49,772.

Two COVID-affected persons succumbed to the virus during this period, taking the death toll in the national capital to 26,174.

As per the official data, more than 30,000 COVID samples were tested in the city yesterday.

Under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive, a total of 60,287 eligible beneficiaries were administered coronavirus vaccine doses on Friday in Delhi.

So far, 3,34,01,239 vaccine doses have been provided in the national capital. (ANI)

More Testing, Check Hotspots, Centre Tells States On ‘Omicron’

New Delhi [India] : The centre has asked all states to step up intensive containment and active surveillance as well as better vaccination coverage amid worries over the new coronavirus strain, ‘Omicron’, which was first detected in South Africa. India has placed nations where this variant of concern has been found in the category of “at-risk” countries for additional follow-up measures of travellers coming to India. “It is imperative that intensive containment, active surveillance, increased coverage of vaccination and Covid Appropriate Behaviour be enforced in a very proactive measure to effectively manage this variant of concern,” the Health Ministry said in a statement today. There is already a reporting mechanism for obtaining past travel details of passengers coming through international flights, and this should be reviewed at your level, the centre told the states. “Ample testing infrastructure need to be operationalised to tackle any surge due to this mutated virus. It has been observed that the overall testing as well as the proportion of RT-PCR tests have declined in some states. In the absence of sufficient testing, it is extremely difficult to determine the true level of infection spread,” the Health Ministry said. Continued monitoring of hotspots, or areas where recent cluster of positive cases have emerged, should be done. Saturation testing is needed at hotspots and all positive samples should be sent to designated labs for genome sequencing. State should aim to achieve positivity rate below 5 per cent, while focusing on increasing the number of tests and share of RT-PCR tests to help in early identification. “Having adequate availability of health facilities across the state is essential to ensure there are no delays in providing care… States are requested to optimally use financial support provided by the government,” the centre said in the statement. INSACOG has been set up to monitor circulating variants in the country. It is important that at this juncture, states must significantly increase sampling from the general population. INSACOG, short for Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium, is a multi-laboratory, multi-agency and pan-India network to monitor genomic variations of the coronavirus. “We have seen in the last surges in the country that the discourse on Covid is often influenced by misinformation, leading to anxiety in the masses. To address this, all states should proactively and regularly address the concerns of community through press briefings and state bulletins,” the centre said. The ‘Omicron’ variant has been detected in Britain, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Austria, Botswana, Israel and Hong Kong. The discovery of ‘Omicron’ last week has sparked worries around the world that it could resist vaccinations and prolong the nearly two-year COVID-19 pandemic.

Russia records 39,160 COVID-19 cases in past 24 hours

Moscow [Russia], November 9 (ANI/Sputnik): Russia registered 39,160 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, down from 39,400 the day before, bringing the cumulative total to 8,873,655, the federal response center said on Tuesday.

“Over the past day, 39,160 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across 85 Russian regions, including 3,200 cases (8.2 per cent) without clinical symptoms,” the center said, adding that the rate of increase fell to 0.44 per cent.
Moscow has the highest number of new cases with 5,287 infections, up from 4,982 the day before. The Russian capital is followed by the Moscow region with 2,818 cases, down from 3,429, and St. Petersburg with 2,680 cases, up from 2,597.

The response center reported a new record of 1,211 deaths linked to the coronavirus, up from 1,190 the day before, bringing the country’s death toll to 249,215.

In the same 24 hours, 32,036 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals across the country, up from 25,582 the day before, bringing the total to 7,619,596. (ANI/Sputnik)

Kerala: 6,580 fresh COVID-19 infections, 46 deaths recorded

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India]: Kerala reported 6,580 new COVID-19 cases and 46 deaths in the last 24 hours.

According to the state government’s data, 62,219 samples were tested during the last 24 hours.
As many as 7,085 fresh recoveries pushed the overall discharges/recoveries to 48,94,435. The death toll mounted to 33,048.

Meanwhile, India reported 12,729 fresh COVID-19 cases and 221 deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the Union Health Ministry.

The country’s active caseload stands at 1,48,922. With 12,165 recoveries in the last 24 hours, the cumulative recoveries reached 3,37,24,959. The total death toll has reached 4,59,873. (ANI)

India to procure 30 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses in November: Sources

New Delhi [India]: India would procure an estimate of 30 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses in the month of November, government sources informed on Thursday.

The Sources further added that of these, six crore vaccines would be Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, 22 crore of Serum Institute of India’s Covishield, and two crore of Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D.
“India will have 30 crore doses of COVID vaccines in November including six crore doses of Covaxin, 22 crore doses of Covishield and 2 crore doses of Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D,” Official sources said.

With the aim to achieve full vaccination by the end of November, the Centre will soon start a mega COVID-19 vaccination campaign ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ in poor-performing districts, said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday. (ANI)

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

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

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

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.

COVID-19: BMC collects Rs 77 cr so far as fine from people not wearing masks

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has collected a total penalty of Rs 77.37 crore (Rs 77,37,41,000) for not wearing masks since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out last year.
The BMC in a statement issued by it mentioned the break-up of the above-mentioned amount and said that the city corporation has collected Rs 64.16 crore from all 227 wards in the past 1.5 years whereas the Mumbai Police have collected Rs 12.70 crore during the same period. The Mumbai railway has collected Rs 50.35 lakh since the start of the pandemic, it added.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra on Sunday reported fewer coronavirus infections at 1,410, as per the state health bulletin.
According to the state health bulletin, as many as 18 COVID-19 patients died in the state during the day, while 1,520 patients were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours taking the total number of recoveries in the state to 64,35,439.
As per the health bulletin, the number of active cases in the state stood at 23,894 and total cases went up to 66,02,961.
As many as 1,91,401 people were in-home quarantine and another 903 were in institutional quarantine.
The state’s COVID-19 recovery rate stood at 97.46 per cent, while the fatality rate was 2.12 per cent.
The cumulative number of coronavirus tests conducted in the state climbed to 6,18,93,695.
Among districts, Mumbai reported the highest new infections at 408 and six deaths, taking the state capital’s caseload to 7,53,680 and the death toll to 16,213.

Tamil Nadu reports 1,140 new Covid-19 cases, 17 deaths

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India]: Tamil Nadu reported 1,140 new COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the health bulletin released by the state on Saturday.

As per the bulletin, the total number of active cases in the state now stands at 13,280.
The state reported 1,374 recoveries in the last 24 hours taking the cumulative recoveries to 26,44,805.

The death toll has mounted to 36,004 with 17 more deaths in the last 24 hours.

The state has conducted 4,92,56,822 tests so far. (ANI)

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.

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

India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage exceeds 97.23 crores

With the administration of 8,36,118 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 97.23 crores, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday.

New Delhi [India]: As per provisional reports, till 7 am today, 97,23,77,045 doses have been administered in the country so far through 96,05,482 sessions. Of the total, 1,03,75,703 health care workers received the first dose and 90,68,232 second vaccine doses; 1,83,61,275 front line workers were administered the first dose and 1,54,90,253 were given the second dose of the vaccine.
According to the health ministry, 39,14,51,891 people in the age group 18-44 years were administered the first dose while 10,85,40,506 were given the second dose.
Also, in the age group of 45-59 years, 16,73,04,569 people have received the first dose and 8,53,97,182 have received the second dose whereas for the people over 60 years, 10,55,20,693 were administered with the first dose and 6,08,66,741 were given the second dose.
Meanwhile, 15,981 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the last 24 hours. The daily new cases were reported to be less than 20,000 for the past eight days now.
With this, the active caseload is presently 2,01,632, which is the lowest in 218 days and presently constitute 0.59 per cent of the country’s total positive cases.
The recovery of 17,861 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally of recovered patients to 3,33,99,961.
Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.08 per cent, which is currently at its highest peak since March 2020.
Also, the weekly positivity rate is at 1.44 per cent which is less than three per cent for the last 113 days now.
The daily positivity rate is reported to be 1.73 per cent and has remained below three per cent for the last 47 days and below five per cent for 130 consecutive days now.
The testing capacity across the country continues to be expanded. In the last 24 hours, a total of 9,23,003 tests were conducted, talking the cumulative tests conducted so far to 58,98,35,258.

Aryan Speaks to parents via video call

Aryan Khan, who was arrested in connection with the drugs-on-cruise case, spoke to his parents Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan via video call from inside Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail on Friday, informed jail officials.

New Delhi [India], October 15 ): According to the order of the High Court, all the accused or prisoners who are logged in the jail amid COVID-19 can talk to their family members twice a week via video call. “Aryan was on the call for 10 minutes with his parents, and a jail official was present with him during the call,” said the official.
There are a total of 3,200 prisoners in the Arthur Road jail. As per the guidelines of the jail amid the pandemic, people are not allowed to visit the inmates. They can only speak to them over the phone.
Inmates are allowed 10 minutes to talk to their family members.
The jail has a total of 11 phones. The family members of prisoners who have a video call facility are given 10 minutes on video call otherwise a voice call is dialled.
Aryan on October 11 had received a money order of Rs 4,500, which is meant for his expenses in the jail canteen.
As per the rules of the jail, a prisoner can receive a money order of Rs 4500 maximum for their expenses inside the jail.
Aryan and five other accused, who were arrested by Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) in connection with the cruise ship drug raid case, were shifted to the common cell of Arthur Road Jail after their Covid report came negative.
They were earlier lodged at the quarantine barrack of the Arthur Road Jail here.
An NCB team busted an alleged drugs party on the Cordelia Cruise ship which was on its way to Goa at mid-sea on October 2.
A total of 20 people, including two Nigerian nationals, have been arrested so far in the case related to the seizure of drugs following a raid at a party on the Cordelia cruise ship off the Mumbai coast on October 2.

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. (

Tamil Nadu reports 1,280 new COVID-19 cases, 19 deaths

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India]: Tamil Nadu reported 1,280 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours.

According to the state health bulletin, the total active cases stand at 15,650 and 1,453 recoveries are reported in the last 24 hours.
The total number of people who tested positive is 1,280 and the total number tested so far stands at 26,82,137.

The total number of people tested by RT-PCR stand at 1,38,228 and the total test went up to 4, 79,64,847.

The number of people discharged in the last 24 hours is 1,453 and the total number of people discharged so far is 26,30,654, read the health bulletin. (ANI)

No chief guest for RSS event

With protocols in place due to the situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has decided not to invite any guest for the annual Vijayadashmi address by its Sarsanghchalak for the second consecutive year.

New Delhi [India], October 12 : Just like last year, the festive occasion will only be addressed by RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat. According to a senior functionary of RSS, the ground that is normally flooded by swayamsewaks clad in white shirts and brown colour trousers, will witness not more than 500 people.
Last year, this number was confined to 50 RSS cadres.
“With a slightly better situation this time, we will have 500 people spread in the ground. The speech of RSS chief will be broadcast live on social media,” the functionary said.
Another senior RSS functionary said there is a discussion for getting permission for smaller groups to watch the address on LED screens at 40 different locations in Nagpur.
In the previous years, the Vijayadashami programme has witnessed the presence of several prominent personalities including former President Pranab Mukherjee, HCL chief Shiv Nadar and child rights activist and Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi. 

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.

Turkey records highest daily COVID-19 cases since April

Ankara [Turkey] (ANI/Sputnik): Turkey’s number of new daily infections rose to a five-month high of 30,563 on Monday, new COVID-19 figures published by the Health Ministry showed.

The country saw a record 63,082 new cases in mid-April before daily infections leveled off to an average 7,000 in June. The daily count started climbing again in July, prompting warnings of a fourth wave in fall.
A further 188 virus-related deaths were reported on Monday. The all-time high was also recorded in April when 394 patients died over a 24-hour period.

Turkey began the vaccine rollout in January after receiving the first batch of China’s CoronaVac shot and is now using Pfizer and Sputnik V vaccines. More than 54 million people in the country of 84 million have received at least one dose. (ANI/Sputnik)

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.

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.

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.

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.

Andhra logs 693 new COVID-19 cases, 6 deaths

Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India]: Andhra Pradesh reported 693 fresh COVID-19 cases and 6 fatalities in the past 24 hours, informed the state health department on Friday.

With this, the total number of coronavirus cases in the state reached 20,55,999 including 8,310 active infections.
With 927 new recoveries, the number of recovered patients from COVID-19 in the state mounted to 20,33,447.

As many as 4,31,33,856 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the state.

Meanwhile, India on Friday reported 21,257 new COVID-19 infections. As per the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the total active cases in the country now stand at 2,40,221, which is the lowest in 205 days. (ANI)

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.

Over 93 cr COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India so far

New Delhi [India]: India has administered over 93 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses across the country so far since the vaccination drive began on January 16 this year, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed on Friday.

The ministry also added that over 50 lakh vaccine doses were administered in a single day, as per the provisional report till 7 pm.
This has been achieved through 90,68,525 sessions.

“With the administration of 50,17,753 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed the landmark of 93 Cr (93,17,17,191) as per provisional reports till 7 am today,” the health ministry said.

Meanwhile, India reported 21,257 fresh COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours.

With this, the active cases in the country stand at 2,40,221, which is the lowest in 205 days. (ANI)

700 passengers from UK arrive at Delhi airport, sent to mandatory 10-days quarantine

New Delhi [India]: Around 700 passengers, who landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi on Monday from the United Kingdom, were sent to a 10-day mandatory quarantine after getting their RT-PCR test done at the airport in Delhi.

Passengers were sent to 10-day mandatory quarantine in view of the Indian Government’s fresh visa conditions under ‘reciprocal measures’ for UK nationals. The new visa conditions have been implemented from Sunday midnight onwards.

