Vir Das Recovers From Coronavirus, Shares Video

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], January 20 (ANI): Actor-comedian Vir Das on Thursday said that he has recovered from coronavirus.

Taking to Instagram, Vir uploaded a video of him grooving to ‘I’m Coming Out’ song. In the clip, he also shared a picture of self-kit showing negative result.

“We back. Seriously tho. This thing sucked. Wear a mask, get boosted, take your vitamins, drink snake blood… whatever,” he quipped.

“It was a long two-ish weeks. Still masking around the house. Stay safe,” Vir urged.

Vir tested positive for COVID-19 on January 11.

Meanwhile, on the work front, Vir is reportedly developing a country music comedy series titled ‘Country Eastern’.

New coronavirus variant ‘Deltacron’ emerges in Cyprus

Nicosia [Cyprus]: A new coronavirus variant Deltacron has emerged in Cyprus which has a similar genetic background to the Delta variant, as well as some of the mutations from Omicron, and experts say that it is not something to be worried about at the moment, a media report said.
In total, 10 of the mutations from Omicron were found in the 25 samples taken in Cyprus. 11 of the samples came from people who were hospitalized due to the virus, while 14 came from the general population, reported Jerusalem Post citing Cyprus Mail. Dr. Leondios Kostrikis, the head of the laboratory of biotechnology and molecular virology at the University of Cyprus, said that the frequency of the mutation among hospitalized patients was higher and could point to a correlation between the new variant and hospitalizations.
Kostrikis also emphasized that the variant has a similar genetic background to the Delta variant, as well as some of the mutations from Omicron.
The new variant was not something to worry about at the moment, said Cyprus’s Health Minister Michalis Hadjipandelas on Saturday.
The minister also expressed pride in discovering the new variant.
Hadjipandelas said the groundbreaking research and findings of Dr. Kostrikis’ team make us proud of our scientists. The minister also underlined that this research puts Cyprus on the international map when it comes to health matters, according to Jerusalem Post.
So far, the scientific name of the new variant has not been announced. (ANI)

India reports 13,154 new COVID-19 cases, Omicron tally surges to 961


New Delhi [India]: India has reported 13,154 new COVID-19 cases and 268 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.

The tally of Omicron COVID-19 variant cases in the country has gone up to 961 with maximum cases were reported from Delhi (263) and Maharashtra (252).
With this, the country’s COVID-19 tally has risen to 34,822,040 while the death toll has mounted to 4,80,860.

The ministry informed that the active caseload in the country stands at 82,402 constituting 0.24 per cent of the total cases.

As many as 7,486 patients recovered in the last 24 hours taking the total number of recoveries to 3,42,58,778.

The recovery rate in the country currently stands at 98.38 per cent.

The weekly positivity rate in the country is 0.76 per cent which remains lesser than 1 per cent for the last 46 days.

The daily positivity rate is 1.10 per cent which remains lesser than 2 per cent for the last 87 days.

The country has conducted as many as 67.64 crore COVID-19 tests so far.

Bollywood Celebrities Who Fought COVID-19 In 2021

COVID-19 has infected and impacted almost everyone in the country – both physically and mentally.
While movies are often based in a world of fiction, our Bollywood celebrities are not removed from the harsh reality of the pandemic. Many of them got infected with the deadly virus this year, especially during the second wave, which lasted roughly between March to May. As the year 2021 is coming to an end, here is a look back at several Bollywood celebrities who were either home-quarantined or hospitalised due to coronavirus this year.


Actor Ranbir Kapoor was one of the early stars who got infected with the deadly disease during the second wave. His mother and veteran star Neetu Kapoor revealed on March 9, through her social media handle, that her son had tested positive and was on medication.

Neetu took to her Instagram handle and wrote, “Thank you for your concern and your good wishes. Ranbir has tested positive for Covid-19. He is on medication and recovering well.”

Ranbir had been in home quarantine, as per Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) rules. “He is in self-quarantine at home and following all precautions,” she wrote.

Ranbir’s girlfriend and actor Alia Bhatt’s diagnosis came a few days after he had recovered and tested negative for the disease.


Alia Bhatt disclosed through her social media on April 2, that she had tested positive and had “immediately isolated” herself under home quarantine.

“Grateful for all your love and support. Please stay safe and take care,” the actor shared on her Instagram Story.


Akshay Kumar revealed on social media on April 4 that he had tested positive for COVID-19. He was hospitalised the next day as a “precautionary measure”.

The actor took to his Twitter handle and wrote, “Thank you, everyone, for all your warm wishes and prayers, they seem to be working. I am doing fine, but as a precautionary measure under medical advice, I have been hospitalised. I hope to be back home soon. Take care.”

A week later, Bollywood’s Khiladi returned home from the hospital, on April 12.


Vicky Kaushal informed his fans via social media on April 5, that he too had contracted the disease and urged all those who came in contact with him to get tested.

The ‘Sardar Udham’ actor took to his Instagram handle and shared a statement informing fans about his health condition.

Vicky wrote, “In spite of all care and precautions, unfortunately, I have tested positive for COVID-19. Following all essential protocols, I am under home quarantine, taking medication as prescribed by my doctor.”


A day after Vicky Kaushal announced that he had tested positive, his wife and actor Katrina Kaif, with whom he was rumoured to be dating back then, shared that she too had contracted the virus.

On April 6, the ‘Sooryavanshi’ star confirmed the news on her Instagram Story.

“I have tested positive for Covid-19. Have immediately isolated myself and will be under home quarantine. I’m following all safety protocols under the advice of my doctors,” read Katrina’s statement.

Urging fans to be safe amid the coronavirus pandemic, she added, “Requesting everyone who came in contact with me to get tested immediately too. Grateful for all your love and support. Please stay safe and take care.”


On April 17, actor Sonu Sood announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

“I have already quarantined myself and taking utmost care but don’t worry this gives me ample time to solve your problems, remember I am always there for you all,” he assured in his social media post.
Since the pandemic started, Sonu has been active in helping to arrange medicines for patients and has aided in transportation for stranded migrant workers.

The actor also launched ‘Sanjeevani – A Shot of Life’, an initiative to encourage people to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus and raise awareness about the inoculation drive in the country.


Shilpa Shetty revealed on May 7 that almost her entire household had been infected by COVID.

Shilpa took to her Instagram handle and shared a note that read, “The last 10 days have been difficult for us as a family. My parents-in-law tested positive for Covid-19, followed by Samisha, Viaan-Raj, my Mom, and lastly, Raj.”

It further continued, “By God’s grace, everyone is on the road to recovery. My tests came back negative.”
She also talked about staying positive mentally during the pandemic, adding, “Please continue to keep all of us in your prayers. Please mask up, sanitise, stay safe; and whether Covid positive or not… still stay positive, mentally.”

8. Farah Khan

Filmmaker and choreographer Farah Khan Kunder shared on September 1 that she had tested positive for COVID-19, despite being fully vaccinated.

The ‘Main Hoon Na’ director took to her Instagram Story and revealed that she had contracted the virus somehow, even though she was working with “mostly double vaxxed people.”

“I wonder if this happened coz I didn’t put my “kaala teeka”…Despite being double vaccinated, and working with mostly double vaxxed people.. I’ve still managed to test positive for covid.. I’ve already informed everyone I came in contact with, to get tested. However, if I have forgotten someone (because of old age n fading memory) pls test urself. Hoping to recover soon,” Farah wrote.

Before contracting the deadly infection, Farah had been shooting for the popular ‘Zee Comedy Show’.


Actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar contracted COVID-19 in October.

Urmila took to Twitter to update her followers about her diagnosis on October 31. She also requested all those that have come in contact with her to get themselves tested.

“I’ve tested positive for #COVID19. I’m fine n have isolated myself in home quarantine.”

Talking about the upcoming Diwali festivities back then, she added, “Also humbly request all you lovely people to take care of yourselves during the Diwali festivities.”


Actor Kareena Kapoor Khan tested positive for the deadly virus on December 13 after she attended a party at filmmaker Karan Johar’s house. Kareena was immediately home quarantined after her COVID-19 report came positive.

Bebo’s close friend Amrita Arora, Sohail Khan’s wife designer Seema Khan and Sanjay Kapoor’s wife Maheep Kapoor, who were reported to be present at the same get-together, also tested positive for COVID-19. Maheep’s daughter Shanaya Kapoor also caught the disease. However, Karan’s test results came out negative.

After announcing that she has recovered from the virus, Kareena celebrated Christmas with her family on December 25, 2021.

Several other celebrities including Siddhant Chaturvedi, Manoj Bajpayee, Aamir Khan, Paresh Rawal, Kartik Aaryan, Rohit Saraf and others were infected with the virus in 2021.

However, with grit and appropriate measures, these stars fought the disease and regained their health to entertain us once again through their films filled with drama, comedy, romance, suspense and whatnot!
Here’s hoping for a healthy and COVID-free B-town in 2022.

Study: Immune Memory Becomes Less Durable Post Severe COVID

Infection-fighting B cells retain better memory of the coronavirus spike protein in patients who recover from less-severe cases of COVID-19 than in those recovering from severe COVID-19, according to scientists from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

The study has been published in the ‘PLOS ONE Journal’. Evelien Bunnik, PhD, corresponding author of the paper said that the results hint of subtle differences in the quality of immune response based on COVID-19 severity. Dr. Bunnik is an assistant professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics at the health science center, also referred to as UT Health San Antonio.

The study focused on memory B cells that reacted against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Blood samples were analyzed one month after symptom onset and five months post-onset. After one month, a significant proportion of spike-specific B cells were active.

However, samples from eight individuals who recovered from less-severe disease showed increased expression of markers associated with durable B cell memory as compared to individuals who recovered from severe disease, the authors wrote. The markers included T-bet and FcRL5.

T-bet-positive, spike-specific B cells nearly disappeared from the blood samples five months post-symptom onset, the authors noted. Overall, a more dysfunctional B cell response is seen in severe disease cases, they wrote.