A senior government official confirmed that a total of three flights from the UK arrived at IGI airport till Monday afternoon that carried around 700 passengers, including UK nationals. As per the new rules, all passengers have to undergo a compulsory RT-PCR test followed by a 10-days quarantine at home or the destination address.

“A team of Delhi government is deployed at the airport to carry out the process. They are completing the formalities like getting the address of the passenger where he/she will be staying during their arrival in Delhi. Another team will be checking if the person is adhering to the quarantine rules or not,” said the official.

He added that all preparations were done to avoid any inconvenience to the passengers, especially to UK citizens.

As per the new rules, all UK nationals flying into the country will have to undertake an RT-PCR test 72 hours prior to their departure, irrespective of their vaccination status. They will also be required to take a Covid-19 test on arrival and ten days of quarantine period after landing.

India has already withdrawn the e-visas facility to the UK and Canadian nationals. They have to apply for a regular stamp visa to visit India. The steps were taken after these countries have posed restrictions on the entry of Indian nationals. (ANI)

Russia sees 25,769 daily COVID-19 cases, 890 Deaths

Moscow [Russia]: Russia saw 25,769 new COVID-19 cases and 890 virus-related deaths over the past 24 hours, the national crisis response centre said on Sunday morning.

The biggest share of new cases was recorded in Moscow. A further 4,294 infections were confirmed in the capital, with 65 patients dying. St. Petersburg reported 2,463 new infections and 59 deaths.
The authority said that a further 15,391 coronavirus patients had been discharged from hospitals, with a total of 6,725,965 recovering since the pandemic began.

The country has recorded 7,586,536 million coronavirus cases since the outbreak began early last year. A total 209, 918 people died of the virus. (ANI/Sputnik)

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.

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.

Amid COVID-19 pandemic, No Chhath Puja at public places, river banks, temples: Delhi govt

The Delhi government on Thursday stated the Chhath pooja celebration shall not be allowed in public places, public grounds, river banks and temples citing the COVID-19 pandemic in the national capital.

New Delhi [India], September 30 : An order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) advised the public to celebrate Chhath pooja at their homes. The DDMA order stated that the COVID preventive measures in Delhi will continue till November 15.
“Chhath pooja celebration shall not be allowed in public places/public grounds/river banks, temples etc in Delhi and public is advised to celebrate the same at their homes,” it stated.
This comes after Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, earlier on Wednesday chaired the meeting of DDMA in wake of the upcoming festive season to prevent any resurgence of infection.
Delhi Government ministers Satyendra Jain, Kailash Gahlot, AIIMS Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria and senior officers of NITI Aayog, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) were among present at the meeting.

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.

Cabinet Secretary chairs high level-meet with States, UTs on COVID-19 management, vaccination progress

New Delhi [India]: Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Saturday chaired a high-level meeting with States and Union Territories to review and discuss the COVID-19 management and response strategy through a video conference.
The event took place in presence of Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary and Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog. It was attended by the Chief Secretaries, Additional Chief Secretaries (Health), Principal Secretaries (Health), Municipal Commissioners, District Collectors and other senior officials of States and UTs, a Ministry of Health and Family Welfare statement said. Congratulating the States/UTs for the landmark achievement of more than 2.5 crore vaccine doses administered yesterday, Cabinet Secretary complimented healthcare workers, Chief Medical Officers, District Magistrates and State Health Secretaries for their efforts.
He hoped that with the increased availability of vaccine doses, the pace of vaccination will be maintained.
He, however, took the occasion to remind the States that there is no room for complacency. He stressed on the need to strictly enforce COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB).
Drawing examples from other countries that saw multiple peaks of COVID-19, he expressed concern over certain pockets in the country reporting high test positivity. He advised the State Health administrators to undertake granular analysis of their COVID-19 trajectory, ramp up their Health Infrastructure, undertake stocking of essential medicine and augment Human Resources at the earliest, to meet any potential surge in cases.
The Union Health Secretary highlighted the emerging challenge of Serotype-II Dengue in 11 States which is associated with more cases and more complications than other forms of the disease. He suggested the States undertake steps like early detection of cases, operationalisation of fever helplines; adequate stocking of testing kits, larvicides and medicines; deployment of Rapid Response teams for prompt investigation and necessary Public Health Action like Fever Survey, Contact Tracing, Vector Control; alerting blood banks for maintaining adequate stocks of blood and blood components, especially platelets. States were requested to also undertake IEC campaigns regarding helplines, methods of vector control, source reduction at homes and symptoms of dengue.
The Health Secretary brought to the notice of the States/UTs that 70 Districts in 15 States are a cause of concern as 34of these districts have positivity exceeding 10 per cent and in 36 districts, the positivity is in the range of 5 per cent-10 per cent. In view of the forthcoming festival season, States were directed to ensure all necessary precautions and effective enforcement for avoidance of mass gathering and congested closed spaces.
Existing guidelines regarding malls, local markets, and places of worship are to be strictly followed. States were urged to undertake effective IEC for promotion of COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB)and COVID safe festivities. They were advised to closely monitor the case trajectories in all districts on a daily basis to identify early warning signals and ensure imposition of restrictions and adherence to CAB, the statement read further.
Chief Secretaries were urged to conduct a district-level review and ensure that adequate medical infrastructure and supplies commensurate with the projected requirements are urgently mobilized. Further, private sector capacities may also be duly inventoried and deployed based on the emerging requirements.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare further said that to make all possible effort to avert any new upsurge, the State authorities were urged to focus on several issues which include — ensure compliance of COVID-appropriate behavior and observance of COVID-safe festivities, implementing intensive containment and active surveillance in clusters reporting high cases and not delay imposition of restrictions.
Furthermore, increased testing while maintaining RT-PCR ratio, prompt commissioning of PSA plants, oxygen cylinders, concentrators & ventilators, regular reviews for priority implementation of ECRP-II to ensure preparedness with enough headroom, monitor infection spread in children considering that few states have opened schools, monitor breakthrough infections post-vaccination and analyze the emerging evidence, monitor mutations including sending sufficient samples for genome sequencing, accelerate speed and coverage of vaccination, take necessary measures for prevention and control of Dengue and other vector-borne diseases.

India logs 35,662 fresh Covid-19 cases, 281 deaths in past 24 hours

According to the data shared by the Union Health Ministry on Saturday, the country saw a total of 33,798 recoveries in the last 24 hours, taking the recovery rate to 97.65%

New Delhi, India, September 18 : A day after the country set record vaccinations by administering over 2.5 crore vaccinations in a day, India recorded 35,662 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 281 deaths due to the infection in the past 24 hours. According to the data shared by the Union Health Ministry on Saturday, the country saw a total of 33,798 recoveries in the last 24 hours, taking the recovery rate to 97.65%, and total recoveries to 3,26,32,222.

The total active cases of COVID-19 in India dipped to 3,40,639 the health ministry data showed. The death toll now stands at 4,44,529. In India, the first death due to COVID pandemic was reported in March 2020.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 55,07,80,273 samples have been tested up to September 17th for COVID-19. Of these 14,48,833 samples were tested on Friday.

Karnataka topped the Covid vaccination drive in the country by administering 26.92 lakh doses till 9 PM.

More than 78.02 crore vaccine doses have been provided to States and UTs so far through GoI’s free of cost channel and through direct state procurement category. Further, more than 33 Lakh doses are in the pipeline.

COVID-19 pandemic had psychosocial impact on healthcare workers: ICMR study

A study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has revealed that increase in the work volume and intensity, manifestations of stigma and additional responsibilities of healthcare workers (HCWs), who had to adapt to new protocols and adjust to the ‘new normality’ amid the COVID-19 pandemic, had a psychosocial impact on them.

New Delhi [India], September 17 : According to the study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, the pandemic has brought out different expressions of the stigma that HCWs face with experiences of verbal and physical abuse reported to a large extent on social and print media platforms. “Manifestations of stigma have been reported in India with doctors, and nurses being forced to vacate from their premises and reports of physical violence on HCWs in many parts of the nation. This reported stress, anxiety, depression and sleep-related issues among HCWs,” the study stated.
The study findings point to the challenges at the organisational level which is reflected in the major changes in the working culture of HCWs who were ill-prepared for this change. The longer working hours with erratic timings resulted in sleep deprivation as well as unhealthy eating patterns.
“Staying away from their respective families and the families affected because of the long separation and the protocol measures of being involved in COVID-19 care duties. The fear of infecting their families was far higher than the fear of being infected themselves,” the study result stated.
The study was conducted on 967 participants across 10 sites – Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Mumbai (Maharashtra), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Noida (Uttar Pradesh), South Delhi, Pathanamthitta (Kerala), Kasaragod (Kerala), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh), Kamrup (Assam) and East Khasi Hills (Meghalaya).
Out of these, 54 per cent of respondents were females and 46 per cent were males. The respondents were primarily in the age group between 20 and 40 years.

COVID-19 positive pregnant women need immediate medical attention: ICMR study

SARS-CoV-2 can infect a higher proportion of pregnant women and the infected women need immediate medical attention, said a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). It was the first study released by ICMR on adverse outcomes of severe COVID-19 disease in pregnant women. ICMR conducted the study in collaboration with other government institutes and hospitals on pregnant women in Maharashtra.

New Delhi [India], September 16: The data is based on the PregCovid registry that collects information in near real-time on pregnant and post-partum women with laboratory confirmation of COVID from 19 medical colleges across the state of Maharashtra.
The Data of 4,203 pregnant women collected during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020-January 2021) was analysed.
“There were 3,213 live births, 77 miscarriages and 834 undelivered pregnancies. The proportion of pregnancy/foetal loss including stillbirths was six per cent. Five hundred and thirty-four women (13 per cent) were symptomatic, of which 382 (72 per cent) had mild, 112 (21 per cent) had moderate, and 40 (7.5 per cent) had severe disease. The most common complication was preterm delivery (528, 16.3 per cent) and hypertensive disorders in pregnancy (328, 10.1 per cent). A total of 158 (3.8 per cent) pregnant and post-partum women required intensive care, of which 152 (96 per cent) were due to COVID-19 related complications,” reads the study by ICMR.
According to the study the high fatality was reported in Pune and Marathwada. “The overall case fatality rate (CFR) in pregnant and post-partum women with COVID-19 was 0.8 per cent (34/4203).
Higher CFR was observed in Pune (9/853, 1.1 per cent), Marathwada (4/351, 1.1 per cent) regions as compared to Vidarbha (9/1155, 0.8 per cent), Mumbai Metropolitan (11/1684, 0.7 per cent), and Khandesh (1/160, 0.6 per cent) regions.
“Comorbidities of anaemia, tuberculosis and diabetes mellitus were associated with maternal deaths,” the study found.
“This is the first large-scale report of systematically collected, multicentre data on the clinical presentation, pregnancy outcomes and maternal deaths amongst women with COVID-19 in Maharashtra, India. The proportion of symptomatic COVID-19 women in our study was 12.7 per cent, a number consistent with that reported earlier from the same cohort18,” the study said.
“Our analysis suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may infect a higher proportion of pregnant women, and when symptomatic, a large proportion can develop moderate-to-severe diseases. Therefore, pregnant women with COVID-19 need immediate medical attention from the healthcare system in India,” it said.

Sputnik V shows 97.2 pc efficacy, high safety against COVID-19 in Belarus

Moscow [Russia], September 15 : The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on Wednesday announced the real-world data of Belarus’s Health Ministry on the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine confirming its high efficacy during the vaccination campaign in the country.
An official release stated that the Russian vaccine has demonstrated 97.2 per cent efficacy against coronavirus in Belarus. The efficacy of Sputnik V was measured based on data from more than 860,000 people vaccinated between January and July 2021. The data from the Ministry of Health also confirms high safety of Sputnik V, “No severe adverse events associated with vaccination. No deaths related to the vaccination. Belarus was the first foreign country to register Sputnik V and use it for vaccination of the population.”
RDIF and partners have facilitated the technology transfer to localise the production of Sputnik V by Belarus’s Belmedpreparaty company, which is successfully manufacturing Sputnik V. In April 2021 the vaccine produced in Belarus was authorised by the Ministry of Health.
In April 2021 the single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine (the first component of Sputnik V based on human adenovirus serotype 26) was also registered in Belarus.

Bengal : Restrictions till Sept 30

The state government has allowed offices, both government and private, to function with half the manpower.

Kolkata, west Bengal, September 15 : The West Bengal government on Wednesday extended the COVID-related restrictions till September 30 with the existing relaxations, as per an official notification.

The restrictions, first imposed on May 16 and extended at regular intervals, were set to expire on Wednesday.

“Wearing of masks, maintenance of physical distancing and health and hygiene protocols must be followed at all times,” the notification said.

The state government has allowed offices, both government and private, to function with half the manpower, as per the order.

“All outdoor activities including movement of people and vehicles shall be strictly prohibited between 11 pm to 5 am except for health services, law and order, essential commodities including agriculture produce and other emergency services,” the order said.

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West Bengal govt order extending Covid restrictions till Sept 30. District administrations, police commissionerates and local authorities shall ensure strict compliance with the state directives of wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, it said. “Any violation of the restriction measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and relevant sections of the IPC,” it added.