Non-severe cases were defined as not requiring supplemental oxygen or invasive ventilation, while severe cases needed invasive mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

“The definition of severe disease was made based on the need for mechanical ventilation or ECMO, because this distinguishes the most critical patients, who are the most likely to develop impaired immune responses,” said study senior author Thomas Patterson, MD, professor and chief of infectious diseases at UT Health San Antonio who leads COVID-19 care at clinical partner University Health.

Study participants were enrolled in the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT)-1 or ACTT-2 clinical trials. Samples were from University Health patients co-enrolled in the UT Health San Antonio COVID-19 Repository.

“The increased percentage of B cells associated with long-lived immunity in non-severe COVID-19 patients may have consequences for long-term immunity against SARS-CoV-2 re-infection or severity of the resulting disease,” the authors wrote.

Thailand Eyes Reinstating Quarantine As First Local Omicron Case Reported

Thailand is considering reinstating mandatory quarantine for foreign visitors due to concerns over the spread of Omicron, as the health ministry reported on Monday the country’s first case of local transmission of the coronavirus variant.

The public health ministry will propose scrapping a quarantine waiver for vaccinated visitors and revert to hotel quarantine and a “sandbox” programme, which allows free movement in specific locations, minister Anutin Charnvirakul said.

The proposal was driven by worries over the spread of Omicron, Anutin told the Inside Thailand television show, adding it will be made to the government’s Covid-19 taskforce “soon”.

The minister’s remarks come after Thailand reopened to foreign visitors in November, ending nearly 18 months of strict entry policies that contributed to a collapse in tourism, a key industry and economic driver that drew 40 million visitors in 2019.

Thailand had detected 63 people infected with the Omicron variant so far, Anutin said, with one case of local transmission and the rest imported cases.

The first locally transmitted case was found in a Thai woman who tested positive to Omicron after contracting the virus from her husband, a Colombian who returned to Thailand from Nigeria in late November, a health ministry official told a daily briefing.

“She is potentially the first in Thailand to get Omicron from an overseas traveller, her husband, and the first locally transmitted case,” said Chakrarat Pittayawonganon, an official from the Disease Control Department.

Both the husband and the wife had been fully vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, he said.

The couple had one high-risk contact, a taxi driver, who was being quarantined and pending a second coronavius test due on Wednesday, Chakrarat added.

Karan Johar & His Family Members Tests Negative For Coronavirus

Filmmaker Karan Johar and his family members have tested negative for coronavirus.

On Wednesday, Karan took to Instagram and issued a statement in which he gave health updates about his family members. He also clarified details about his recent get together at his home with a few members of the film industry. “My family and I and everyone at home have done their RTPCR tests and with the grace of god we are all negative! In fact, I tested twice just to be safe and am negative. I truly appreciate the grandest efforts of the BMC to ensure the safety of our city. Salute to them,” Karan informed.

Karan’s statement comes a few days after he received backlash for throwing a “party” at his house amid Omicron scare.

Responding to such criticism, Karan said that he did not throw any “party” but only hosted an “intimate gathering” for eight people, and has been following all protocols. Kareena Kapoor Khan and Amrita Arora, who recently contracted COVID-19, both were a part of the particular gathering.

“To some members of the media, I would like (to) clarify that an eight people intimate gathering is not a ‘party’ and my home, which we maintain strict protocols in, is certainly no ‘hotspot’ of Covid. All of us are responsible and masked at all times and no one would treat this pandemic lightly. My request to certain members of the media is to exercise some restraint in their extreme reportage without the assessment of facts! Lots of love and safety to all,” he added.

Sohail Khan’s wife Seema Khan, who was also a part of the intimate gathering at Karan’s house, has tested positive for coronavirus.

UK records more than 51,000 new coronavirus cases

London [UK]: Britain registered 51,342 new COVID-19 infections bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 10,610,958, according to official figures released Wednesday.
The country also reported a further 161 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 145,987, with 7,317 COVID-19 patients still in the hospital. The vast majority of these infections are likely to be the Delta variant, although Omicron cases are climbing also.
Earlier Wednesday, a further 131 cases of the new Omicron COVID variant have been reported in Britain, taking the total to 568, British health authorities confirmed.
Scientists have called on the government to take more action and are urging people to be more cautious as Omicron cases continue to rise in the country.
More than 89 per cent of people aged 12 and over in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and more than 81 per cent have received both doses, according to the latest figures. More than 37 per cent have received booster jabs, or the third dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.

UK records more than 50,000 new coronavirus cases

London [UK]: Britain registered 50,584 new COVID-19 infections bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 10,379,647, according to official figures released Friday.
The country also reported a further 143 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 145,424, with 7,373 COVID-19 patients still in hospital. The latest data came as the country confirmed 22 cases of the Omicron variant in England, 29 in Scotland and one case in Wales.
A meeting of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) subgroup on Sars-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.529 concluded that, if introduced into Britain, the variant would be able to initiate a new wave of infections.
Meanwhile, British officials said that more than half the confirmed cases of the new Omicron variant in Britain have occurred following at least two vaccination doses.
According to a new technical briefing from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), 12 of the 22 known cases up to Nov. 30 had been fully vaccinated.
The UKHSA has also released a risk assessment of the Omicron variant, giving the highest “red” alert against the virus for its theoretical ability, based on its mutations, to evade both vaccine and naturally-acquired immunity. It also warns that it could reduce the effectiveness of monoclonal antibody treatments.

Omicron Coronavirus Variant Confirmed in 23 countries: WHO

Geneva [Switzerland]: The new Omicron coronavirus variant has been confirmed in 23 countries and their number is expected to rise, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a press briefing here, Tedros said the emergence of the Omicron variant has understandably captured global attention. “At least 23 countries from five of six WHO regions have now reported cases of Omicron and we expect that number to grow. WHO takes this development extremely seriously,” Tedros during a press conference.
“WHO takes this development extremely seriously, and so should every country. But it should not surprise us. This is what viruses do. And it’s what this virus will continue to do, as we long as we allow it to continue spreading,” he added.
Tedros said that WHO is learning more all the time about Omicron, but there’s still more to learn about its effect on transmission, the severity of disease, and the effectiveness of tests, therapeutics and vaccines.
“Several WHO advisory groups have met over the last couple of days to evaluate the emerging evidence, and prioritise the studies needed to answer these questions,” he added.
Earlier, the head of the UN health agency has criticized “blunt” and “blanket” measures taken by countries in the past few days to stop the spread of the Omicron variant.
In a statement on Tuesday, the WHO Director-General said that it was “deeply concerning” that Botswana and South Africa, where the new variant was first identified, were “being penalized by others for doing the right thing”.
Dozens of countries have imposed travel bans on the southern African nations since the mutation was discovered at the end of last week.

Russia confirms 32,837 new COVID-19 cases over past 24 hours

Moscow [Russia] : Russia has confirmed 32,837 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, bringing the cumulative total to 9,669,718, the federal response center said on Wednesday.
“Over the past 24 hours, 32,837 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in 85 regions in Russia, including 2,350 cases (7.2%) without clinical symptoms,” the center said, adding that the rate of increase stands at 0.34%. Moscow registered 2,757 new COVID-19 cases over the given period, followed by Saint Petersburg with 2,419 new cases, and the Moscow region with 2,008 new cases.
The response center also reported 1,226 deaths linked to the coronavirus, bringing the country’s death toll to 276,419.
In the same 24 hours, 35,679 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals across the country, bringing the total of recoveries to 8,364,932.

No Omicron case detected yet, taking all precautions: Mansukh Mandaviya

New Delhi [India] : Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday said that no case of new coronavirus variant Omicron has been detected in India so far. Answering a question on Omicron in the Rajya Sabha, the Minister said, “This new variant has been found in 14 countries. There is no case of Omicron in India yet.” The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia INSACOG is closely monitoring the situation and expediting the results of genomic analysis of positive samples of international travellers. The Minister added that the government is taking all precautions and doing genome sequencing as well. Meanwhile, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday advised states and UTs to ramp up testing for early identification and management of cases amid mounting concerns over Omicron spreading to many countries. While underlining that the new variant doesn’t escape RT-PCR and RAT tests, Bhushan asked states and UTs to ensure adequate infrastructure and supervised home isolation. The B.1.1.529 Covid variant or Omicron, first detected in South Africa last week, was designated by the World Health Organisation as a ‘variant of concern’, the health body’s top category for worrying coronavirus variants. Meanwhile, the government has introduced stricter guidelines for people travelling from or transiting through ‘at-risk’ countries. The countries designated as ‘at-risk’ (updated as of November 26) include European countries, the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.

Scotland confirmed 6 cases of Omicron coronavirus variant

London [UK] : Six cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been confirmed in Scotland, taking the total for the United Kingdom up to nine with the previous three infections detected in England, the Scottish health authorities reported on Monday.
“Six cases of the COVID-19 omicron variant have been identified in Scotland. Four cases are in the Lanarkshire area and two have been identified in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area,” the Scottish semiautonomous government said in a statement, with Scotland’s Health Secretary Humaz Yousaf adding that “all will receive expert help and support and Public Health Scotland will undertake enhanced contact tracing in all cases.” According to Yousaf, this will be a worrying time for the six people now identified as having the new variant. All will receive expert help and support and Public Health Scotland will undertake enhanced contact tracing in all cases.
He warned that since there was still much to learn about this new variant of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 regarding its severity, transmissibility and response to treatments and vaccines, people must be cautious and do everything they can to minimize the risk of spreading infection.
On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) identified the new strain of the coronavirus, Omicron, as one of concern, since it may be more transmissible and dangerous. Cases of the new variant have already been confirmed in multiple countries and governments rushed to suspend travel with southern African nations in order to prevent the spread of the new strain.
In the United Kingdom, face coverings will be mandatory on public transport and in shops and other closed settings including banks, post offices and hairdressers from Tuesday, when isolation rules will return for international arrivals until they receive a negative PCR test for COVID-19.
The UK also convened an urgent meeting of the Group of Seven health ministers on Monday to discuss the Omicron variant.