India logs 27,176 new COVID-19 cases in last 24 hrs, less than 30,000 cases for 4 consecutive days

New Delhi [India], September 15 : India reported 27,176 fresh COVID-19 cases and 284 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry informed on Wednesday.
Of these, Kerala recorded 15,876 new COVID-19 cases and 129 deaths in the last 24 hours. The country has been reporting less than 30,000 cases of COVID infection for the last 4 days, the ministry said.
According to the Health Ministry, the cumulative COVID-19 cases in the country has gone up to 3,33,16,755 while 4,43,497 people have succumbed to the infection so far.
Meanwhile, the country recorded 38,012 recoveries from the COVID-19 infection, taking the recovery tally to 3,25,22,171. The recovery rate is currently at 97.62 per cent.
The daily positivity rate stands at 1.69 per cent.
A total of 54,60,55,796 samples for COVID-19 has been tested up to September 14. Of which, 16,10,829 samples were tested in the last 24 hours.
In the ongoing nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive, 75.89 crore vaccine doses have been administered to the eligible beneficiaries till date

COVID vaccination is our shield, protection, effort to ultimately extinguish the disease: VK Paul

New Delhi [India], September 14 : As India crossed the landmark of administering over 75 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses on Tuesday, Niti Aayog Member (Health) Dr VK Paul said that vaccine is a shield against the disease and is also the union government’s effort to contain and ultimately extinguish coronavirus.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Paul said, “This is a very significant milestone in our fight against COVID-19. The vaccination programme and the vaccine is our shield, our protection, and our effort to contain and ultimately extinguish this disease in the 75th year of independence.” Mentioning that there are still several miles to cover, he said, “Our agenda is still to be achieved but we are making accelerated progress. There is acceleration in the implementation of the vaccination programme and this shows our capability.”
In the month of May, every day about 20 lakh doses of the Covid vaccine were administered, and more recently, India administers above 75 lakhs doses per day.
“This augurs well; it gives us confidence that we will be able to provide vaccinations to our population in a rational period of time,” Paul added.
Giving an insight into India’s future goal for COVID-19 vaccination, he said, “The goal is that all adults who are eligible for receiving Covid vaccination should get their jab. This is the goal towards which we are working presently.”
“Our acceleration is reassuring and vaccine supply portfolio is also reassuring. Steadily, we are moving in towards the goal. It’s a goal that we believe is possible to be achieved,” he added.
Further, he mentioned that the entire system engaged in the COVID-19 vaccination programme is geared up, Paul said, “We now know how to mobilise people of not only the urban but also the rural areas. People themselves are also coming forward to get their dose of vaccine. The IT system and the cold chain systems are also working well. It is very reassuring.”
“We have steady well-oiled machinery that is working and can further push vaccine uptake in remote areas for marginalised people and those who need to be made aware. But that’s an effort that would be achieved collectively by the will of people, the stakeholders of the government, civil society and others,” he added.

Players were devastated when they came to know Parmar had tested positive : Sourav Ganguly

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly has revealed Indian players were “dead scared” when they came to know that physio Yogesh Parmar had contracted COVID-19 ahead of the fifth Test against England.

New Delhi [India], September 13 : The fifth Test match between England and India was cancelled in Manchester on Friday. The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test match, however, the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the game. “The players refused to play but you can’t blame them. Physio Yogesh Parmar was such a close contact of the players. Being the only one available after Nitin Patel isolated himself, he mixed freely with the players and even performed their Covid-19 tests,” Ganguly said in an interaction with the Kolkata-based Telegraph as reported by ESPNcricinfo.
“He also used to give them a massage, he was part of their everyday lives. The players were devastated when they came to know that he had tested positive for Covid-19.
“They feared they must have contracted the disease and were dead scared. It’s not easy staying in a bubble. Of course, you have to respect their feelings,” he added.
The BCCI has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled fifth Test match which was scheduled to be played at Manchester from Friday.
The BCCI President said the rescheduled game will be a one-off Test when India and England next lock horns in a bilateral series.
“The Old Trafford Test has been cancelled. They (ECB) have incurred a lot of losses and it’s not going to be easy on [them],” said Ganguly.
“Let things settle down a bit, then we can discuss and decide. Whenever it’s held next year, it should be a one-off match since it cannot be a continuation of the series anymore,” he added.

India logs 28,591 new COVID-19 cases in last 24 hours

New Delhi [India], September 12 : India recorded 28,591 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative covid count to 3,32,36,921, the Union Health Ministry informed on Sunday.
Presently, there are 3,84,921 active cases in the country. In the last 24 hours, 20,487 cases of COVID-19 were reported in Kerala only. According to the ministry, a total of 338 people succumbed to the coronavirus infection in the last 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to 4,42,655 in the country.
As a sign of relief, India recorded 34,848 recoveries in the past 24 hours and the recovery tally has gone up to 3,24,09,345.
Currently, the overall recovery rate in the country stands at 97.51 per cent.
The daily positivity rate of the country stands at 1.87 per cent while the weekly positivity rate is 2.17 per cent.
India has substantially ramped up its COVID-19 testing capacity wherein over 54 crore tests have been conducted so far.
In the ongoing nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive, 73.82 crore vaccine doses have been administered to eligible beneficiaries to date.

Manchester Test cancellation all about money and IPL, says Vaughan

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has said the Manchester Test between India and England was cancelled because players were petrified of catching covid and missing the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Manchester [UK], September 11 : The fifth and final Test between India and England was cancelled on Friday after the visitors’ assistant physio tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. “Let’s be honest, this is all about money and the IPL. The Test has been cancelled because players were petrified of catching covid and missing the IPL,” Vaughan wrote in his column for The Telegraph.
“In a week or so we will be watching the IPL and the players will be running around smiling and happy. But they should have trusted the PCR tests. We know a lot about this virus now. We know how to manage and handle it better. Players are double vaccinated and biosecurity can be raised very quickly,” he added.
Vaughan also said that he finds it hard to believe that India found it tough to find 11 players for the final Test against England.
“The game of cricket needed this Test match. The series was brilliantly poised. It just does not sit comfortably that a Test match can be cancelled 90 minutes before the toss. It is completely disrespectful towards the paying public,” said Vaughan.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) CEO Tom Harrison said that it was frustrating to see the fifth Test between England and India being cancelled and the board tried its best to avoid this outcome.
“A huge amount has happened over the last 24 hours, and from one cricket lover to another, I want to say how sorry I am for all the inconvenience caused by the cancellation of this Test match. We were all looking forward to what promised to be the culmination of this brilliant Test Series, and I’m so disappointed at not being able to get the match played,” said ECB chief Harrison in an official statement.
“I have heard many stories today of people who planned for months or saved hard during this pandemic to have a special day out with friends and family. To not see that happen is hard to take. Today’s news will have been so frustrating, especially given the short notice. Please know that we worked through the night to find solutions and avoid this outcome,” he added.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled 5th Test match which was scheduled to be played at Manchester from Friday. The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test match, however, the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the game.

India logs 33,376 new COVID-19 cases

New Delhi [India], September 11 : India recorded 33,376 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry informed on Saturday.
Out of these, 25,010 cases were recorded in Kerala. India’s cumulative COVID count has now gone up to 3,32,08,330.
There are currently 3,91,516 active cases in the country.
According to the Ministry, as many as 308 people succumbed to the COVID-19 infection in the last 24 hours taking the death toll to 4,42,317.
Meanwhile, India recorded 32,198 recoveries in the last 24 hours and the recovery tally has gone up to 3,23,74,497.
The recovery rate stands at 97.49 per cent.
The daily positivity rate stands at 2.10 per cent while the weekly positivity rate is at 2.26 per cent.
India has substantially ramped up its COVID-19 testing capacity wherein over 54 crore tests have been conducted so far, including 15,92,135 tests conducted in the last 24 hours.
In the ongoing nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive, 73.05 crore vaccine doses have been administered to eligible beneficiaries till date

India: Vaccination Exceeds 73 cr

India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage surpassed 73 crores, of which 65,27,175 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday.

New Delhi [India], September 11 : “With the administration of 65,27,175 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, country’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage surpassed the cumulative figure of 73 crores landmark milestone (73,05,89,688) as per provisional reports till 7 am today. This has been achieved through 74,70,363 sessions,” the health ministry said. Of the total, 1,03,63,329 health care workers received the first dose and 85,70,340 second vaccine doses; 1,83,35,452 front line workers were administered the first dose and 1,39,10,387 vaccine doses given as the second dose to front line workers.
According to the health ministry, 29,34,35,121 vaccine doses were administered as the first dose and 4,11,03,253 vaccine doses were given as the second dose in the age group 18-44 years.
Also, in the age group of 45-59 years, 14,20,96,089 people have received the first dose and 6,16,92,121 have received the second dose whereas 9,23,11,436 vaccine doses were administered as first dose and 4,87,72,160 vaccine doses given as the second dose to the people over 60 years.
Additionally, the recovery of 32,198 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally of recovered patients (since the beginning of the pandemic) to 3,23,74,497. Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 97.49 per cent.
33,376 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours. The trend of less than 50,000 daily new cases is being reported for 76 consecutive days now.
India’s active caseload is presently at 3,91,516 and it constitutes 1.18 per cent of the country’s total positive cases.
The weekly positivity rate at 2.26 per cent remains less than 3 per cent for the last 78 days now while the daily positivity rate is reported to be 2.10 per cent.
The daily positivity rate has remained below 3 per cent for the last 12 days and below 5 per cent for 96 consecutive days now.
The ministry further said that the testing capacity across the country continues to be expanded and in the last 24 hours saw a total of 15,92,135 tests being conducted. India has so far conducted 54,01,96,989 cumulative tests.

Can’t presume that all Covid deaths during second wave were due to negligence: Supreme Court

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and Hima Kohli asked the petitioner Deepak Raj Singh to approach the competent authorities with his suggestions.

New Delhi, India, September 8 : The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that courts cannot presume that all deaths due to COVID-19 in the second wave of the pandemic were due to negligence as it refused to entertain a plea seeking compensation for the kin of the victims by treating it as medical negligence.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and Hima Kohli asked the petitioner Deepak Raj Singh to approach the competent authorities with his suggestions.

The bench said, “To assume that each death due to COVID-19 took place due to negligence is too much. The second wave had such an impact across the country that it cannot be presumed that all deaths happened due to negligence. Courts cannot have a presumption that all Covid deaths happened due to medical negligence, which your petition does”.

The top court referred to a recent verdict of June 30, in which it had directed the National Disaster Management Authority to recommend within six weeks appropriate guidelines for ex-gratia assistance on account of loss of life to the family members of persons, who died due to COVID-19.

It said, “in that verdict the court has taken a view with regard to humanity and not due to negligence. The government is yet to come out with the policy. If you have any suggestion with regard to implementation of that policy, you can approach the competent authority”.

At the outset, advocate Sriram Parakat, appearing for the petitioner, said that his petition is different as it brings into account an element of negligence and compensation for the deaths which have happened due to medical negligence.

The bench noted that since the petition was filed in the month of May, a lot of developments have taken place.

“We have taken suo motu cognizance on Covid preparedness and a National Task Force has been constituted by this court which is looking into several aspects,” the bench said.

The bench further told Parakat that, “It was such a wave that it affected the entire country” and the court cannot make a general presumption of medical negligence. The top court, while disposing of the petition, asked the petitioner to withdraw his plea and amend it and if any suggestions are there, then the petitioner can approach the competent authority. 

India administers 70 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses till date

In a landmark achievement, India has administered 70,00,00,000 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses to date, informed Union Health Minster Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday.

New Delhi [India], September 7 : Taking to Twitter, Mandaviya congratulated all the health workers and people for this momentous achievement. “Soaring higher on #COVID19 vaccination under PM @NarendraModi ji’s leadership. 70,00,00,000 vaccine doses administered to date. Congratulations to all the health workers and people for this momentous achievement. #SabkoVaccineMuftVaccine,” the health minister said in a tweet.
Earlier on Monday, India administered more than one crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine in a day.
“September has started on a high note as India touches 1 crore Covid-19 vaccinations today. Under PM Narendra Modi’s leadership, the world’s largest vaccination drive is scaling massive heights,” Union Health Minister tweeted on Monday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also lauded the administration of over one crore COVID-19 vaccine doses in a day.
India had started the COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16 with two vaccines — Covishield (Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India) and Covaxin (manufactured by Bharat Biotech Limited).
The second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive to inoculate people above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities against the coronavirus began on March 1.
The third phase began on April 1 for all above 45 years of age. In the next phase that began from May 1, all above the age of 18 were eligible to receive the shot.

PM Modi urges healthcare workers to avoid COVID vaccine wastage

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday interacted with healthcare workers and beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Himachal Pradesh through video conference.

New Delhi [India], September 6 : The Prime Minister during the interaction urged the healthcare workers to avoid the wastage of the COVID-19 vaccine. Interacting with Dr Rahul, who is posted in the Civil Hospital in Dodra Kwar area in Shimla, the Prime Minister said, “Using the COVID vaccine carefully can decrease the expenses of vaccination by 10 per cent.”
“Teams were deployed to visit every house to spread awareness about virus and vaccination. We used to take feedback from the ASHA workers everyday and used to collect data to avoid the wastage of vaccine,” Dr Rahul said while interacting with PM Modi.
“I have seen that all the staff members including doctors, nurses and others have worked in a team to carry out the vaccination drive. We must not show leniency of any kind to complete the vaccination drive,” PM Modi said while interacting with a beneficiary, Dayal Singh from Thunag Mandi.
Himachal Pradesh has successfully covered its entire eligible population with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination, the Prime Minister’s Office said earlier on Sunday.
The efforts by the state included geographical prioritisation to focus on difficult terrains, initiatives to ensure mass awareness, and door-to-door visits by ASHA workers, among others, informed an official release by the Prime Minister’s Office.
“Himachal Pradesh has set a benchmark in the fight against COVID-19 by giving the first dose of vaccine to all eligible people. Will have the privilege of interacting with many such beneficiaries and health workers of the state through video conferencing tomorrow at 11 am,” informed PM Modi in a tweet in Hindi.
The state gave special attention to women, the elderly, divyangjans, industrial workers, daily wagers and undertook special campaigns like “Suraksha ki Yukti-Corona se Mukti” to attain this milestone.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur was present during the event.