K. Sivasankar Health Condition Critical

Popular choreographer K. Sivasankar master has tested positive for novel Coronavirus and his health condition is in critical stage. He has been undergoing treatment in AIG Hospital for the last four days and is unable to pay the hospital expenses.

Reports are that the doctors are saying that 75% of K. Sivasankar’s lungs are infected. While Sivasankar master’s wife is in home quarantine with Covid-19 infection, his eldest son is also infected with the same virus and is also in critical condition right now. His younger son Ajay Krishna, who is at home, is requesting donors to help them as they are unable to pay the hospital expenses, which is costing around Rs 2.5 lakh per day.

Apart from being a choreographer, he has also acted in a lot of movies in Telugu and Tamil. Some of his notable performance in Tamil include Suriya-starrer ‘Thaanaa Serndha Koottam’ and Vijay-starrer ‘Sarkar’, in which he played the Election commissioner.

India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage exceeds 107 cr

New Delhi [India] : India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 107 crore (107,25,41,626) as per provisional reports till 7 pm on Tuesday, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
More than 37 lakh (37,38,574) vaccine doses have been administered till 7 pm today. As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s data, India has administered a cumulative 73,61,08,324 first vaccine doses while 33,64,33,302 second doses.

Delhi reports 45 new COVID-19 cases in last 24 hrs

New Delhi [India] : Delhi reported 45 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours and no death occurred for the 9th consecutive day.
According to Delhi Health Bulletin on Sunday, as many as 25,091 people have succumbed to the virus so far in the national capital. The total count of coronavirus cases in the city has gone up to 14,39,870 and the active caseload in the city stands at 348. The case fatality rate in the national capital is 1.74 per cent. The positivity rate is 0.08 per cent.
With 46 more persons recovered in the last 24 hours, the total number of recoveries in the city has gone up to 14,14,431, the bulletin said.
As many as 2,94,27,753 COVID-19 tests have been conducted so far in Delhi including 46,468 RT-PCR tests and 10,283 rapid antigen tests conducted in the last 24 hours.
As many as 79,014 beneficiaries were vaccinated in the last 24 hours taking cumulative beneficiaries in the city to 2,04,55,535.

SC says ‘it will wait for WHO’s response over Covaxin recognition’

New Delhi [India] : The Supreme Court on Friday said that “it will wait for the response of the World Health Organisation (WHO) over Covaxin recognition.” and cannot simply direct the Centre to revaccinate people with Covishield who are fully vaccinated with Covaxin against COVID-19.
A Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna said it cannot play with the lives of people by directing the Centre to permit people to voluntarily get vaccinated with Covishield vaccine even if they have been fully vaccinated with Covaxin. The top court said that it does not have any data of what will be effect on people and it cannot simply direct the Centre to re-vaccinate people with Covishield.
“We cannot play with the lives of people by directing Centre to revaccinate. We don’t have any data with us. We have read in newspapers that Bharat Biotech has filed an application with the World Health Organisation for recognition. Let us wait for the response of WHO. We will take up this matter post-Diwali vacation,” the apex court said.
It was hearing a petition that said that Covaxin was not approved by the WHO and people here are facing difficulty in getting permission to travel abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The apex court said that there is also a concern that competitors may in the garb of the PIL try to take advantage of the litigation.

Advocate Kartik Seth, who filed the plea told the Bench that every day some students and people are willing to go abroad but they are denied entry as Covaxin is not recognised by the WHO.
Hence, individuals who voluntarily at their own costs and risk wish to get Covishield even after having received two doses of Covaxin, should not be prevented from doing so, he said.
The plea said that at the time of rolling out of Covaxin, the government did not make the public aware that it was not approved by WHO.
The Bharat Biotech has submitted its application for approval as late as April 2021 and in May people came to know many countries are not allowing entry of those who are vaccinated with vaccines other than those enlisted in WHO’s emergency use list, it added.
It urged the court to direct the government that the concerned department release official data and reasons for the delay in getting approval to Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech. 

Delhi logs 42 fresh COVID-19 cases in last 24 hours

New Delhi [India] : Delhi reported 42 fresh COVID-19 cases on Thursday and no single death was reported in the city for the six consecutive days.
According to Delhi Health Bulletin, as many as 25,091 people have succumbed to the virus so far in the national capital. The total count of coronavirus cases in the city has gone up to 14,39,751 and the active caseload in the city stands at 345.
The case fatality rate in the national capital is 1.74 per cent. The positivity rate is 0.07 per cent.
With 45 more persons recovered in the last 24 hours, the total number of recoveries in the city has gone up to 14,14,315.
As many as 2,92,52,619 COVID-19 tests have been conducted so far in Delhi including 47,895 RT-PCR tests and 15,279 rapid antigen tests conducted in the last 24 hours.
As many as 61,097 beneficiaries were vaccinated in the last 24 hours taking cumulative beneficiaries in the city to 2,02,62,413.

We feel energised, encouraged by PM Modi’s vision for vaccine industry: Adar Poonawalla

New Delhi [India] : Serum Institute India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Saturday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that the vision he has laid down for the vaccine industry encourages and energises them.
Poonawalla’s remarks came after attending an interaction of Indian manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccine with PM Modi. In a tweet, Poonawala said, “The vaccine industry and I, thank you, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji, for excellent interaction. We feel energised and encouraged by the vision you have laid out for the industry.”
Speaking to the media after the interaction, Poonawala said, “India’s achievement of 100 crore COVID-19 vaccinations is a milestone achievement. The vision of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We achieved this because the industries worked with the government of India.”
He added, “In the interaction, we discussed how to take the industry forward to prepare for the future pandemics. We discussed to continue enhancing the capacity and other things which will support the vaccine production. We discussed how to be ahead of other countries in the vaccine production.”
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar were also present during the interaction.
The interaction comes days after the country crossed a milestone of administering 100 crore vaccinations.
As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, with the administration of 68,48,417 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has surpassed the 100 Crore mark to reach 101.30 Cr (1,01,30,28,411) as per provisional reports till 7 am today.

PM Modi interacts with Indian manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccine

New Delhi [India] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday interacted with Indian manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Those who attended the interaction among vaccine manufacturers included Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar were also present during the interaction.
The interaction comes days after the country crossed a milestone of administering 100 crore vaccinations.
As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, with the administration of 68,48,417 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has surpassed the 100 Crore mark to reach 101.30 Cr (1,01,30,28,411) as per provisional reports till 7 am today.