Rural India is empowering COVID vaccination drive: PM Modi

ANI | Updated: Sep 06, 2021 14:35 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday praised the people of Himachal for not allowing any rumour or disinformation to hamper the COVID vaccination drive in the state and said that country’s rural society is empowering the vaccination drive.
Speaking at the interaction session with the healthcare workers and beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Himachal Pradesh, PM Modi said, “The people of Himachal did not allow any rumour and any disinformation to hamper the vaccination efforts. Himachal is proof of how the country’s rural society is empowering the world’s largest and fastest vaccination campaign.” The Prime Minister als0 expressed happiness that even in a remote district like Lahaul-Spiti has been a leader in giving 100 per cent first dose.
“This is the area which used to be cut off from the rest of the country for months before the Atal Tunnel was built,” he said.
“Tourism is also getting the direct benefit of strengthened connectivity, farmers and gardeners who produce fruits and vegetables are also getting it. By using internet connectivity in villages, young talents of Himachal can take their culture and new possibilities of tourism to the country and abroad.”
Referring to recently notified Drones rules, the Prime Minister said: “These rules will help in the spheres of many sectors like health and agriculture. This will open doors for new possibilities.”
The Prime Minister urged the farmers and gardeners of Himachal to make farming in Himachal organic within the next 25 years.
“Slowly we have to free our soil from chemicals,” he said.
He said the central government is now going to create a special online platform for women self-help groups.
“Through this medium, our sisters will be able to sell their products in the country and the world. They will be able to deliver apple, orange, kinnow, mushroom, tomato, many such products to every nook and corner of the country,” he added.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur, BJP national president JP Nadda, Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur, MPs, MLAs, Panchayat leaders, among others, were present on the occasion.

Kerala health system on heightened alert with advent of Nipah amid COVID pandemic | 10 points

Amid a daily increase of nearly 30,000 cases of Covid-19, the deadly Nipah virus has hit Kerala, prompting the state to further heighten the alertness of its health machinery to prevent an outbreak of a different infection.

New Delhi, India, september 5 : Amid a daily increase of nearly 30,000 cases of Covid-19, the deadly Nipah virus has hit Kerala, prompting the state to further heighten the alertness of its health machinery to prevent an outbreak of a different infection. The southern state witnessed a localised outbreak of 63 cases of Zika virus in July that were mostly confined to Thiruvananthapuram, however, need not be concerned about the spread of Nipah infection as preventive measures like use of masks and PPE kits — are already in place due to COVID-19 and intensive contact tracing was going on, state health minister Veena George said on Sunday.

A LOWDOWN

  1. The central government has rushed a team from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to provide support to the state, where a 12 year-old boy died due to Nipah on Sunday and two others displayed symptoms of the virus infection.
  2. Experts, like Dr Amar Fettle, Dr T S Anish and Dr T N Suresh, told PTI that there was less cause for concern at present as the state has already dealt with the Nipah virus twice in the past — when it reared its head in 2018 and 2019 — and the risk of transmission would be less this time round as protective measures, like wearing of masks and PPE kits, are already in place. They also said that Nipah infections are usually confined to small clusters or areas.
  3. The experts said that “intensive contact tracing” and quarantine of all primary contacts were the two main steps to be taken to ensure effective control over spread of the infection.
  4. Dr Fettle, the nodal officer for H1N1, said that the Nipah infection is very pathogenic, but it is more likely to spread once the patient’s condition becomes severe — when he/she is hospitalised. He said that risk of the infection spreading would, therefore, be higher in the hospital than at community level. Hence, while doing contact tracing, people who may have come into contact with the patient at the hospitals should be “meticulously traced”, he said. He further said that steps taken by the state to tackle COVID-19, like preparing a time stamped route map of patients, would come in handy here also as it would help public health authorities inform people about the places visited by the infected person and at what times. This will let people know as to who all need to quarantine themselves or come forward for testing if they exhibit symptoms and would avoid widespread panic in the district or state, he said.
  5. Dr Anish, a specialist in Community medicine, and Dr Suresh, general secretary of the Kerala Government Medical Officers Association, were also of a similar view that contact tracing and quarantine of primary contacts were the two most important steps presently. Dr Anish said that Nipah usually remains confined to smaller areas or clusters and its numbers remain very few and hardly ever crosses even 50.
  6. Dr Suresh said that the state has already dealt with the virus twice in the past and therefore, it already has a model in place to “effectively” tackle it. Moreover, due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, people are already taking preventive steps like wearing masks and kits, and therefore, the spread of Nipah may be less. Also, due to COVID-19, the victim’s list of contacts would be limited, he said and added that local containment activities are already in motion. He said the primary contacts would be kept in quarantine and if they display symptoms, they would be tested. Subsequently, based on the results, supportive medical care would be provided.
  7. All of the experts said that supportive care was the only mode of treatment as there is no cure or vaccine for Nipah.
  8. They also said that the likelihood of both Nipah and COVID-19 infecting patients was less.
  9. The state health minister, earlier in the day, told the media that information regarding the infection status of the boy was received late, but as soon as they got to know about it, the department swung into action and held an emergency meeting Saturday night itself to formulate an action plan. She said that a special team was formed on that night to carry out contact tracing and identify primary contacts and it was effectively carrying out that work.
  10. Preparations have been made to isolate or quarantine those in the primary contacts list and subsequently, after another meeting at Kozhikode Medical College, a treatment protocol would be decided, the minister said. Later in the day, she told reporters that two more people have displayed symptoms of Nipah infection and were being monitored. The two, both health workers in the hospitals where the victim was taken, are among the 20 high risk contacts of the deceased 12-year-old child, she said. The nearby districts of Kannur and Malappuram have also been directed to be on the alert for any cases of Nipah, she had said earlier. The Minister had also said that it was being examined why the case was again reported in Kozhikode as had happened in 2018 when the first infection was recorded in the same district.

The first Nipah virus disease outbreak in South India was reported from Kozhikode district in Kerala on May 19, 2018. There have been 17 deaths and 18 confirmed cases as of June 1, 2018. The outbreak was contained and declared over by June 10, 2018. Thereafter, in June 2019, a new case of Nipah was reported from Kochi and the sole patient was a 23-year-old student, who later recovered.  With this year’s reporting of a case, it is the fifth time the virus has been detected in India and the third in Kerala. (With PTI inputs)

India: 42,766 cases in 24 hours

New Delhi [India], September 5 : With 42,766 people testing positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, India’s active cases rose to 4,10,048 accounting for 1.24 per cent of total cases.
Of the fresh cases reported in the last 24 hours, Kerala recorded 29,682 new cases and 142 deaths yesterday. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the recovery rate is currently at 97.42 per cent as 38,091 people recovered in the last 24 hours.
With this, the number of total recoveries has climbed to 3,21,38,092.
In this, the weekly positivity rate is now at 2.66 per cent that is less than 3 per cent for the last 72 days.
The daily positivity rate is also reported to be at 2.45 per cent in the country.
To detect the presence of COVID-19 in individuals, the ministry informed that it has tested 53.65 crore individuals, to date.
As many as 17,47, 476 tests were conducted on Saturday, while so far 53,00,58,218 tests have been conducted.
As a part of the ongoing vaccination drive in the country, 68.46 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far in the country.
“With the administration of 71,61,760 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has surpassed the cumulative figure of 68.46 Crore (68,46,69,521) on Sunday,” Health Ministry informed.
“As per provisional reports, till 7 am today, the recovery of 38,091 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally of recovered patients (since the beginning of the pandemic) to 3,21,38,092,” it added.
India commenced its ongoing vaccination drive on January 16 this year. (

India logs 42,618 fresh COVID-19 cases

29,322 positive cases from Kerala, The total active cases of COVID-19 in India rose to 4,05,681, the ministry data showed. 

New Delhi [India], September 4 : India reported 42,618 fresh COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours wherein Kerala contributed a majority of cases by logging 29,322 positive cases.
The overall death toll due to this virus touched 4,40,225 in the country. Here, 330 fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours wherein Kerala added 131 fatalities, Maharashtra reported 92 fatalities and the rest of the states reported 107 fatalities. The total cases in the country jumped to 3,29,45,907 including 4,05,681 active cases. Active cases account for 1.23 per cent of the total cases.
As a sign of relief, the total recoveries escalated to more than 3.2 crores (3,21,00,001) including 36,385 recoveries in the last 24 hours. With this, the recovery rate is currently at 97.43 per cent.
Following this, the daily positivity rate is at 2.50 per cent and the weekly positivity rate is at 2.63 per cent that is less than 3 per cent for the last 71 days.
To detect the presence of this virus in individuals, the ministry informed that 52.82 crore total tests have been conducted in the country till date.
As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), cumulative samples tested in the country till September 3 is at 52,82,40,038 with 17,04,970 samples being tested in the last 24 hours.
For the ongoing nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive, the country administered 67.72 crore vaccine doses to people to date. India commenced its vaccination drive on January 16 this year.

India logs 47,092 fresh COVID cases

The total active cases of COVID in India rose to 3,89,583, the health ministry data showed. over 35,000 recoveries in 24 hours

New Delhi, India, September 2 : India recorded 47,092 new cases of the novel coronavirus, along with 509 deaths due to the infection in the past 24 hours. According to the data shared by the Union Health Ministry on Thursday, the country saw a total of 35,181 discharges in the last 24 hours, taking the total recovery rate at around 97.51 per cent and total recoveries to 3,20,28,825.

The total active cases of COVID-19 in India rose to 3,89,583, the ministry data showed. 

The total death toll in the country is now at 4,39,529. In India, the first death due to COVID pandemic was reported in March 2020.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 52,48,68,734 samples have been tested up to September 1 for COVID-19. Of these 16,84,441 samples were tested on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Kerala on Wednesday reported as many as 32,804 coronavirus cases and 173 deaths. With this, the death toll went up to 20,961 while active cases stood at 2,29,912. The test positivity rate (TPR) was found to be 18.76 percent after testing of 1,74,854 samples in the last 24 hours, according to a state government release.

Dharmendra Pradhan reviews the school reopening

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday reviewed the status of reopening of schools across the country with senior officials of the Department of School Education and Literacy.

New Delhi [India], September 1 : As Per Education Ministry, Union Education Minister also took stock of the roadmap for vaccinating all teaching and non-teaching staff in schools by the month of September. “Government Of India (GoI) is prioritising vaccination of teaching and non-teaching staff in schools across India to ensure a safe environment for reopening of schools,” stated the Education Ministry.
Earlier, on Tuesday, Secretary, School Education and Literacy Anita Karwal held a meeting with Education Secretaries of states and Union Territories via video conferencing on National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) guidelines on school safety and vaccination of teaching and non-teaching staff in schools were discussed.
During the discussion, the Secretary of the Department of School Education and Literacy (DOSEL), advised all the states and UTs to get the first dose of vaccination completed for all the teaching and non-teaching staff during the month of September 2021 and those teaching and non-teaching staff who have already received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine should be followed up firmly for the second dose.
Department of School Education and Literacy is also obtaining the information on vaccination of teachers on weekly basis from states and UTs through the tracker.

Pakistan: Over 100 deaths reported in last 24 hours due to COVID-19.

Islamabad [Pakistan], September 1: Pakistan’s National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday reported 101 deaths in the last 24 hours due to COVID-19 on Wednesday. The total death tally has reached 25,889, reported Geo TV.
According to NCOC, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Pakistan reached 1,163,688, after fresh 3,559 cases were added in the last 24 hours. Currently, the total number of active cases of COVID-19 in Pakistan is 93,901.
Pakistan’s COVID-19 positivity rate has fallen to 6.63 per cent, as compared to 7.36 per cent on Tuesday.
Pakistan has vaccinated 53,314,628 doses of COVID-19 vaccines till now, making only 12.3 per cent under vaccine cover if every person needs 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, reported Geo TV.
COVID-19 Vaccination drive in Pakistan for people of age 17 and above has started on Wednesday, as part of Pakistan Govt.’s strategy to control the spreading virus, reported GEO TV.

Philippines’ COVID-19 cases tops 2 million as Delta virus spreads

Manila [Philippines], September 1 ( The Philippines crossed a grim milestone as COVID-19 caseload topped 2 million on Wednesday.
The number of COVID-19 cases in the Southeast Asian country surged to 2,003,955 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 14,216 new daily infections on Wednesday. The DOH also reported 86 coronavirus-related deaths, raising the country’s death toll to 33,533.
“The relatively low number of cases today is due to lower laboratory output last Monday,” the DOH said in a statement, adding that five laboratories failed to submit the data.
On Monday, the Philippines posted the highest single-day spike of 22,366 since the outbreak in January 2020.
The DOH said the community transmission of the highly contagious Delta variant will further drive up the number of infections in the country. In an online briefing on Tuesday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH expects the cases to peak by the middle of this month.
The Philippines, which has a population of around 110 million, has tested over 17.5 million people.

New Covid variant, C.1.2, may be more infectious, evade vaccine protection: Study

C.1.2 has been found in China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, England, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland as of August 13.