Global Forum 2021, from Surviving to thriving: Post Covid

New Delhi [India] : Global Triumph Foundation & Image Planet organized the Global Forum 2021 virtually on the 16th of October 2021. Global Forum 2021 is the largest independent recognition with the mission to find, recognize and connect the future shapers of the digital age from all around the world. Global Forum 2021 had conducted three different sessions – Global Education Forum, Global Business Forum & Global Women Achiever. The Forum is tailor-made to bring together the most desirable industry professionals across the world under one roof to Meet, Interact, Connect, and Expand.
Global Education Forum – 2021: Emerging Technologies and Education In attendance, the eminent guests and speakers included Shri Neeraj Kumar, Pritam Kumar Agrawal, Dr Ami Desai, Farzana Dohadwalla, Dr S.K. Rathore, and Madhumita Banerjee.
Furthermore, as part of the event, the winners announced were — Dr Sandip Gun, V Sibin Mathew, Dr Dhanraj, Bright Avenue School, Yaduvanshi Shiksha Niketan, Jind, CA (Dr) Rakesh Chharia, Imperial Heritage School, Abilash Rathnakaran, Y. David Solomon Raju, Vels Group Of Institutions, Vels Vidhyalaya Group Of Schools, Whitefield Global School, Saraswati Dental College, Lucknow, Dr I. Azma, Dr. Kapil Khare, Dr. Vikram Parekh, Dr Borelli John Robert, Dr. Gundabala Mohan, Sunbeam School, Robertsganj,Dr Rabi Kumar, Priyanka Dutta, Chitra Koli, Raman Oberoi, Salika Parvez, Dr. Dinesh Gabhane, Dr. Sushma Jaiswal, Satish Shivaji Sonawane, Dr Jitendra Sharma, Sri Sri Academy, Hyderabad, LI’L PALS PRE-SCHOOL, Tasneem Dohadwalla, Mynam Hussain, Piyush Rai, Sant Darbara Singh College of Education for Women Lopon Distt Moga Punjab, Myhomeschooling, Righteducator’s Troupe LLP, Nature’s Lap Preschool, Madhu Dahiya, Ms Shruti Garg, B.G. Gaiekwad, Airship Aviation And Maritime Management, Dr. Zuleika Homavazir, Dr.Mahesh Sharma, Purushattom Bhattacharjee, Basil Woods Nature School, Abha Bhaarat Shah, Niti Dhami, Chetan Sharma, Dr. Amit Shukla, Velammal Main Campus, Velammal Vidyalaya Mangadu, VKids, Velammal Vidyalaya, Mel Ayanambakkam, Prasad G, Prof Asha Shukla, AniYepthomi, Kiddenz, Little Woods, Little Fingers, Numismatics Academy (NAC) & Worldola, Robomations, Pooja Sachin, Hello Kids, School Consultant India, and Dr. Syed Asad Abbas.
Global Business Forum – 2021: Reinventing Business For A New Decade
The eminent guests and speakers present during the forum were G R Akadas, Vijetha Shastry, R. Gopinath Rao, IEDS, Padmini Patel, Maadhav Bhide, and Smruti Ranjan Parida.
The list of winners for the event included — Mohit Pant, Dr Kishor Navandar, Ram Prakash Khankriyal, Dr Siddharth Bhattacharya, BhatiaTvs, Skillfie Training Labs, Gurcharan Singh, Brickhouse Realty Solutions, Chatkara Foods Events, Dr Mansav Arora (Honoris Causa), Prakash Kolluri, Sanjay Vadapalli, Savi Bindu Homeopathy And Aesthetics Clinic, Gramepay, Asian Checkout Pvt. Ltd., Pay10, Asiana Cybernetics Pvt. Ltd., Shubham Gupta, Geet Yoga & Fitness Academy, Dr Lokendra Choudhary, ProfferZone, Dr Naresh Goyal, Valuecent Consultancy, Eada. Kumaraswamy, Dr Mustafa Attarwala, Digifuels, SIGN WORLD, Aero Falcons Aviation Training & Services Pvt Ltd, Mavi Buildtech Pvt Ltd, Shubh Party Organiser & Caterer, Nexmatics Private Limited, Rakasree Basu, Tectum Technospace Private Limited, Dr Mallika Mishra, Heritage Fin Corp, MacMotors, Dr Ami Desai, Dr Debrato Mukerjee, Deepak Dille, Aman’s Core Gym, Dr Alok Shankar, Ravian Life Science PVT LTD, Bandi Sekhar, R.Shanmuga Priyan, Pradeep Cheruvathoor, Pashmina Goat Project, Bhushan Agarwal, and Dr Syed Asad Abbas
Global Women Achievers 2021: Women of the Channel: Next-Generation Leaders
The eminent speakers and guests on the panel were Santi Das, Harish Bijoor, Sunita Jain, Nina Lekhi, Barsha Chabaria, DR Ankita Singh, and Neha Bhandari.
The list of winners for the event included — Farida Jalees, Dr Kona Olivia Hephzibah, Dr Lita Mohapatra, Dr Pallavi Pathak, Dr Reena Rathi, Dr Sarbpal Kaur, Dr Brinda Shah, Dr Revathi Jegan, Isha Patel, M S Bhavanipriya, Meghha Kalra, Somdutta Banerjee, Namrata Biyani, Neeta Bajaj, Nikita Ameer Ganatra, Preetika Mishra, Ritu Joshi, Ruplekha Sinharoy, Sharmin Rahman, Sipra Sagarika, Tasneem Dohadwalla, Adv Gauri Narayandas Chhabria, Alpaben Samirbhai Patel, Avantika Anup, Babyshree. R, Barsha Chabaria, Chanchala Yelamanchi, Deepanshi Nandi, Dr Gayathri Vadapalli, Dr Mruuginee Samir Shah, Dr Sunitha Misrilal Jain, Dr Ami Desai, Dr Ankita Singh, Dr Arpita Chatterjee, Dr Dipali R. Shende, Dr Kamalini Pathak, Dr Sangeeta Patil, Dr Sunita Pachar, Dr. (Ms) Satinder Malhotra, Dr Ekta Shrivastava, Dr Lipika Nanda, Dr Sarada Chandrasekaran, Dr V.V Manjula Kumari, Ecoserve, Greeshma Nataraj, Himani Dahiya, In-house Publication – Krysalis, Jyothi Ahuja, Kanchan S Satpathy, Karishma Manchanda, Kashika Rakhiani, Kaveri Vij, Kavita Mahesh, Komal Parakh, Leena Satpute, Malvika Deepangure, Mercy Beauty Academy & Ladies Salon, Isabel Swamy, Rakhi Shah, Smita Yogendra Kawley, Preethaa Ganesh, Navita Bajaj, Neelam Ramesh Gangwani, P. Shanthi Yuvaraj, Parul Jindal, Prachi Narkar Mhatre, Priti Agarwal, Priyanka Harsh Mehta, Prof Asha Shukla, Reena Shirodkar, Rima Kapadia & Rashi Maniar, Riya Arora, Rupa Patnaik, Sana Merchant, Sangeetha Kosuru, SHILPAV, Soumya Khoday, Srilakshmi Mahidhara, Subhalakshmi Krishnamoorthy, Tanaya Ghose Dastidar, Tanya Sondhi, Tarandeep Kaur Aurora, Vandana Engineer, and Ankita Rohit Agrawal.
Global Triumph Foundation thanks the notable personalities G R Akadas-Director, MSME Development Institute, Govt. of India, R.Gopinath Rao, IEDS-Deputy Director, MSME, Govt. of India, Monika Jain – Founder, Image Planet, Amit Jain-Founder, Global Triumph Foundation.
Sponsors for the event included My Home Schooling, Educators Troupe, Salaam Namaste, CACH IN NUMBERS – Life Decoded Through Numbers, Life Educare, Hello Kids, Little Fingers, FitFutures, NAC, and Little Woods.
To know more, visit Global Triumph Foundation and ImagePlanet

India crossing 100 crore COVID-19 vaccinations big achievement, says Piyush Goyal

New Delhi [India] : Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that India crossing 100-crore COVID vaccinations is a big achievement and the country will be soon able to vaccinate all its citizens with the first dose of vaccine.
He said there are sufficient vaccine stocks available for those eligible for second dose of vaccine. “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, touching 100-crore COVID vaccination is a big achievement. It is clear that India would soon vaccinate all its citizens with the first dose of vaccine. There are sufficient vaccine stocks available for the second dose,” Goyal told ANI.
“The PM is personally monitoring the vaccination drive in the country. PM Modi had one-to-one interaction with all the scientists and encouraged them to develop anti-COVID vaccines,” he added.
Goyal said the medical staff took this vaccine to different corners of the country.
India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed 100 crore doses on Thursday.

MoS Health visits Serum Institute of India, conveys gratitude for playing crucial role in Covid vaccination campaign

Pune (Maharashtra) [India] : Union Minister of State (MoS) for Health and Family Welfare Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar on Tuesday visited the Serum Institute of India in Pune and conveyed her gratitude for playing a crucial role in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the country.
Taking to Twitter the Union Minister conveyed her gratitude to the manufacturing institute for playing a crucial role in the Covid vaccination campaign in India. “Today I visited serum Institute of India, Pune, one of the prominent manufacturers of Vaccines headed by Adar Poonawalla. Conveyed my gratitude for playing a crucial role in the Covid vaccination campaign in India especially,” she said in a tweet.
“When we are on the way to achieving hundred crore vaccination of our citizens under the able leadership of our PM @narendramodi,” she further tweeted.
India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive was launched on January 16, 2021. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed that the cumulative COVID vaccination coverage crossed 99 crores on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan reviewed the progress of COVID-19 vaccination with Health Secretaries and National Health Mission MDs of states and UTs, through a video conference yesterday.
Highlighting that the nation is close to administering a billion doses, the Health Secretary congratulated the states and UTs on their effort to vaccinate all citizens. It was highlighted that a sizeable number of beneficiaries who are eligible have not received their second dose.
States and UTs were urged to focus on these second vaccination doses in the review meeting.
The Health Ministry said that it has issued various SOPs over the last one year for international travel. It is in the process of reviewing the guidelines in consultation with all stakeholders including the Ministry of Home Affairs, Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of External Affairs. States and UTs were also requested to share their suggestion or feedback.

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

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

Pooja Bedi Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Actor Pooja Bedi, who’s quite vocal about her choice of not getting the coronavirus vaccine, has tested positive for the deadly virus.

Taking to Instagram, Pooja posted a video in which she talked about how she has been battling the disease and revealed that her fiance and house help are also COVID-19 positive. “COVID POSITIVE!!!! I have finally been diagnosed as covid positive. I chose/choose to stay unvaccinated as it’s my personal decision to allow my own natural immunity and alternative healing and wellness practices to accelerate my healing. You do what’s right for you. Each to their own.Caution. not panic,” she wrote.

Netizens including members of the film industry wished Pooja a speedy recovery.

“Get well soon,” actor Shruti Seth commented.
Veteran actor Nafisa Ali Sodhi advised Pooja to undergo COVID-19 test again after a week.

“Just to say I love you with all my blessings & strength. Test yourself again after a week,” she commented.

A few months ago, Pooja faced a huge backlash on social media when she asked her followers to live a fearless life amid the second wave of coronavirus.

“Joys of living in healthy, happy #goa. Free your mind #NoFear. Life is meant to be lived… not spent caged and masked for a year/ years in fear of a virus that’s clearly not going away! If you died tomorrow after year of masking/lockdown.. what would ur greatest regret be,” she had tweeted.

Pooja lives in Goa with her fiance.

Mumbai records zero COVID-19 death for first time since pandemic began

Mumbai, (Maharashtra) [India] : Mumbai on Sunday recorded zero death due to COVID-19 for the first time since the pandemic began in March last year.
“Mumbai recorded zero Covid death after March 26, 2020. This is great news for all of us in Mumbai. I salute Team MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai) for their spectacular performance,” I S Chahal, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner said. “Let us all keep the mask on our face and let every citizen of Mumbai get vaccinated if some of us haven’t yet! I appeal to everyone to help us keep Mumbai safe,” he added.
Maharashtra environment minister and Mumbai suburban guardian minister Aaditya Thackeray also took to Twitter to share the “good news”.
“The good news: Mumbai today has recorded zero covid deaths, first time since 26th March 2020. Keep the mask on the face and get yourself vaccinated if you haven’t yet! Help us keep Mumbai safe, we’re here to serve you!” he tweeted.
As many as 367 new COVID-19 cases were reported today, taking an active caseload in the city to 5,030, as per the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in the metropolis is 7,50,808 while the death toll due to the viral disease stands at 16,180.
The Covid recovery rate in Mumbai reached 97 per cent while the doubling rate is at 1,214 days.

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

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

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

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

Kerala reports 7,955 new COVID-19 cases

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India] : Kerala reported 7,955 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours.
According to the state government bulletin, 1,769 people recovered from the virus and 57 people succumbed to it in the last 24 hours. The state has 90,885 active cases and the death toll has gone up to 26,791.
A total of 79,722 samples were tested during the last 24 hours.