Nw Delhi, India, August 30 : A new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which cause COVID-19, has been detected in South Africa and many other countries globally which could be more transmissible and evade protection provided by vaccines, according to study. Scientists from National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) in South Africa said the potential variant of interest, C.1.2, was first detected in the country in May this year.

C.1.2 has since been found in China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, England, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland as of August 13, they said.

According to the yet-to-be peer-reviewed study posted on the preprint repository MedRxiv on August 24, C.1.2 has mutated substantially compared to C.1, one of the lineages which dominated the SARS-CoV-2 infections in the first wave in South Africa.

The new variant has more mutations than other variants of concern (VOCs) or variants of interest (VOIs) detected worldwide so far, the researchers said.

They noted that the number of available sequences of C.1.2 may be an underrepresentation of the spread and frequency of the variant in South Africa and around the world.

The study found consistent increases in the number of C.1.2 genomes in South Africa each month, rising from 0.2 per cent of genomes sequenced in May to 1.6 per cent in June and then to 2 per cent in July.

“This is similar to the increases seen with the Beta and Delta variants in the country during early detection,” the authors of the study said.

According to the study, C.1.2 lineage has a mutation rate of about 41.8 mutations per year, which is about twice as fast as the current global mutation rate of the other variants.

Over half of the C.1.2 sequences have 14 mutations, but additional variations have been noticed in some of the sequences. “Though these mutations occur in the majority of C.1.2 viruses, there is additional variation within the spike region of this lineage, suggesting ongoing intra-lineage evolution,” the authors of the study noted.

About 52 per cent of the mutations in the spike region of the C.1.2 sequences have previously been seen in other VOCs and VOIs.
The spike protein is used by the SARS-CoV-2 virus to infect and enter human cells, and most vaccines target this region.

The mutations N440K and Y449H, which have been associated with immune escape from certain antibodies, have also been noticed in C.1.2 sequences.

“While these mutations are not characteristic of current VOCs/VOIs, they have been associated with escape from certain class 3 neutralising antibodies,” the authors wrote.

They noted that these mutations together with changes in other parts of the virus likely help the virus evade antibodies, and immune response, including in patients who have already developed antibodies for the Alpha or Beta variants.

“While the phenotypic characteristics and epidemiology of C.1.2 are being defined, it is important to highlight this lineage given its concerning constellations of mutations,” the authors added.

SC to resume physical hearing from September 1

The Supreme Court has been hearing cases through video-conferencing since March last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Delhi, India, August 30 : The Supreme Court will resume physical hearing of cases from September 1 in a limited manner. The Secretary General of the Court has issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the same.

While the physical hearing, for the time being, will be limited to final/regular hearing matters on non-miscellaneous days, i.e. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The top court will continue with virtual hearings on Monday and Friday, which are miscellaneous days and number of matters listed before the benches are high.

The SOP said that advocate(s)-on-record are required to register themselves on the Supreme Court portal and submit their preferences for appearing before the court either through physical mode or through video/teleconferencing mode within 24 hours after the publication of the weekly list of hearings.

Once hearing through physical mode is opted by advocate(s)-on-Record, hearing through video/tele-conferencing mode to the party concerned will not be facilitated.

The decision was taken after several representations were made by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Supreme Court Advocate on Record Bar Association (SCAORA) to the Chief Justice N V Ramana for resuming physical hearing in the courts.

Earlier in March this year the apex court had commenced hybrid proceedings, a combination of virtual and physical hearings, amid demands by lawyers for resumption of complete physical hearings but the system could not take off due to the onset of the second wave of COVID pandemic.

The top court has been hearing cases through video-conferencing since March last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and several bar bodies and lawyers have been demanding that physical hearings should resume immediately.

COVID 19 : 42,909 new case, Kerala logs 29,836

India reported 42,909 new COVID-19 cases and 380 related fatalities in the last 24 hours, informed the Union Health Ministry on Monday.

New Delhi [India], August 30 : Here, of the total cases reported in the country, Kerala logged 29,836 fresh cases of this virus yesterday and 75 fatalities. The test positivity rate is at a historic high of 19.67 per cent. With this, the total death toll in the country touched 4,38,210 including the fresh fatalities. Of the 380 fresh fatalities, 75 deaths were from Kerala, 131 deaths were from Maharashtra, 67 deaths were from Odisha and the rest 107 deaths were reported from the rest of the states.
The total cases in the country are 3,26,95,030 with 3,76,324 active cases. Active cases account for 1.15 per cent of the total cases.
The total recoveries reached 3,19,23,405 wherein 34,763 recoveries were reported in the last 24 hours. Following this, the recovery rate is currently at 97.51 per cent.
Of the 52.01 crore total tests conducted so far, daily positivity rate reported stands at 3.02 per cent. Also, the weekly positivity rate is at 2.41 per cent that is less than 3 per cent for last 66 days.
52,01,46,525 samples have been tested till date wherein 14,19,990 samples were tested yesterday to detect the virus, informed the Indian Council of Medical Research.
As a part of the ongoing vaccination drive, 63.43 crore vaccine doses have been administered till date in the country. India commenced its COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16 this year.
Meanwhile, Kerala Health Minister Veena George said on Sunday that a revised Covid-19 testing strategy is being introduced in the state in the wake of 71 per cent out of total population eligible to be vaccinated taking at least first dose of the vaccine against Coronavirus. 

Wait for two-three months till children get vaccinated against COVID-19, says Dr Trehan on re-opening of schools

​Dr. Naresh Trehan, chairman of Medanta, has raised an alarm over reopening of schools throughout the country. The senior doctor advocated for vaccination of children before they be sent to schools.

New Delhi [India], August 29 : Stating that India approved Zydus Cadila’s DNA vaccine for emergency use in adults and children, Medanta Chairman and Managing Director Dr Naresh Trehan on Sunday cautioned against the re-opening of schools and said that since the vaccine is around the corner, the government should wait for two-three months till the children get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Speaking to ANI Dr Trehan said, “I believe that we should be a lot more cautious. And the fact is that the vaccine is now around the corner because the drug controller just approved the Zydus vaccine. So even if people get one dose, we know that the protection goes up 30 per cent to 50 per cent. So, we should be patient for another two-three months till the vaccine arrives, children get vaccinated, and then they should be allowed to go to school but it seems we are in a rush right now to open schools.” Dr Trehan’s remarks came as the Delhi government announced the re-opening of schools in the national capital from September 1 for classes 9-12. But, students will need parents consent and no one will be forced to attend the classes. Some groups of doctors, academicians called for an immediate resumption of in-person classes in schools.
On August 23, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Friday approved Zydus Cadila’s DNA vaccine for emergency use in adults and children aged 12 years and above. It is considered a timely move amid warnings of an upcoming third wave in the country. Recently, a committee of experts under the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) warned of the third COVID-19 wave that could peak around October and sought better preparedness for children.
Further speaking the Medanta Chairman and Managing Director said, “In US, schools opened but even after vaccination many children got infected, “If you look at the history that what is going on in the US where schools reopened and also a large number of children have been vaccinated because vaccine became available soon. The Association of Paediatrics in the US says that the number of cases after the schools have reopened has gone up from 38,000 per week in July to 180,000 per week in August.”
Further explaining the strategy that needs to be followed before re-opening of schools, Dr Trehan said “We have to look at every aspect of it. Primarily, all the students should be vaccinated when they go to school. Apart from this, there should be proper ventilation, and all the precautions of social distancing and masking should be followed 100 per cent.”
“There is a warning from Florida, which says that the hospitals are full with children, and they don’t have any facilities left. So, we have to look at it in perspective for India where children are not being vaccinated at all. We also have to take this fact into consideration that we may or may not have the luxury of open spaces,” said Dr Trehan.
Reminding about the need for sufficient infrastructure and health facilities for children, Dr Trehan said, “If a high number of children fall sick we don’t have the facilities in India, to actually take care of them. We don’t have, we are gearing up but we’re still a long way away from having good facilities because we don’t have enough doctors who are paediatrics, enough ICUs for children and ventilators, We are preparing and the government is trying to ramp up the availability of all the facilities as fast as possible.”

Start of India women’s tour of Australia delayed by two days, all matches to be staged in Queensland

India women’s upcoming tour of Australia will now be staged in Queensland and the opening match of the series is set to be delayed by two days — from September 19 to 21.

New Delhi [India], August 29 : The upcoming tour of Australia will comprise three ODIs, one day-night Test match, and three T20Is. According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, the opening ODI was originally slated for Sydney Oval but will now be played in Mackay due to the COVID-19 enforced restrictions.
As per the report, the lockdowns around Australia have resulted in the change of schedules and everything is pending for the final green light from the Queensland state government upon India women’s team arrival.
The women’s team will depart for Australia from Bengaluru on Sunday and then the entire squad will spend two weeks under mandatory quarantine.
Talking about the team’s preparation for the Test, head coach Ramesh Powar on Saturday said: “I think we need to understand we are going to play ODIs first. World Cup [in February-March next year] is a very important tournament for us and we’re focusing on that. If you see only the one-off Test, we can’t go in with a mindset of preparing for that.”
“I think it is about taking the one-day confidence into Test. In the last series, the way we came back, without our stars getting their rhythm, I’m confident that we don’t have to prepare separately for the pink-ball Test. We back our players in the format, and they are good enough to react to the situation,” he added.
Earlier on Tuesday, the All-India Senior Women’s Selection Committee picked the squads for India Women’s upcoming tour. Sneh Rana who gave spirited performances against England in the multi-format series earlier this year has found a place in all three squads.

63 cr COVID vaccine doses administered in India so far

New Delhi [India], August 29 : India has administered over 63 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses so far, said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday. As many as 73,85,866 COVID vaccine doses have been administered in the last 24 hours. With this, the country’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage reached 63,09,17,927, as per provisional reports till 7 am today. This has been achieved through 67,80,301 sessions. Meanwhile, India reported 45,083 new COVID-19 cases and 460 deaths in the last 24 hours said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday.
Notably, of the total new cases recorded in the country, Kerala reported 31,265 new COVID cases and 153 deaths on Saturday.
As many as 35,840 patients recovered in the country from the disease in the last 24 hours taking the total recoveries to 3,18,88,642. The current recovery rate is at 97.53 per cent.
The active number of COVID cases stands at 3,68,558 which accounts for 1.13 per cent of the total cases.
The total number of samples tested till today is 51,86,42,929 including 17,55,327 samples tested on Saturday. The current positivity rate is at 2.57 per cent.

India reports 45,083 new COVID-19 infections, Kerala logs 31,265 cases

New Delhi [India], August 29 : India reported 45,083 new COVID-19 cases and 460 deaths in the last 24 hours said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday.

Notably, of the total new cases recorded in the country, Kerala reported 31,265 new COVID cases and 153 deaths on Saturday.
As many as 35,840 patients recovered in the country from the disease in the last 24 hours taking the total recoveries to 3,18,88,642. The current recovery rate is at 97.53 per cent.

The active number of COVID cases stands at 3,68,558 which accounts for 1.13 per cent of the total cases.

The total number of samples tested till today is 51,86,42,929 including 17,55,327 samples tested on Saturday. The current positivity rate is at 2.57 per cent.

Under the nationwide COVID vaccination drive, 63.09 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far. (ANI)

Curb ‘crowded fests’ to avoid Covid spike

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has announced a near-total ban on the upcoming ‘Dahi-Handi’ celebrations starting Sunday.

New delhi, india, August 28 : The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has urged the Maharashtra government to impose and enforce ‘restrictions’ to prevent the spread of Covid-19, officials said here on Saturday.

The directive from the Centre came late on Friday through Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan — barely five days after the Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced a near-total ban on the upcoming ‘Dahi-Handi’ celebrations starting Sunday.

Referring to the Centre’s earlier guidelines on ‘focused containment measures’, Bhushan advised the state government to consider imposing and enforcing local restrictions for the people.

Citing the concerns of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) of such mass-gathering fests turning into ‘super-spreader events’, thereby resulting in a spike in Covid cases, Bhushan said the same was communicated to the states on July 20.

“This is particularly important in view of circulation of more transmissible variants of concern being reported by various states, including Maharashtra,” said Bhushan, hinting at the recent increase in Delta Plus cases which have already claimed 5 lives in the state.

However, the state Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Ram Kadam has slammed the state government’s move to impose “a blanket ban” on celebrating ‘Dahi-Handi’ and demanded that festivities at local levels should be permitted with full Covid restrictions.

The state Health Minister Rajesh Tope has warned that the possible ‘third wave’ could be a ‘Tsunami’ of over 6-million cases in the state, which could be triple of the 2-million recorded in the ‘first-wave’ in 2020 and much higher than the 4-million notched in the ‘second-wave’ this year.

The MoHFW has cautioned that “any laxity” in ensuring strict adherence to the five-fold strategy of ‘Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate-Ensuring Covid Appropriate Behaviour’ may result in losing the impetus that Maharashtra and the country has gained so far in managing the pandemic.

Australia reports more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for second time in 3 days

Canberra [Australia](ANI/Xinhua): Australia has reported a record number of daily coronavirus cases for several times recently as the country continued to battle the third wave of COVID-19 infections.

There were 1,125 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 reported across Australia on Saturday morning, beating the previous record of 1,123 reported on Thursday.
It was the second time since the start of the pandemic that Australia reported more than 1,000 new cases in a single day.

The total number of confirmed infections in the country increased to more than 49,000. Of the news cases, 1,035 were from New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s most populous state with Sydney as the capital city.