“Praying Ram to free us from ‘Corona'”

New Delhi [India]: On the occasion of Dussehra, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said that he prays to Lord Ram to free humanity from ‘Corona Ravan’ amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
His remarks came after performing ‘Ravan Dahan’ at ‘Lav Kush Ramlila’ at Red Fort ground here today. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said, “This festival signifies the victory of good over evil spirits. Due to the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic, large scale gatherings in the city have been restricted. I pray Lord Ram to free us from ‘Corona Ravan’. I hope that all the families here live a happy, healthy and prosperous life.”
The day is celebrated to mark the victory of Lord Rama over the king of Lanka, Ravana. Dussehra is marked with religious enthusiasm across the country. Ramlila, the dramatic folk re-enactment of the life of Lord Ram is staged for 10 days and concludes on Dussehra.
Effigies of the ten-headed demon king Raavan, his brother Kumbhakaran and son Meghanada, also known as Indrajit are burnt with fireworks to signify the destruction of evil.
Also, after celebrations for Navratri, it is time to bid adieu to Goddess Durga on the occasion of Vijay Dashami today, a day that marks the triumph of good over evil.
According to mythology, on this day Goddess Durga annihilated the demon god Mahishasura after a fierce battle that lasted for nine days.
This day also marks Durga Visarjan or immersion of Durga idols signifying the journey of the Goddess back to Mount Kailash after ten days of stay at her parent’s house on earth. Annually, Goddess Durga visits her paternal house with her four children in tow–Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartikeya and Ganesha.

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.

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

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

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

Delhi reports 34 new cases of COVID in last 24 hours

New Delhi [India] : Delhi reported 34 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours.
According to the health bulletin, the total number of COVID cases in the national capital has gone up to 14,39,252 of which 14,13,798 have recovered. There are 365 active cases of COVID-19 in the city. Thirty-eight people recovered from the disease in the said period in the national capital. Further, no death was reported in the city due to the disease in the last 24 hours.
The COVID death toll in Delhi stands at 25,089 marking the case fatality rate at 1.74 per cent.
The positivity rate in Delhi stands at 0.06 per cent.

India reports lowest COVID-19 cases in 215 days

New Delhi [India] : As informed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India reported 18,132 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, which is the lowest in 215 days,.
With this, the country’s active caseload now stands at 2,27,347, which is the lowest in 209 days. Also, the active cases account for less than 1 per cent of total cases and are currently at 0.67 per cent, the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic.
Since March 2020 the recovery rated has increased which is currently at 98.00 per cent, highest till date.
Meanwhile, 95.19 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far under Nationwide Vaccination Drive.

India restarts vaccine exports in tune with ‘Neighbourhood First’ mantra

New Delhi [India] : India has pressed the restart button to supply COVID-19 vaccines along with initial supplies in this round to the neighbourhood. It is learnt that India has recently sent Covid vaccines to Iran, Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh. Both Bangladesh and Iran each received one million doses of “Made-in-India” vaccines.
Made-in-India COVID-19 vaccines are in huge demand especially in the neighbourhood, it is learnt that during several diplomatic engagements, the majority of south Asian neighbours had time and again urged India to restart the export of vaccines.
India had to freeze its “Vaccine Maitri” program in early May this year as the country was severely hit by a deadly second wave of the COVID-19. It is the last month India announced that it is reopening the export of Covid vaccines.
During this gap of nearly five months, China entered this sphere and supplied a massive number of Sinapharm vaccines in the region.
However, the efficacy of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine was always in question and people in the region have more trust in “Made-in-India” vaccines, a source told ANI.
Differences in Sinopharm pricing kicked storm in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. According to reports, China sold vaccines to different regional partners at different pricing, this has already created massive controversy in Nepal, Bangladesh and also Sri Lanka.
One source told ANI that most south Asian countries are looking up to India for the vaccine supply to the region.
In the last few months, India ramped up its production and speeded its Covid vaccination drive on a big scale. Nearly 95 crore Indians have at least received the first dose of vaccine.
India’s decision to reopen exports of vaccines is welcomed by the International community. Quad, the United States and countries of the European Union (EU) appreciated India’s move.
India’s step to open vaccine supplies is a major boost to the world in general and South Asia in particular.

Indonesia reports 1,167 newly-confirmed COVID-19 cases, 52 more deaths

Jakarta [Indonesia] : The number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 1,167 within one day to 4,227,038, with the death toll adding by 52 to 142,612, the country’s Health Ministry said on Saturday.
According to the ministry, 1,507 more people were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total recovered cases to 4,059,267. To date, at least 56.90 million people in the country have received two shots of vaccines, while 99.37 million have taken the first doses, the ministry added

Maharashtra govt to give Rs 1.21 lakh incentive to each resident doctor involved in Covid-19 duty

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : Maharashtra government has announced a special incentive of Rs 1.21 lakhs each for resident doctors treating COVID-19 patients in all government and municipal medical colleges in the state.
This comes days after a delegation of doctors associated with the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to discuss some issues and put forth their demands. The state government issued an order on Friday in this regard.
MARD on October 1 held an indefinite strike across the state to seek fulfilment of various demands.
Dr Akshay Yadav, a member of MARD, had told ANI that their demands included waiving off of academics fees during COVID-19, and non-deduction of TDS from the stipend of resident doctors of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) hospitals, among other things.

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.

Covid-19: Unvaccinated Delhi govt employees won’t be allowed to attend office from Oct 16

New Delhi [India] : Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) issued an order on Friday stating all the government employees to get vaccinated with at least the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine till October 15 as per the guidelines prescribed for vaccination by the central government.
“All the government employees working in different departments should get vaccinated with at least first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by October 15 according to the vaccination guidelines prescribed by the GOI,” the statement read. The statement further said that if these government employees are not inoculated with at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by October 15, then they would not be allowed to attend their respective offices from October 16.
The official order said, “The said period of absence from duty will be considered as ‘On leave’ till the administration of the first dose of vaccination.”
According to DDMA, the verification of vaccination will be done by the concerned office through the Arogya Setu application or vaccination certificate of the concerned employees.
Meanwhile, the national capital has administered 1.87 crore people with COVID-19 vaccines so far.

Zydus Cadila vaccine to be inoculated through applicator, not syringe, says NITI Aayog’s Dr VK Paul

New Delhi [India] : Following the approval of the Zydus Cadila vaccine by the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) for emergency use, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health) of Niti Aayog on Thursday said that the vaccine will be administered through an applicator which will be used for the first time in India.
Addressing a press conference in the national capital today, Paul said, “Zydus Cadila vaccine is not administered using a conventional syringe or a needle but through an applicator, which will be used for the first time in the country. We are working on the trainers and its logistic issues.” Speaking on the availability of the vaccine, Paul said “Preparations are underway to introduce the Zydus Cadila’s COVID vaccine under the national vaccination programme. It is only a matter of a short period of time.”
The country’s drugs regulator, DGCI, approved the Zydus Cadila’s vaccine for emergency use on August 20. According to sources, ZyCoV-D, a needle-free coronavirus vaccine, is likely to be available by early October.
It is the world’s first plasmid DNA vaccine for Covid-19. It’s a three-dose vaccine that will be administered on day zero, day 28, and day 56. The vaccine has been approved to be administered to adolescents between ages 12 and 18.
Speaking about the different variants of COVID-19, Paul said that there is no new variant of concern as per the data available at present.
The Niti Aayog member further informed that at least 1,200 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen generating plants are functional now and there will a total of 4,000 PSA plants in the country under the current programme of establishing PSA plants.
“At least 1,200 PSA plants are functional now. After the current program of establishing PSA plants, which is underway, there will be 4,000 PSA plants across the nation. This is our security against any oxygen constraints in future,” he stated.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated 35 PSA oxygen plants established under PM CARES across 35 states and Union Territories (UTs) at AIIMS Rishikesh.
Till now, a total of 1,224 PSA oxygen plants have been funded under PM CARES all across the country, out of which more than 1,100 plants have been commissioned, providing an output of over 1,750 MT oxygen per day.

India: COVID-19 active caseload lowest in 203 days

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

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

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

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

No new COVID-19 variant of concern has emerged, says Dr NK Arora

New Delhi [India] : No new variant of concern (VOC) or variant of interest (VOI) of COVID-19 has emerged in the country, said Dr NK Arora, co-chair of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), on Sunday.
“During last four-five months, no new variant of concern or interest has emerged. Initially, there were some concerns with ‘Delta +’, but later on we have found this is the part of the lineage which we call as AY (there are 1 to 13). Though new sub lineages coming up but none of them have been found to be either more infection or more virulent bit they are under constant watch,” Dr Arora told ANI. However, the Delta variant of COVID-19 continuing to remain as the main VOC in India.

The current status of VOC/VOI is found to be distributed in 459 districts across all 36 States and Union Territories of the country. The SARS-CoV-2 VOC/VOls detected in community samples are Delta- 25,164, AY series- 4143, Kappa and B.1.617.3 is 5364, Alpha-3,655, Beta- 102 and Gamma-1.
The cumulative number of samples with pangolin lineage till the month of September is 60,043.
A further categorisation shows that 54,865 community samples were taken and 5,178 samples were of travellers. The total VOC/VOI is 39,283 with amounts to 65.4 in proportion.
Dr Arora added, “In addition, the country is constantly picking up samples from all over the country and there is a constant vigil to see that if anything of concern arises, prompt action will be taken. These days whenever there is a virus sample is picked up within three/ four weeks we know the status. Time-lapse between picking up the sample and the complete process has been shortened. We have sufficient capacity and have also prepared ourselves.”
Significantly along with government labs, private labs could also do sampling, he noted.
“In addition, to the current labs capacity if required we can get the sample done from private sectors as vendors as there is a huge private sector capacity also,” said Dr Arora.
In the month of December, 10 genome sequencing labs were made under a consortium, INSACOG. This has recently been expanded in the last three months to 28 labs with a monthly capacity of 80,000 samples that can be sequenced.
There has also been no change as far Delta variant is concerned from a global perspective also which includes B.1.617.2 (AY) and AY.x sublineages.