Australia’s pandemic death toll is on the brink of surpassing 1,000 after two deaths were reported in NSW, where 83 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported since June 16 this year.

Victoria, the second-most populous state with Melbourne as the capital city, reported a further 64 new local cases, and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) recorded another 26, which takes the number of active cases associated with this outbreak in Canberra to 233.

Of the new cases in ACT, 20 were linked to other known infections and 15 were in quarantine for their infectious period.

More than 1,800 close contacts of confirmed cases remained in quarantine in Canberra. Kerryn Coleman, the ACT’s chief health officer, said that transmission was occurring between family members.

“That’s why it’s really really important that we all continue to quarantine, if required,” she said.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the outlook for Canberra would depend partly on Sydney as the number of new cases across the neighboring border in NSW reached a new high on Saturday. (ANI/Xinhua)

Kerala re-imposes Sunday lockdown

The southern state has been clocking more than 30,000 Covid-19 cases in the past few days with the Total Positivity Rate (TPR) has also crossed an alarming 19 per cent.

Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India, August 27 : Owing to the spike in coronavirus cases, the Kerala government has decided to continue with the Sunday lockdown. Earlier, an exemption was given for the same in the last two weeks. However, soaring Covid cases have forced the state government to re-impose the lockdown.

The southern state has been clocking more than 30,000 Covid-19 cases in the past few days with the Total Positivity Rate (TPR) has also crossed an alarming 19 percent.

With the rise in the coronavirus case, the Opposition and public health experts have attacked the state government’s alleged “carelessness” and “unwise” decisions for the spike.

Taking a serious note of the situation in Kerala, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Thursday reviewed the situation and the steps taken to contain the alarming graph of the virus in the southern state. The home secretary reviewed the COVID-19 situation and the steps taken to contain the spread of the virus in the southern state and gave a number of suggestions, a home ministry official said.

Several top officials of the Centre and the state government had attended the meeting, which was held through a video-conference

Amid concerns of rising in cases in Kerala, the central government said the southern state is the only one reporting over 1 lakh active COVID-19 cases, while four states have 10,000 to 1 lakh active cases and 31 states have less than 10,000 active cases.

Kerala Health Minister Veena George, who reviewed the state’s COVID-19 situation had also blamed the violation of home quarantine directives for the worsening situation and cautioned against the increased indoor transmission of coronavirus at homes. It noted that 58.4 percent of the total COVID-19 cases last week were reported from Kerala.

The central government said the months of September and October will be crucial in pandemic management and cautioned that festivals should be celebrated in accordance with COVID-19-appropriate behaviour.

SEC recommends Phase 1 clinical trials of Reliance’s Covid Vaccine candidate

New Delhi [India], August 27 : The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) has recommended Phase 1 clinical trials of Reliance’s recombinant COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
Earlier, Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Life Sciences had sought approval for the Phase I trial of its proposed two-dose COVID-19 vaccine. The company has received approval during the meeting of the SEC on Friday.
After recommendations from SEC, the company is required to get approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), following which the Reliance Life Sciences can commence Phase 1 trials of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The trials will be done at 10 sites in India that includes centres in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi.
Phase 1 of the trial usually lasts for 58 days to detect the highest dose that most patients can tolerate.
In India, six vaccines have so far received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), which includes Serum Institute of India’s Covishield, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, Zydus Cadila’s vaccine, Russia’s Sputnik V, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson.

Rising COVID-19 numbers worrying, govt busy with sales: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday took a dig at the Central Government amid the rising cases of COVID-19 and alleged that it is busy with sales.

New Delhi [India], August 26 : “Rising #COVID numbers are worrying. Vaccination must pick up the pace to avoid serious outcomes in the next wave. Please take care of yourselves because the Government of India is busy with sales,” the Wayanad MP tweeted. Earlier on Tuesday, the Congress leader termed the Centre’s National Monetisation Pipeline as a “huge tragedy” saying that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government had mishandled the economy and the move was aimed at creating monopolies in certain sectors.


Meanwhile, Union Health Ministry informed that 46,164 fresh COVID-19 cases and 607 fatalities were recorded in the country in the last 24 hours.
As of today, as per the health ministry, the total cases in the country jumped to 3,25,58,530 including 3,33,725 active cases. Active cases account for 1.03 per cent of total cases.
The overall recoveries mounted to 3,17,88,440 including 34,159 new recoveries. With this, the recovery rate is currently at 97.63 per cent in the country.

COVID-19: Delhi reports 24 fresh cases

                

New Delhi [India]: The national capital reported zero Covid fatalities for the third consecutive day and recorded 24 fresh cases with a positivity rate of 0.04 per cent.

The total cases jumped to 14,37,317 including 398 active cases. The death toll stands at 25,079 with a case fatality rate of 1.74 per cent, informed the Delhi Health Department.
As many as 56 patients recovered from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative recoveries to 14,11,840.

Of the 53,624 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, 15,336 were rapid antigen tests and 38,288 RTPCR/CBNAAT/TrueNat tests.

The number of cumulative beneficiaries vaccinated so far in Delhi reached 1,23,14,706 including 92,421 beneficiaries vaccinated in the last 24 hours. Out of those who received the shots in the last 24 hours, 65,012 were vaccinated with the first dose and 27,409 were inoculated with the second dose. (ANI)

Pakistan reports 3,084 new COVID-19 cases

               

Islamabad : Pakistan on Saturday reported 3,084 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of cases to 11,19,970.

So far Pakistan has reported 24,848 deaths due to COVID-19 of which 65 people lost their lives in the last 24 hours, Geo News reported citing the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC).
The number of active cases stood at 89,044, while the country reported 1,006,078 recoveries.

The positivity rate now stands at 5.73 per cent, Geo News reported.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has administered at least 4,47,36,977 doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far. (ANI)

Russia confirms 21,000 new COVID-19 cases over past 24 hours: Response center

               

Moscow [Russia] August 21 :Russia registered 21,000 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, up from 20,992 the day before, taking the overall tally to 6,726,523, the federal response center said on Saturday.

“Over the past day, 21,000 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across 85 Russian regions, including 1,832 cases (7.6 per cent) without clinical symptoms,” the center said, adding that the rate of increase grew to 0.31 per cent.
Moscow has the highest number of new cases with 1,852 daily infections, down from 1,925 the day before. The Russian capital was followed by St. Petersburg with 1,665 new cases, down from 1,691, and the Moscow Region with 1,119 cases, up from 1,029.

The response center reported 797 new deaths linked to the coronavirus, up from 785 the day before, raising the country’s death toll to 175,282.

In the same 24 hours, 20,647 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals across the country, up from 20,351 the day before, bringing the total to 6,004,052. (ANI/Sputnik)

India logs 34,457 new cases

New Delhi, Aug 21: As many as 34,457 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the country during the past 24 hours, while 375 succumbed in the same period, data from the Union Health Ministry showed on Saturday.
With this, the death toll has mounted to 4,33,964.
According to the Ministry, the active cases declined by 2,265, to stand at 3,61,340. It is now 1.12 per cent of the total caseload.
On the recovery front, 36,347 patients were cured and discharged in the past one day, taking the total recovery count to 3,15,97,982, which is 97.54 per cent of the case tally. The fatality rate remained steady at 1.34 per cent.
The daily positivity rate was recorded at 2 per cent which has been less than 3 per cent for 26 consecutive days.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that a total of 50,45,76,158 samples have been tested so far for coronavirus. Of this, 17,21,205 were tested on Friday.
Till now, 57,61,17,350 people have been administered COVID-19 vaccines, with 36,36,043 being inoculated against the virus in the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) on Friday gave approval to the world’s first DNA platform based Covid-19 vaccine by Zydus Cadila — ZyCoV-D. This 3-dose regimen vaccine can be administered to adults. It is also the first vaccine that can be administered to children aged 12 and above.

Record: UP achieves 7 cr Corona tests

Lucknow , Aug 19: Testing an average 3 lakh samples daily, Uttar Pradesh became the first state in the country on Thursday to achieve yet another benchmark of testing over 7 crore samples for novel coronavirus infection.
“Uttar Pradesh has been testing more than 3 lakh samples regularly which is over ten times more than the prescribed testing protocol for the state by the global health body World Health Organization,” state additional chief secretary, Information Navneet Sehgal said.
The testing protocol by the WHO for Uttar Pradesh is 32,000 tests per day, whereas the Covid testing in the state has hovered between 300,000 and 250,000 of late.
He said Uttar Pradesh has come a long way from getting the first Covid test conducted from the lab at National Institute of Virology, Pune in 2020 to breaching the 7 crore tests-frontier that testifies the enlarged testing capacity in the state.
Despite being the most populous state in the country, UP has outperformed all other states including Delhi, Maharashtra and Rajasthan by conducting a total of 1.50 lakh RT-PCR tests on an average daily.
Testing is the backbone for curbing the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 as it helps timely detection of cases and their isolation and contact tracing. A widely deployed and efficient testing strategy in Uttar Pradesh has helped in limiting the spread of new cases as it significantly reduced the chance of individuals with undetected virus exposure from roaming freely among unexposed individuals.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has constantly emphasised on the importance of aggressive testing according to which the state has been following the ‘Trace, Test and Treat’ mantra and is reaching the last mile to break the Covid Chain.
The state government even further initiated world’s largest house-to-house surveillance of COVID-19 in rural areas to contain transmission by testing people with symptoms for rapid isolation, disease management and contact tracing.
More than 73000 Surveillance Committees constituted by the Yogi government are moving across 97,941 villages in all 75 districts for this activity, which began on 5 May, and has been extended to cover 100 percent rural households.
The 70 percent of tests since the second wave surge of Covid-19 cases in the state have solely been conducted in the rural regions.
In addition, to spread awareness regarding the importance of early detection and early treatment, the surveillance committees have also been visiting houses in rural areas to educate the rural population and have been repeatedly appealing to not hide the symptoms and rather get themselves tested.
The state’s rural-control strategies, as well as both community-based and individual case-based control measures, so far have been overall effective in identifying and treating patients.

Over 56 cr COVID-19 vaccines administered in India; Uttar Pradesh crosses 6 cr total doses, leads among states

New Delhi [India], August 18 : India achieved a landmark of administrating over 56 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses till date under the Nationwide Vaccination Drive, the Union Ministry of Health informed on Wednesday.
“India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed 56 Crore landmark yesterday. Cumulatively, 56,06,52,030 vaccine doses have been administered through 62,67,149 sessions, as per the provisional report till 7 am today,” the ministry stated in a press release. As many as 55,05,075 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours; including 41,79,215 first doses, and 13,25,860 second doses.
With 6,06,06,763 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered, Uttar Pradesh became the first Indian state to cross the 6-crore mark. Following closely, Maharashtra crossed the 5-crore mark and has administered 5,07,52,443 COVID-19 vaccines till date. Gujarat, with 4,12,62,937 COVID-19 vaccines administered so far, crossed the 4-crore mark.
Uttar Pradesh also becomes the state that has administered the highest number of first dose of COVID-19 vaccines (5,11,23,307).
Further, the ministry informed that India’s recovery rate stands at 97.52 per cent; the highest since March 2020. “Out of the people infected since the beginning of the pandemic, 3,14,85,923 people have already recovered from COVID-19 and 37,169 patients have recovered in the last 24 hours,” the release stated.
With less than 50,000 daily new cases reported since the 52nd consecutive day, India has reported 35,178 daily new cases in the last 24 hours.
India’s active caseload at 3,67,415 is the lowest in 148 days; they now constitute only 1.14 per cent of the country’s total positive cases, which is the lowest since March 2020.
With substantially ramped up testing capacity across the country, a total of 17,97,559 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours in the country. Cumulatively, India has conducted over 49.84 crore (49,84,27,083) tests so far, the ministry informed.
While on one side testing capacity has been enhanced across the country, the weekly positivity rate, presently at 1.95 per cent has remained below 3 per cent for the last 54 days now. The daily positivity rate at 1.96 per cent has also remained below 3 per cent for the last 23 days.

No data shows the need for booster vaccines

New Delhi [India], August 17 : Speaking about when a booster dose should be administered, Dr Gagandeep Kang, professor at Christian Medical College Vellore on Tuesday, said some countries that have used inactivated, vectored vaccines or mRNA vaccines have begun to offer a booster dose to selected populations, like the elderly. Dr Kang added, “In India (and elsewhere), we do not have any data showing that anyone who has received two doses of vaccine needs booster vaccines at this time.”
Talking about Moderna and AstraZeneca she said, “Yes, the Moderna and AZ correlates of protection analysis shows that higher antibodies correlate with better protection, but there is no cut-off level of antibodies which reliably predict protection at the individual levels. Antibodies are good, but not all of the immune response.”
According to Dr Kang, whether people will have more antibodies or be better protected with the booster dose is still not known.
“It sounds obvious that more antibodies (abs) are better but we really don’t know whether people who push up abs with additional doses will be better protected than with the level they initially made. Or that when abs wane, we need to boost to maintain above some level,” she said.
Further, she explained how people with a poor immune response should get a third dose,
“Who needs the booster dose and when? At the moment, we do not know. But about the FDA recommendation; it is not for boosters as much as a recognition that people with poor immune responses should get a third dose as part of their primary series of immunizations,” she said.
Talking of who should get an additional dose, Dr Kang said, “Remember that even though the 3rd dose may help, it will not guarantee protection, but the list is solid-organ transplant recipients, those getting active treatment for solid-tumours & haematologic malignancies, those with CAR T cell therapy or within 2 years of stem cell transplant, moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge, Wiskott-Aldrich syndromes), advanced or untreated HIV infection or active treatment, with high-dose corticosteroids (i.e., >=20 mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumour necrosis factor (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory.”
Dr Kang also said that the third dose isn’t currently recommended in many countries but should be considered, and added,” Different vaccines need to be evaluated in sets of patients to see which vx (or combinations) offer the most benefit to these groups of vulnerable people. Again, not boosters at this time.”
According to the latest updates, Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE have submitted the initial data from an early-stage trial toward seeking authorization of a booster dose of their COVID-19 vaccine.
Earlier, Dr V K Paul, Member (Health) on booster dose had said, “We are watching the science for the need for such booster dose. World Health Organization has called for a moratorium. Booster dose and whether there is a need for it and who will need it is a very relevant issue. Let’s say it’s a work in progress in fact a work in progress.”