WHO to give approval to Covaxin this month, say top health experts

New Delhi [India] : The decision on Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin Emergency Use Listing (EUL) by the World Health Organisation (WHO) is expected in October, informed the top health experts in the country on Saturday.
Speaking to ANI, the experts said that the approval of the vaccine shouldn’t be delayed after reviewing the data. “Globally, the world is in need of vaccines and we have to ensure that this is a global war, and many countries are still not getting vaccinated. So we have to ensure that our vaccines should get the approval timely,” said Dr Naveet Wig, Chairperson of the COVID Task Force for AIIMS, Delhi.
“WHO will give the approval soon as it is a ‘killed vaccine’ which has been approved earlier also by other names from other countries,” he added.
Earlier on Friday, Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS, Delhi said, “We are hopeful that now with all the data in and studies having been done it should happen soon rather than happening late.”
“The delay of Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) will affect Indians especially students and who has international travel plans. The EUA is important because, without EUA, Covaxin will not be considered and accepted around the world by most of the countries,” he added.
WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Expert on Immunization (SAGE) will be conducting a meeting on October 5 regarding EUL to Covaxin.

Kerala sees decline in COVID-19 cases, still contributes 52% of total active COVID-19 cases :Centre

New Delhi [India] : Kerala accounts for 52 per cent of the cumulative active COVID-19 cases in the country, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed on Thursday.
Addressing a press briefing on COVID-19, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that the number of cases is declining in Kerala but the state still contributes a substantial number of total cases in the country. “Kerala has highest active cases – 1,44,000 which is 52 per cent of total active cases of the country. Maharashtra has 40,000 active cases, Tamil Nadu has 17,000, Mizoram has 16,800, Karnataka has 12,000 and Andhra Pradesh has a little more than 11,000 active cases,” he said.
As recoveries from Covid continue to outnumber the daily fresh cases, Bhushan pointed out that the national recovery rate has reached almost 98 per cent.
“Active cases are going down across the country and the cumulative recovery rate is rising. At present, the country has a recovery rate of almost 98 per cent,” he said.
“Number of tests done every day has not been reduced. It is still between 15 lakh to 16 lakh tests a day. The rate of positivity is coming down. This is the 13th week continuously when the weekly positivity rate stands below 3 per cent. But our target should be to bring down this rate further. The state governments must target this,” he added.
The Health Secretary said that 18 districts in India are reporting a weekly positivity between 5 per cent to 10 per cent.
Meanwhile, India reported 23,529 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare today.
India’s active caseload stands at 2,77,020, which is the lowest in the last 195 days. The active cases account for less than 1 per cent of total cases, currently at 0.82 per cent, the lowest since March 2020.
According to the health ministry, the recovery of 28,718 patients in the last 24 hours has taken the cumulative tally of recovered patients since the beginning of the pandemic to 3,30,14,898. The cumulative death toll due to COVID-19 reached 4,48,062.

COVID-19: DGCA extends ban on scheduled international commercial flights till October 31

New Delhi [India] : Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the suspension on scheduled international commercial flight services has further been extended by a month till October 31 this year, said the office of Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday.
However, the restriction does not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA, the circular stated further. “In partial modification of circular dated 26-06-2020, the competent authority has further extended the validity of circular issued on the subject cited above regarding Scheduled international commercial passenger services to/from India till 2359 hours IST of 31st October 2021. This restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA,” read the circular.
India’s aviation regulator in its circular also said that international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis.
Earlier in August, the DGCA had extended the ban on international commercial flights till September 30, to contain the transmission of COVID-19. 

Delhi logs 27 fresh COVID-19 cases, zero fatalities

New Delhi [India], September 25 : A total of 27 new COVID-19 cases and zero fatalities were reported in Delhi in the last 24 hours.
As per the health bulletin issued by Delhi Government on Saturday, the cumulative positive cases registered so far is 14,38,685. These include 379 active cases. The cumulative positivity rate is 5.26 per cent and the case fatality rate is 1.74 per cent. The positivity rate recorded in the last 24 hours was 0.04 per cent.
With 39 recoveries reported in the last 24 hours, the total recoveries climbed to 14,13,221. The death tally is 25,085.
In the last 24 hours, 68,498 tests were conducted to detect the presence of COVID-19 virus. Of these, 46,555 were RTPCR/CBNAAT/True Nat tests and 21,943 were rapid antigen tests. A total of 2,73,46,476 tests have been done so far since the onset of the pandemic last year.
The total number of containment zones in the metropolitan is 96.
Meanwhile, in the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive, 1,62,344 eligible beneficiaries were vaccinated in the last 24 hours. From these, 71,096 were administered first dose of the vaccine and 91,248 were inoculated with the second dose. The cumulative beneficiaries vaccinated so far is 1,69,22,079.

Uttar Pradesh first state to administer over 10 crore COVID-19 vaccines

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], September 25 : Uttar Pradesh is the first state across the country to administer over 10 crore COVID-19 vaccines to eligible beneficiaries, said Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad on Saturday.
“Uttar Pradesh has become the first state in India to administer over 10 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses to people. One crore doses were administered in the last 10 days only,” he said during a virtual press conference. Amid reports of vector-borne diseases like dengue and malaria in that state, the ACS said that the cases are now decreasing.
“Cases of dengue, malaria are also decreasing as proper medical facility has been given,” he said.
Cities like Meerut, Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Firozabad among others have reported cases of dengue in the past few weeks.

Karnataka administered 29 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses on Friday, 1.68 lakh doses yet to update on CoWIN portal

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: As many as 29 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in Karnataka on Friday and about 1.68 lakh doses are yet to be recorded on Cowin portal, said health and medical education minister Dr K Sudhakar.

He also added that the state accounted for 11 per cent of the total doses administered in the country and achieved a unique feat. Addressing the press conference, Dr Sudhakar said, “We had decided to celebrate PM Narendra Modiji’s birthday in a meaningful manner with an accelerated special vaccination drive.

Chief Minister BS Bommai fully supported the initiative and we had set a target to clock 30 lakh jabs. As of 8:30 AM on Saturday 29,50,093 doses have been administered and another 1.68 lakh doses are yet to be recorded in portal which takes the total count to 31 lakh doses. Karnataka accounted for 11 per cent of the total doses administered in the country on Friday.”

“By inoculating 62,003 persons for every 10 lakh eligible population Karnataka stands first in the entire country. 14,401 vaccination centres were set up across the state and on average 205 doses were administered in each centre. 14 districts have achieved more than the target and only four districts have achieved 75 per cent of the target,” said the minister.

He informed that the state has administered more than 5 crore doses and the last one crore has been achieved in just 20 days. More than 1 crore people are fully vaccinated with both doses, he added.
With over 2.50 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses administered, India created a world record of the highest number of COVID jabs in a day on the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 71st birthday on Friday.

Kerala logs 68 % of total COVID-19 cases reported in India: Health Ministry

New Delhi [India], September 16 : Almost 68 per cent of the total COVID-19 cases reported in India are from Kerala, said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Thursday.
Addressing a press conference, Bhushan said, “Almost 68 per cent of the total cases reported nationally are from Kerala. Kerala has over 1.99 lakh active cases, while five other states — Mizoram, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra — have more than 10,000 active cases. The weekly positivity rate for the last 11 weeks is below 3 per cent. 64 districts are still reporting above 5 per cent COVID positivity. They are districts of concern where COVID appropriate behaviour, vaccination, surveillance in these areas must be strictly monitored.” The Union Health Secretary said the Centre is working towards ramping up the availability of medical oxygen in the country to more than 4,500 MT.
“Right now 3,631 PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) plants have been started in the country. When these plants get commissioned, they will be able to make available more than 4,500 MT of medical oxygen. As many as 1,595 plants are commissioned as of now, providing 2,088 MT of medical oxygen to patients in the hospitals,” Bhushan explained.
“Further, 1,491 of these plants are being commissioned through central resources. They will make available more than 2,220 MT of medical oxygen. 2,140 plants are being made through states and other resources. They will make available 2,289 MT of medical oxygen,” he added.
Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) raised concerns about the upcoming festive season that might create a conducive environment for virus spread.

“We have been seeing some decreasing infections in Kerala. Other states are also on the path of averting future surge. However, festivals are approaching and a sudden increase in population density creates a conducive environment for virus spread. The call of the hour is vaccine acceptance, maintenance of COVID-appropriate behaviour, responsible travel and if necessary, responsible festivities,” emphasised Dr Bhargava.
Asked about COVID vaccine booster dose, ICMR DG said, “Booster doses are not the central theme at the moment in the scientific and public healthcare discussion. Getting a full vaccination of two doses remains a major priority. Several agencies have recommended that antibody levels should not be measured.”
Meanwhile, VK Paul, Member-Health, NITI Aayog said Mizoram is a state of concern. “In the coming 2-3 months, we have to maintain caution against any upsurge of COVID cases. We request everyone to remain careful in the coming quarter. We are happy to see the number of cases stabilising, even in Kerala,” Paul said.
On Dengue outbreak, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said there are reports of the outbreak of the parasitic disease from states like Delhi, Haryana, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Assam.
“When water is accumulated, it leads to the birth of Aedes mosquitoes responsible for dengue outbreaks. Source reduction is done in all states every year. We have received reports of dengue outbreaks in Delhi, Haryana, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Assam,” stated Bhushan.
India reported 30,570 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the tally of cases in the country to 3,33,47,325, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday.
Of the new infections, Kerala recorded 17,681 COVID cases.
The country has been reporting less than 50,000 cases of COVID infection for 81 consecutive days now, the ministry said.
India’s active caseload now stands at 3,42,923. The active cases account for 1.03 per cent of total cases.