India: corona active caseload lowest since March 2020

With 32,937 fresh COVID-19 cases reported in the last 24 hours, India’s active caseload stands at 3,81,947, informed the Ministry of Health and Family welfare on Monday.

New Delhi [India], August 16 : The active cases constitute 1.18 per cent of the total infections, which is the lowest since March 2020. With this, the cumulative tally of positive COVID-19 cases in the country has reached 3,22,25,513.
The country also reported 35,909 recoveries in the last 24 hours with a recovery rate of 97.48 per cent. As many as 3,14,11,924 patients have already recovered from COVID-19 so far.
According to the health ministry, the death toll climbed to 4,31,642 with 417 new fatalities.
The daily positivity rate remained below 3 per cent for the last 21 day and it currently stand at 2.79 per cent. Also, the weekly positivity rate is at 2.01 per cent.
As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a total of 49,48,05,652 samples were tested up to August 15 of which 11,81,212 were tested on August 15.
Meanwhile, 17,43,114 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative number of COVID vaccine doses administered in the country to 54,58,57,108.

Nepal to receive 4 mn doses of Moderna vaccines through COVAX

Kathmandu [Nepal]: Nepal is set to receive nearly four million doses of coronavirus Moderna vaccines, financed by the World Bank, through the COVAX cost-share option, local media reported on Saturday.

“Nepal is an early mover in utilising the COVAX cost-share scheme, and I am pleased to note that we have finalised an arrangement, despite very challenging circumstances, to bring safe and highly effective vaccines to Nepal,” The Himalayan Times quoted Nepal’s Minister of State for Health and Population Umesh Shrestha as saying on Friday.
Nepal has completed an agreement with Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI) to procure four million doses of Moderna vaccine.

By March Next year, the country shall start receiving the vaccine. Nepal aims to vaccinate at least 72 pc of its population, as well as children 12 to 17 years of age for whom the Moderna vaccine is deemed safe and effective.

“We are honoured to support the people and government of Nepal, along with our development partners, by financing the purchase of safe and effective vaccines through COVAX facility,” Himalayan Times reported World Bank’s country director for Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka Faris Hadad-Zervos as saying.

“This is a key element of our overall COVID response by helping to meet emergency health needs and strengthening healthcare and vaccine delivery system,” he added.

In an effort to support Nepal’s battle with the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank has made available nearly $ 104 million to the country.

So far, Nepal has reported a total of 7,28,532 COVID-19 cases and 10,239 deaths.

Punjab : New covid rules for visiting state

The Punjab government has made negative Covid-19 report or full vaccination mandatory for all people intending to visit the state from August 16.

New, Delhi, India, August 14 : The Punjab government has made negative Covid-19 report or full vaccination mandatory for all people intending to visit the state. The new rule will come into effect from Monday.

The government has also asked agencies to ensure strict monitoring particularly of those coming from Himachal Pradesh and Jammu, which are showing increased Covid-19 positivity.

According to a statement issued by the state government, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said that all persons intending to visit the state shall carry their Covid-19 vaccine certificate (double doses) or a negative RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hours w.e.f. August 16.

Punjab on Friday reported 89 new cases of the coronavirus, taking the infection count to 5,99,846. Amritsar reported 19 new COVID-19 cases, followed by 12 in Kapurthala and 10 in Mohali. With 53 recoveries from the infection, the recovery count reached 5,82,944. With no Covid-related death reported on Friday, the toll stood at 16,334. The number of active cases rose to 568 against 533 on Thursday.

Pak lifts travel restrictions from 11 countries, including India

Islamabad [Pakistan], August 14 : Pakistan has lifted travel restrictions from 11 countries including India on Friday, local media reported.
The country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) revised its international travel list and removed 11 countries from Category C, ARY News reported on Friday. The authority lifted travel restrictions on incoming passengers from 11 countries including India, Argentina, Bhutan, Maldives and Brazil. However, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, South Africa, Nepal are among 11 countries that are still listed in Category C, ARY News added.
However, the authority has allowed the Pakistani citizens to travel back home from Category C countries but a COVID-19 test would be mandatory for them, local media reported.
In an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus, the authority also banned domestic air travel for unvaccinated people.
In June, Pakistan’s National Command and Operation Centre had imposed travel restrictions on travellers coming from 26 countries including India.

India logs 38,667 new COVID-19 cases

New Delhi [India], August 14 : India reported 38,667 new COVID-19 cases, taking the infection tally to 3,21,56,493, and the daily positivity rate to 1,73 per cent, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday.
A decrease of 1,453 daily new cases has been recorded in a span of 24 hours. With this, the daily positivity rate remained less than 3 per cent for the last 19 days and the weekly positivity rate currently stands at 2.05 per cent.
The active cases have declined to 3,87,673 which comprise 1.21 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate is at 97.45 per cent.
As per the health ministry, 3,13,38,088 patients have already recovered from COVID-19 with 35,743 recovering in the last 24 hours.
With 478 new deaths reported in the last 24 hours, the death toll now stands at 4,30,732.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 22,29,798 tests were conducted on Friday, taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far for detection of COVID-19 to 49,17,00,577.
Meanwhile, 63,80,937 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative number of COVID vaccine doses administered in the country to 53,61,89,903.

Delhi court dismisses plea seeking NIA probe into the origin of Coronavirus from China

New Delhi [India], August 12 : A Delhi Court has dismissed the plea of Dr Jagdish Prasad, former Director-General of Health Services, who sought directions to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to register an FIR and initiate investigation regarding the spread of coronavirus in India that has resulted in large-scale disturbance of normal life, lakhs of deaths, and loss of income and property of thousands of people in the country and outside. Additional Session Judge Praveen Singh in an order passed on August 7 said, “A bare reading of the present complaint reflects that this complaint is based upon media reports, opinions, conjectures, surmises, probabilities and possibilities. There are no categorical facts which have been alleged and only the possibilities that SARS-CoV-2 might have been genetically modified at Wuhan Laboratories have been raised and that too not on the basis of facts but on the basis of view of experts.”
“Opinions can never substitute facts and for the creation of an offence, certain facts constituting the offence need to be disclosed and not the mere possibilities as has been done in the present case. Therefore, even on merits, the complaint does not call for any investigation as is it based on theories which have been propounded by individuals on assumptions and analysis raised by them, which in no manner can be said to be unestablished fact. I accordingly find no merits in the present complaint. The same is accordingly dismissed,” the court said.
The petitioner Dr Prasad, in his plea stated that it is clear that the virus, “which has its origins in China, has been deliberately, artificially created as a biological weapon, and spread as a biological weapon as part of a conspiracy” to cause substantial human and economic loss in India as well as the world.
The plea said that the normal life of every citizen of the country has been adversely affected and supplies and services, which are essential to the life of the community, have been severely disrupted for long stretches of time over the last year.
“All this has been the result of a possible deliberate conspiracy by the state and/or non-state actors in China, as part of a coordinated creation and transmission of the virus,” the plea said.
The petition moved through advocate Mahmood Pracha sought registration of an FIR under section 156 (3) Cr PC and section 16 of the NIA Act.
The plea said that though the intelligence agencies and agencies responsible for oversight of immigration into the country were aware of the risk associated with the virus, they did not issue any warnings, directions, or take any steps to control the spread of the virus in the early stages. It said their role should be under scrutiny in the investigation.
It said that the discovery of facts in the knowledge of several officials who have been involved in the management of the spread of COVID-19 in India may also be necessary.
Officials associated with the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), etc are material witnesses in the process of investigation, the plea said.
“In view of the nefarious, terrorist, expansionist, aggressive and animus behaviour of China at the borders in North-East region of India, it would be very dangerous to not undertake a detailed investigation qua the origins and spread of the virus from China to India so that the entire truth in this regard can come out and the guilty are punished in accordance with various provisions of Indian laws,” the petition noted.
It said that considering the tragic and extreme impact of the virus, including death, disease, and disability of thousands of people in India, and the drastic economic downturn and “considering the nature of the deliberate and malicious origin of the virus, offences including those under Sections 16, 17, 18, 18A, 18B, 23 etc. of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967” should be registered.
The plea said Section 14 of the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act, 2005, and Sections 121/270/302 /307/312/313/325/333/314 read with Sections 34/ 120B of the Indian Penal Code are made out.

Kolkata to host 130th edition of Durand Cup from September 5 to October 3

New Delhi [India], August 12 : The Durand Cup, the world’s third oldest and Asia’s oldest football tournament, is poised to make a comeback after a year’s hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Kolkata will host the four-week-long tournament, scheduled between September 5 and October 3, with matches being played at various venues in and around Kolkata.
Sixteen participating teams from across the country, including four teams from the Services, are set to bring out the competitive and true sportsman spirit to win the coveted trophies. With the dynamic support of All India Football Federation (AIFF), IFA (West Bengal) and the Government of West Bengal, the 130th Edition of Durand Cup is set to become a landmark event. The tournament was shifted from Delhi to Kolkata in 2019. The prestigious tournament was first held in 1888, at Dagshai (Himachal Pradesh) and is named after Mortimer Durand, who was then the Foreign Secretary in charge of India. The tournament was a conscious way to initially maintain health and fitness amongst the British troops but was later opened to civilians and currently is one of the leading sports events in the world. Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are the most successful teams in the history of the Durand Cup winning it sixteen times each.
The winning team is presented with three trophies ie the President’s Cup (first presented by Dr Rajendra Prasad), the Durand Cup (the original challenge prize – a rolling trophy) and the Shimla Trophy (first presented by citizens of Shimla in 1903 and since 1965, a rolling trophy).

India: 38,353 New Cases

Active caseload lowest in 140 days

New Delhi [India], August 11 : India on Wednesday reported 38,353 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the active caseload to 3,86,351; lowest in 140 days.
As per the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the highest ever recovery rate of 97.45 per cent has been recorded; 40,013 patients recovered in the last 24 hours, taking the total recoveries across the country to 3,12,20,981. The daily positivity rate remains less than 3 per cent for the last 16 days; presently 2.16 per cent.
The ministry also informed that 51.90 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered under Nationwide Vaccination Drive.
The testing capacity has also been ramped up; a total of 48.50 crore COVID-19 tests have been conducted across India.
As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the total number of samples tested up to August 10 was 48,50,56,507, including 17,77,962 samples tested yesterday.

Russia registers 21,378 COVID-19 cases in past 24 hours

Moscow [Russia], August 10 (ANI/Sputnik): Russia registered 21,378 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, down from 22,160 the day before, taking the overall tally to 6,491,288, the federal response center said on Tuesday.

“Over the past day, 21,378 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across 85 Russian regions, including 1,537 cases (7.2%) without clinical symptoms,” the center said, adding that the rate of increase fell to 0.33%.
For the first time in several months, St. Petersburg has the highest number of new cases with 1,811 daily infections, down from 1,895 the day before. It was followed by Moscow with 1,639 cases, down from 2,150, and the Moscow region with 1,309 cases, down from 1,487.

The response center reported 792 new deaths linked to the coronavirus, up from 769 the day before, raising the country’s total death toll to 166,442.

In the same 24 hours, 18,729 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals across the country, up from 14,474 the day before, bringing the total to 5,788,710.

India’s tally over 38,000 cases

daily positivity rate at 2.39 pc, 617 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours

New Delhi [India], August 7 : India on Saturday reported 38,628 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday. With this, the daily positivity rate remained less than 3 percent for the last 12 days.
The cumulative caseload in the country reached 3,18,95,385 including 4,12,153 active infections. The active cases constitute only 1.29 percent of the total infections. Recoveries of 40,017 patients during the last 24 hours pushed the overall recoveries to 3,10,55,861. At present, India’s recovery rate now stands at 97.37 percent.
The weekly positivity rate remained below 5 percent and is currently at 2.39 percent.
The country recorded 4,27,371 deaths due to COVID-19, of which 617 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours.
The testing capacity has substantially ramped up and so far 47.83 crore tests have been conducted.
India crossed a significant milestone of administering 50 crore vaccine doses under a nationwide vaccination drive.
With 49,55,138 vaccinations in the last 24 hours, India has so far administered a total of 50,10,09,609 doses.

Thailand : Highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases, deaths

Bangkok [Thailand]: Thailand reported a record number of 21,379 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, including 4,700 in the capital Bangkok, taking the national tally since the pandemic began to 714,684.

Daily positive cases have been widely rising in Thailand for a couple of months mainly due to the spread of the more contagious Delta variant. The single-day infections have been over 20,000 for three consecutive days, according to the Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
The CCSA also reported a record of 191 coronavirus-linked deaths Friday, pushing the national death toll to 5,854.

Currently, 212,926 patients are receiving treatment, of which 4,999 are in critical condition. The high caseload and the excessive burden on the medical infrastructure have also been enhanced by the slow vaccination progress.

As of Thursday, Thailand has administered around 19.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with roughly six percent of its nearly 70 million population having been fully vaccinated.

136 crore vaccine doses

More than 136 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses are expected to be available till the end of this year, informed the Centre.

New Delhi [India], August 6 : For the next four months, India’s vaccine programme will be accelerated by the Serum Institute of India’s (SII) Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. The note titled “Covid-19 Public Health Response Pro-active, Pre-emptive and Graded Response guided by Epidemiological and Scientific Rigour” also gave details about the vaccine production targets which are given to MPs from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
As per the note, “In August the vaccine projection of Covaxin will be 2.65 crores, Covishield will be 23 crores and total a 25.65 crore doses will be produced in the month. In September the projection of Covaxin is 3.15 crore and Covishield will be 23 crores, which in total will be 26.15 crore doses. In October the total of 28.25 crore doses will be produced out of which Covaxin will be 5.25 crore and Covishield will be 23 crore doses.”
Additionally, 28.25 crore doses will be available in November of which 5.25 crore will be of Covaxin and 23 crore of Covishield. In December the projection of Covaxin will be 5.25 crore and Covishield will be 23 crore doses, which in total will be 28.5 crore doses for the month.
As per an advance order placed by the Centre for August to December 2021, 75 per cent of Covishield vaccine doses will be procured at Rs 215.25 per dose at a total cost of Rs 8,071.87 crore.
The note has also mentioned the government will buy 28.5 crore Covaxin doses from Bharat Biotech at Rs 225.75 per dose at a cost of Rs 6,433.87 crore.
On Sputnik V production, the note says, “Sputnik V is not yet produced till July and it is expected to be manufactured 25 million doses in August, September, and October by Panacea. Thereafter there is no clarity/visibility as it depends on the bulk to be provided by Russia for filling. So, total production for the year can be expected to be 2044.16 million doses.”
The Union Health Ministry gave a presentation to MPs on the COVID situation in the country and action taken during the crisis.
“Due to ongoing field activities in terms of increased testing, surveillance, clinical management and other activities for more than one year, the health system witnessed fatigue,” it said.
The note has also mentioned, “Human resource crunch experienced during the second wave due to shortage of doctors and healthcare workers across urban areas.”
“Lack of COVID appropriate behaviour and complacency set in the community during opened economic activities, the virus spread rapidly across India,” it said.
“With an unexpected surge in cases, challenges in terms of infrastructure augmentation across the country, enhanced Oxygen supply, drugs requirement and other logistics came up,” it added.
Further, the note mentioned the management of medical Oxygen and the management of drugs during the second wave.

India records 42,982 new COVID-19 cases, 533 deaths in a day; recovery rate at 97.37%

The active cases in the country have surged by more than 700 cases in the last 24 hours. The cumulative cases of the infectious disease in the country have now reached 31.8 million.

New Delhi, India, August 5 : As many as India recorded 42,982 fresh Covid-19 cases and also reported 533 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to Health Ministry. The daily test positivity rate stands at 2.58 per cent. With 42,982 cases, the country’s cumulative infections has inched closer to 32 million, the Union health ministry data showed.

For second day in a row, India recorded over 40,000 Covid cases amid concerns of rise in trajectory of fresh infections. The total fatalities in India jumped to 426,290.

The active cases in the country have surged by more than 700 cases in the last 24 hours. The cumulative cases of the infectious disease in the country have now reached 31.8 million. The active caseload currently is at 4,11,076, while 41,726 patients recovered. 

India has administered 48.93 crore Covid-19 doses so far, data released by health ministry showed.

A total of 47,48,93,363 samples tested up to 4th August. Of which, 16,64,030 samples were tested yesterday, said Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Covaxin receives certificate of Good Manufacturing Practice from Hungarian authorities

New Delhi [India], August 5 : Bharat Biotech manufactured COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin on Thursday received a certificate of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliance from the Hungarian authorities.
“Another milestone in our account as COVAXIN® receives GMP certificate from Hungary. This marks the 1st EUDRAGDMP compliance certificate received by Bharat Biotech from European regulatories. #BharatBiotech #COVAXIN #covaxininhungary,” tweeted Bharat Biotech. The approval was received from the National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition Hungary certifying the GMP for the manufacture of Covaxin.
With this approval, Bharat Biotech achieved another significant milestone in innovating and manufacturing vaccines at global quality standards and moving forward in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, read Bharat Biotech statement.

The certificate of GMP is now listed on the EudraGMDP database, which is the database of the European Community of manufacturing authorizations and certificates of the good manufacturing practice.
Bharat Biotech also intends to submit documentation for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in several additional countries worldwide.
“The recognition complements our commitment to driving world-class innovation and being a frontrunner in the research and development of vaccines,” read the company’s statement.
Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin has shown less reduction in ‘neutralizing activity’ while comparing with Delta and Delta AY.1 (Delta plus) variants in those who are fully vaccinated with the vaccine according to a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology (NIV).
This means that people vaccinated with Covaxin will be protected against the current variants Delta, Delta AY.1 and B.1.617.3

42,625 new Covid cases

India on Wednesday reported 42,625 new COVID-19 cases, 36,668 recoveries and 562 deaths in 24 hours, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

New Delhi [India], August 4 : An increase of 12,076 cases was recorded in the daily infections since Tuesday when 30,549 new cases were reported. With this, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases has reached 3,17,69,132 including 3,09,33,022 discharges and 4,25,757 deaths.
The number of active cases has gone up to 4,10,353, accounting for 1.29 per cent of the total number of cases.
According to the health ministry, the daily positivity rate is at 2.31 per cent, the weekly positivity rate at 2.36 per cent, and the recovery is at 97.37 per cent.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a total of 47,31,42,307 samples have been tested for Covid-19 till now of which 18,47,518 were tested in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of Covid vaccine doses administered in the country so far has reached 48,52,86,570 of which 62,53,741 doses were administered in the last 24 hours.

India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage crosses landmark milestone of 48 cr

India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage has crossed the 48 crore landmark milestone, as per the 7 pm provisional report.

New Delhi [India], August 3 : According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), more than 51.51 lakh vaccine doses have been administered on Tuesday, and over 17.33 crore vaccine doses were administered in the age group 18-44, so far as per the 7 pm provisional report. 29,43,889 vaccine doses were administered as the first dose and 3,87,076 vaccine doses were given as the second dose in the age group 18-44 years today. Cumulatively, 16,34,85,422 persons in the age group 18-44 years across 37 States and Union Territories have received their first dose and a total of 98,23,204 have received their second dose since the start of Phase-3 of the vaccination drive,” read the release by the Union Health Ministry.
Five states namely Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh have administered more than one crore cumulative doses of COVID-19 Vaccine in the age group 18-44 years.
Also, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Uttarakhand and West Bengal have vaccinated more than 10 lakh beneficiaries of the age group 18-44 years for the first dose of COVID vaccine, the ministry said.
According to the Ministry, total active cases in the country are 4,04,958, and 3,08,96,354 have been recovered and 4,25,195 have succumbed to the disease.

India : 30,549 new COVID cases

New Delhi [India], August 3 : India’s tally of COVID-19 cases climbed to 3,17,26,507 after 30,549 new infections were registered in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday.
With this, the number of active cases of COVID-19 in the country reached 4,04,958 which constitute 1.28 percent of the total cases. Also, 422 patients succumbed to the disease and 38,887 recovered in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative count of deaths and recoveries to 4,25,195 and 3,08,96,354 respectively.
As per the health ministry, the daily positivity rate is at 1.85 per cent and the weekly positivity rate is currently at 2.39 per cent while the recovery rate currently stands at 97.38 per cent.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a total of 47,12,94,789 samples have been tested for Covid-19 till now of which 16,49,295 were tested in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 47.85 crores. Cumulatively, 47,85,44,114 vaccine doses have been administered through of which 61,09,587 doses were administered in the last 24 hours

COVID-19 cases rising in Sri Lanka, says WHO

Colombo [Sri Lanka], August 2 : The World Health Organization (WHO) in Sri Lanka said that COVID-19 cases were rising globally including in Sri Lanka as the country had noted a rise in infected patients in recent weeks, local media reported Monday.
The WHO in Sri Lanka, in an official tweet, said that this increase in patients globally and in the country was driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant, increased social mixing and mobility, inconsistent Public Health and Social Measures (PHSM), and inequitable vaccination. “Hard-won gains are in jeopardy and health systems are being overwhelmed,” the WHO in Sri Lanka said.
Sri Lanka has in recent weeks recorded a high rise in patients with an average of over 2,000 COVID-19 patients being detected per day.
Health officials said this was due to the highly contagious Delta variant spreading rapidly in the country.
Sri Lanka presently has an active patient count of 27,998 patients across the country and has recorded 4,508 deaths from the virus.
Last week, Deputy Director-General of Health Services Hemantha Herath said that the Delta variant, which was initially reported in capital Colombo, had now spread to all districts of the country.
Health officials said that due to the sudden rise in patients, hospitals across the country were filled and the need for oxygen had risen considerably.
The Health Ministry urged the public to maintain all health guidelines and avoid leaving home without a mask.
The ministry has also made it mandatory to maintain social distance in public.

Covaxin effective against Delta Plus variant of Covid-19: ICMR Study

ICMR reveals that Covaxin is effective against the Delta Plus variant of COVID 19.

New Delhi , india, August 2: A recent study by the Indian Council of Medical Research reveals that Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is effective against the rampant Delta Plus variant of COVID-19. Covaxin was developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) National Institute of Virology (NIV).

Earlier, Bharat Biotech had said that Covaxin has demonstrated 77.8 per cent effectiveness against symptomatic COVID-19 and 65.2 per cent protection against the new Delta variant.

The efficacy analysis demonstrated Covaxin to be 93.4 per cent effective against severe symptomatic COVID-19 cases while safety analysis showed adverse events reported were similar to placebo, with 12 per cent of subjects experiencing commonly known side effects and less than 0. 5 per cent feeling serious adverse events.

The efficacy data demonstrated 63.6 per cent protection against asymptomatic COVID-19.

On Tuesday, all documents required for Emergency Use Listing (EUL) were submitted to WHO by Bharat Biotech for Covaxin as of July 9 and the review process by the agency had commenced, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar informed Rajya Sabha.

Responding to a question on whether it has come to the notice of the government that COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin used in India is not recognised by many countries, Pawar had said the government is aware that Covaxin at present is not part of WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL).

The review process by WHO has commenced. WHO usually takes up to six weeks to decide on Emergency Use Listing (EUL) submissions, she said in a written reply.

Third Covid wave : Surge in mid August, likely to peak in October, India may see 1.50 lakh cases per day

India may see another rise in COVID-19 cases in mid of August with the third wave peaking, with less than 1,00,000 in the best cases scenario and nearly 1,50,000 infections a day in the worst scenario.

New Delhi [India], August 2 : A study by a group of researchers led by Mathukumalli Vidyasagar and Manindra Agrawal at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Hyderabad and Kanpur have predicted that India is likely to witness another rise in COVID-19 cases in August. However, they have also said that it is likely to be less brutal as the second wave where cases rose to 4 lakhs on a daily basis. Earlier, Dr Samiran Panda, Head of Epidemiology and infectious diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Speaking to ANI said that if the third wave of COVID-19 occurs, it will hit sometime around August-end.
“There might be a third as it is not inevitable than the second wave. If the third wave happens, it will hit sometime around August end, it is not inevitable,” said Dr Panda.
Dr Panda also said, “When will the third wave come and how severe it can be, all these questions are related to many factors which are not known to the full extent.”
India reported 40,134 new cases of COVID-19 and 422 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the Union Health Ministry on Monday.
The total number of cases currently stands at 3,16,95,958. The death toll has climbed to 4,24,773. The number of active cases of COVID-19 in the country is 4,13,718.
A total of 36,946 patients recovered in the last 24 hours and 3,08,57,467 people have recovered from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. This constitutes an overall recovery rate of 97.35 per cent.
Less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported since thirty-six continuous days. This is a result of sustained and collaborative efforts by the Centre, the States and UTs.
The Centre has currently directed 10 states, including Kerala, Maharashtra, and northeastern regions to take steps to control the spread of the disease.

Complete lockdown in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], Aug 1 : Amid a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in Kerala, the state has imposed a complete weekend lockdown on Sunday.
The Kerala government on Thursday had announced a complete lockdown amid the spike of COVID-19 cases from July 31 to August 01, this year. Streets remained deserted in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi with only shops selling essential commodities allowed to remain open.

Kerala with an active caseload of 1.54 lakh is contributing 37.1 percent of the total active cases in the country, with a growth rate of 1.41 in the last 7 days, reports said.
The average daily cases being reported in the state are above 17,443. The state has also reported a high case positivity of 12.93 percent cumulatively and 11.97 percent weekly. Six districts are reporting more than 10 percent of weekly positivity, said state health officials.
Amid the rising cases in Kerala, the Centre government sent a team of six members headed by Dr. S K Singh, Director, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The Centre’s team has been sent to collaborate with the State Health Authorities in instituting effective public health measures for COVID-19 management.
Meanwhile, the six-member high-level multidisciplinary team that went to Kerela following the state’s sudden spurt in Covid-19 cases is scheduled to visit ten districts.
On Saturday, the team had reached Alpuzha and is on the grounds. The team will visit the worst affected, mainly southern and northern districts of the state which are reporting more positive cases, informed an official while talking to ANI.
The official added, “The visit will be followed by a briefing with the Chief Secretary of the state and secretaries of various other departments on August 2. Other officials will also attend the briefing online.

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