Study finds lung function unaffected post COVID-19 infection

London [UK], September 11 : COVID-19 infection does not appear to affect the lung function of young adults, according to a recent study by clinical researchers.
These findings were recently presented at the virtual European Respiratory Society International Congress. In the first study to investigate the impact of COVID-19 infection on lung function, researchers led by Dr Ida Mogensen, a post-doctoral fellow at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, found that even patients with asthma did not show a statistically significant deterioration in lung function, although there was a trend towards slightly lower measurements for the amount of air they could exhale forcibly in one second – known as forced expiratory air volume in one second (FEV1), which is one of the measures of lung function.
A second study presented at the congress on Sunday showed that the lung function in children and adolescents was also unimpaired after COVID-19 infection, apart from those who experienced a severe infection.
Dr Mogensen said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has raised questions about if and how the lung is affected after clearance of the coronavirus infection, especially in young people from the general population with less severe disease. Until now, this has not been known.”
Dr Mogensen and her colleagues gathered information from 661 young people with an average age of 22 years who were part of a large study that enrolled children born between 1994 and 1996 in Stockholm, and who have been followed by researchers ever since.
The most recent pre-pandemic clinical examination was carried out between 2016 and 2019. The examinations at the COVID-19 follow-up took place between October 2020 and May 2021. Collected data included measurements of lung function, inflammation, and white blood cells called eosinophils, which are part of the immune system.
Of the 661 participants, 178 (27 per cent) had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 indicating they had been infected.
The researchers measured FEV1, FVC (forced vital capacity, which represents the volume of air in the lungs that can be exhaled after taking the deepest breath possible), and FEV1/FVC ratio, which is an indicator of narrowed airways.
They calculated the changes in lung function between the period before the pandemic and during the pandemic.
Then they compared the percentage change with participants who had not been infected.
“Our analysis showed similar lung function irrespective of COVID-19 history,” said Dr Mogensen. “When we included 123 participants with asthma in the analysis, the 24 per cent who had had COVID-19 tended towards having a slightly lower lung function, but this was not statistically significant.”
There was no difference in lung function among patients who had COVID-19 with respect to eosinophils, indicators of inflammation, allergy responses or use of inhaled corticosteroids.
“These results are reassuring for young adults. However, we will continue to analyse data from more people. In particular, we want to look more closely at people with asthma as the group in this study was fairly small. We are also curious as to whether the length of time after the infection is important, as well as the severity of disease and symptoms.”
The second study, presented by Dr Anne Schlegtendal, a specialist in paediatric and adolescent medicine and paediatric pulmonology at University Children’s Hospital, Ruhr-University-Bochum, Germany, looked at the long-term effects of COVID-19 infection between August 2020 and March 21 in 73 children and adolescents aged between five and 18 years.
Dr Schlegtendal said: “Although children and adolescents tend to suffer less severe symptoms from COVID-19 infection than adults, to date there is only preliminary evidence about long-term effects of COVID-19 on pulmonary function in children and adolescents. It’s important to evaluate this given the fact that children worldwide will potentially get infected with SARS-CoV-2 as long as vaccines are predominantly reserved for adults and high-risk groups.”
She and her colleagues carried out lung function tests between two weeks and six months following COVID-19 infection and compared the results with a control group of 45 children who had not been infected with the coronavirus but may have had some other infection.
The participants had different severity of disease. An infection was considered severe if patients suffered breathlessness, a fever above 38.5 degrees Celsius for more than five days, bronchitis, pneumonia or was stayed in hospital for more than a day.
Nineteen children and adolescents in the COVID-19 group had persistent or new symptoms following SARS-CoV-2 infection; eight reported at least one respiratory symptom, six of whom suffered ongoing breathing problems and two had a persistent cough. Two of these eight patients showed abnormal lung function.
“When we compared the COVID-19 patients with the control group, we found no statistically significant differences in the frequency of abnormal lung function. They occurred in 16 per cent of the COVID-19 group and 28 per cent of the control group.
However, further analysis revealed a reduction in the volume of air in the lungs that can be exhaled after a deep breath – forced vital capacity – in patients who had suffered a severe infection, whether COVID-10 or some other infection,” said Dr Schlegtendal.
“These findings should offer some reassurance to children, adolescents and their families. The severity of infection proved to be the only predictor for mild lung function changes and this is independent of a COVID-19 infection. The discrepancy between persistent breathing problems and normal lung function suggests there may be a different underlying cause, such as dysfunctional breathing, which is a problem that has also been identified in adults.”
Limitations of the study include the small number of participants, the fact that they were recruited at a single hospital, that patients reported their symptoms, and a lack of information on long-term outcomes in the control group.
In addition, the COVID-19 group did not include those with severe breathing problems during the acute phase of the infection.
Anita Simonds, who was not involved in the research, is President of the European Respiratory Society, Honorary Consultant in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at Royal Brompton Hospital & Professor of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at NHLI, Imperial College London, UK.
She said: “The findings from these two studies provide important reassurance about the impact of COVID infection on lung function in children and young adults. We know already that this group is less likely to suffer severe illness if they contract the virus, and these studies, which importantly include comparator groups without COVID-19, show that they are also less likely to suffer long-term consequences with respect to lung function.
“However, further research may shed more light on the effects for people with asthma or who suffer a severe respiratory infection, whether it’s COVID-19 or due to another infective cause. These individuals may be more vulnerable to long-term effects on lung function and underline the importance for every eligible person to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to reduce overall spread of disease,” she added.

US funded research on several types of coronaviruses at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology: Report

Washington [US]: Public documents revealed that the US government has pumped USD 3.1 million into health organisation ‘EcoHealth Alliance’ to back COVID-19 research at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), Fox News reported.
According to the report from US news agency The Intercept, the ‘bat coronavirus grant’ provided EcoHealth Alliance with a total of USD 3.1 million, including USD 599,000 that the Wuhan Institute of Virology used in part to identify and alter bat coronaviruses likely to infect humans. US Senator Rand Paul said that these newly public documents revealing the extent of US funding of coronavirus research in Wuhan show that US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Head Dr Anthony Fauci lied during his previous testimony to Congress, Fox News reported. Fauci had earlier denied any such funding by the US agency.
Citing the report, the US Senator for Kentucky said he has asked the Department of Justice to review Fauci’s testimony for lying to Congress.
“I have already asked the DOJ to review Fauci’s testimony for lying to Congress. This report should make it abundantly clear that he needs to be held accountable,” Paul tweeted.
Additionally, the documents also revealed that experimental research on genetically engineered mice with human cell receptors was conducted at the Wuhan University Center for Animal Experiment, and not the WIV as previously thought, Fox News reported.
Earlier, Rutgers University chemical biology professor Richard Ebright also slammed the US National Institute of Health (NIH) Director and NIAID Head Fauci.
“The documents make it clear that assertions by the NIH Director, Francis Collins, and the NIAID Director, Anthony Fauci, that the NIH did not support gain-of-function research or potential pandemic pathogen enhancement at WIV are untruthful,” Ebright said.
Even before the pandemic, many scientists were concerned about the potential dangers associated with such experiments, reports The Intercept.
Earlier, a Republican lawmaker’s report investigating the origins of COVID-19 released last month has concluded that the pandemic outbreak stemmed from a genetically modified virus that leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, first detected in December 2019.
House Republican lawmaker, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the third installment in his investigation into the origins of the virus and the missteps by China in alerting the world to the risks of the pandemic, reported The Hill.

Joe Rogan Reveals He’s Tested Negative For Coronavirus

Popular comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan has revealed that he tested negative for coronavirus in a health update recently shared on his social media.

He took to his Instagram handle and posted a photo of what appeared to be a Covid tester that displayed the acronym “CoV2” with a minus sign after it, he captioned it as, “Tested negative today! Thanks for all the kind wishes!” It is still unclear if Rogan was vaccinated, but earlier this year he said on his show, “I don’t think that if you’re a young, healthy person, that you need it.”

According to Deadline, Dr Anthony Fauci later called that statement “incorrect.” He said, “The reason why is, you’re talking about yourself in a vacuum. You’re worried about yourself getting infected and the likelihood that you’re not going to get any symptoms. But you can get infected and will get infected if you put yourself at risk.”

The problem is, he continued, that even if young, healthy people don’t get very sick, “you may inadvertently and innocently infect someone who really could have a problem with a severe outcome.”

The podcast host had originally announced the news about his diagnosis on Wednesday, on his Instagram. Rogan said that his symptoms included “feeling very weary,” “a headache” and feeling “run down” before a fever and “sweats” set in overnight. “I knew what was going on,” the comedian said.
The star explained, “We immediately threw the kitchen sink at it. All kinds of meds. Monoclonal antibodies, ivermectin, Z-pak, prednisone, everything. And I also got an anti-D drip and a vitamin drip.”
Ivermectin has become a hot topic lately in the USA, as it is an anti-parasitic drug often used to treat animals. The FDA has advised against humans using the drug to treat coronavirus, warning that it hasn’t been tested, interacts with some medications and could cause an overdose.

Rogan said that he underwent such treatment for three days.

Delhi needs 1.5 crore COVID vaccine doses to fully inoculate eligible population: Atishi

New Delhi [India]: Delhi government needs 1.5 crore COVID vaccine doses to fully inoculate the whole eligible population in the national capital, said Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Atishi.
As per data from the Delhi government on Saturday, over 1.39 crore of the 1.50 crore eligible population in Delhi have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine till Saturday, though only 39.8 lakh of them are fully vaccinated. “Till now Delhi has been getting 15-20 lakh doses of vaccine every month. But it is a matter of happiness that in the month of September, the central government has promised to give 30 lakh doses of vaccine to Delhi. However, this is not sufficient. We need 1.5 crore doses of vaccine to complete vaccination in Delhi,” said the AAP MLA.
Speaking to ANI, Atishi said that the Delhi government has the infrastructure to vaccinate more than 3 lakh people every day. “But then we may have to stop vaccination from days till we receive more doses. That is why we are vaccinating on an average of 1.5 lakh people every day,” she said.
As per the daily health bulletin issued by the Delhi government, over 1.4 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines were administered on Saturday.
Atishi added that now that schools and colleges are opening, and economic activities are going back on track, it is necessary to get everyone vaccinated as soon as possible.

Covid infected liver transplant patients don’t necessarily have higher mortality, says study

New Delhi [India], September 4 : Uncomplicated liver transplant recipients who contracted COVID-19 do not necessarily have higher mortality as compared to the non-transplanted population, a study by a private hospital in Delhi claimed.
The study by Max Super Speciality Hospital in Delhi under the Department of Gastroenterology and Herpetology and Centre for Liver and Biliary Sciences was conducted on 2,182 adult Indian patients who had undergone liver transplantation at the Centre since 2006 and on regular follow-up. Typically, COVID-19 is associated with higher mortality among patients who have co-morbidities or pre-existing medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, coronary artery disease, chronic kidney disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
“It is an established fact that patients who have undergone liver transplantation (LT) are on long-term immunosuppressive medications which predispose them to infections. The study is significant because the data regarding the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection in post LT patients is conflicting, and risk factors for the outcome are also not well defined. While initial studies suggested that patients on immunosuppressive medications, such as liver transplant recipients, are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 and mortality, subsequent evidence did not support this finding,” Dr Subhash Gupta, Chairman, Centre for Liver and Biliary Sciences, Max Super Speciality Hospital at Saket said.
Dr Gupta explained, “All post-liver transplant recipients (age>18 years at the time of transplant) on regular follow-up since 2006 including those who tested positive for COVID-19 between April 1, 2020, and May 31, 2021, were included in the study. Under the supervision protocol, the severity of COVID-19 was classified, and patients divided into three groups based on interval from liver transplantation till SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
“Of the 3096 patients who underwent a liver transplant at the centre since 2006, 2,182 adult recipients were under regular follow-up and in communication with the centre during the pandemic.”
“Of these, 88 patients (3.71 per cent) reported SARSCoV-2 infection, six adults and a child were excluded from the analysis, and 81 patients were included,” he said.
The average age of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients in the study was 51.3 years, and 74 patients (91.4 per cent) were males. 21 (25.9 per cent) patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 underwent liver transplants within one year, 36 (44.4 per cent) patients received transplants between one and five years while 24 (29.6 per cent) patients undergone transplant more than 5 years ago.
Based on the duration since liver transplant, patients who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 were divided into three groups. Group A had 21 patients who were infected with the disease within one year of a liver transplant, Group B had 36 patients who got LT 1-5 years ago and group C had 24 patients who got LT more than 5 years ago.
In final conclusion about the study, Dr Gupta said, “In our study, all patients except one who died had received a liver transplant more than a year ago. After 1-year of transplantation, a dose of immunosuppressive medication is usually significantly reduced and therefore the cytokine storm may not be ameliorated. In our study population, COVID-19-related mortality was 17.3 per cent which is comparable to the 18.2 per cent mortality seen in older patients with co-morbidities. Our study suggests that uncomplicated liver transplant recipients who acquire SARSCoV-2 do not necessarily have higher mortality as compared to similar non transplanted population.”
“However, more studies are needed with the larger patient populations and matched control groups to reach a firm conclusion,” he added.

Covid-19: India reports 30,941 new cases, 350 deaths in last 24 hrs

New Delhi, Aug 31: India logged 30,941 fresh cases and 350 fatalities due to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours as the positivity rate of the infection came down to to 2.2 per cent in the country, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

The positivity rate was measured at 3.02 per cent on Monday after trading below the 3 per cent-mark for 34 consecutive days.

The latest addition has pushed the cumulative case tally to 3,27,66,880 whereas the death toll has climbed to 4,38,569 after 350 more people succumbed to the viral infection, according to the data.

The active caseload stands at 3,70,640 after reporting a slight fall of 5,684 cases in the last 24 hours, the figures showed.

The share of active cases remained at 1.13 per cent of the total Covid-19 cases, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, 34,275 more people recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours making the recovery registry climb to 3,19,59,680. As per the data, the recovery rate is now reduced to 97.53 per cent

The Union Ministry stated that the weekly positivity rate (2.51 per cent) has been under 3 per cent for 67 days now .

A total of 52,15,41,098 samples were tested up to August 30, 2021, for Covid-19. Of these, 13,94,573 samples were tested on Monday, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The country’s vaccination coverage has surpassed the cumulative figure of 64.05 crores, the ministry informed.

Andhra Pradesh reports 878 new COVID cases, 13 deaths in last 24 hours

Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], August 30 : Andhra Pradesh confirmed 878 new coronavirus cases and 13 deaths in the past 24 hours, the state health ministry department said in a bulletin on Monday.
The total death toll in the state has gone up to 13,838. According to the state health department, 41,173 samples are tested in the last 24 hours and 878 of them are detected positive for COVID-19.
With this, the total number of cases has increased to 20,13,001 including 14,862 active cases.
According to the bulletin, the district-wise cases reported in the last 24 hours also include four in Krishna, three in Chittoor, two in Nellore, and one each in East Godavari, Guntur, Kadapa, Prakasam, Srikakulam districts.
The state reported 1,182 more recoveries from the coronavirus taking the recoveries to 19,84,301.

Chinese COVID-19 vaccine seen as less effective in latest study

Washington DC [US]: The COVID-19 vaccine made by China’s Sinopharm was less effective than others at preventing infection, hospitalization and death, according to a new study.
A report published by The Wall Street Journal stated that this study, conducted by the kingdom of Bahrain and Columbia University researchers, especially holds true among people over 50. This comes as Chinese vaccines have become a major factor in Beijing’s diplomacy manoeuvres, especially in developing countries with fewer resources.
The WSJ report stated that despite high levels of inoculation with the Sinopharm vaccine, Bahrain in May started giving booster shots to vulnerable citizens using a different shot made by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE. “It now also offers booster shots for other vaccines,” the report added.
According to the study, all the vaccines administered since December in Bahrain–which also include Covishield, and the Russian-made Sputnik V–were effective in combatting the virus compared to the unvaccinated population.
Dr Jaleela Al-Sayed Jawad, co-author of the study said researchers found that there is a “significant difference” between hospitalization, ICU admission and death in favour of Pfizer compared to Sinopharm, especially in older populations. The study also stands true in the context of the emergence of the Delta variant.
Last month, reports had emerged that China plans to use an mRNA vaccine, co-developed by China’s Fosun Pharma and Germany’s BioNTech, as a booster shot for those already vaccinated in the country using other Chinese vaccines.
Despite giving over 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine, it has no plans to relax its border restrictions until at least 2022, The Diplomat reported. Most of the citizens have received vaccines made by Sinovac and Sinopharm Group. Both these vaccines use inactivated particles of the virus, rather than the newer mRNA technology.
“Chinese authorities plan to use the vaccine, which goes by the brand name Comirnaty, as a booster shot for people who have received inactivated-virus vaccines, people close to regulators told Caixin,” according to The Diplomat’s report citing Chinese media outlet Caixin.

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 delivers 100 tonnes oxygen to Sri Lanka

Colombo [Sri Lanka]: India delivered another 100 tonnes of medical oxygen to Sri Lanka on Wednesday to help the island nation combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
With this, New Delhi has delivered 280 tonnes of Oxygen to Sri Lanka within a week. The Indian high commission said that more oxygen supply to Sri Lanka is expected in the days and weeks ahead. “And the supply continues!!! With the arrival of 100 tons of Oxygen from #Haldia today, a total of 280 tons came from #India to #SriLanka within one week. More expected in the days and weeks ahead,” tweeted the Indian High Commission here.
An Indian Naval Vessel Shakti on Sunday reached Colombo with 100 tonnes of Oxygen from Visakhapatnam.
The High Commission of India in Colombo had said the Indian Navy Ship Shakti reached Sri Lanka with wishes and goodwill from the people of India to the people of the Island country.
“Fully loaded with wishes and goodwill from the people of #India to the people of #SriLanka, Indian Naval Vessel Shakti reaches #colombo with 100 tonnes of Oxygen from #Vizag. More oxygen consignments scheduled from #India !!!” tweeted the High Commission of India in Colombo.
Sri Lanka is currently experiencing a rapid rise in infections. The island nation has announced a 10-day lockdown starting on Friday night in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

India working on developing Pan-Corona shot

New Delhi [India]: Dr Renu Swarup, Director of the Department of Biotechnology on Monday said that the Government Of India (GOI) is working on vaccines with the needed modification to fight against any strain of COVID-19 i.e Pan-Corona Vaccine.
While speaking to ANI in an exclusive interview, she said, “We are already preparing for the future, for a new vaccine, which is Pan-Corona. So that if there is any other such virus that comes in or any other such variant that comes in, the vaccine would be able to respond to all of them. So that’s really our next preparedness which we’ve already started. We have a very strong team which is working on that.” On the effort made by the Department of Biotechnology in handling COVID-19, she said, “We have been working with the scientific community to bring solutions to fight COVID and we started the COVID consortium. In fact, the DBT was the first department that actually prepared a full roadmap and R&D roadmap for protect from the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meeting of WHO in February 2020 our roadmap was presented, and we’ve been following that in vaccines and therapeutics and diagnostics, creating an ecosystem.”
While explaining the financial support provided by the government in vaccine manufacturing and research, she added, “Today we have one of the strongest, most robust ecosystems in the country for biopharma. It’s not going to be now only for COVID, it is going to go much beyond COVID. If you look at the collected amount of financial support that we have given it’s anything to the tune of over Rs 1,700 crores to 1,800 crores, it could be roughly reaching about Rs 2,000 crores. This is clearly our preparedness for India to be a global biomanufacturing global biopharma leader in the coming years.”
“We have a pipeline of vaccines. India was one of the countries which have from day one supported a basket of vaccine candidates. Because of our early investment in these candidate vaccines, today you see us being ready now to roll out a number of such vaccines,” she added.
On Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine, she said that mRNA vaccine’s phase 2 and phase 3 trials will start soon.
“We have of course the emergency use authorization which has been given for the DNA vaccine. We have our own mRNA candidate which is likely to move into phase two, phase three, anytime now,” she informed.
When asked about the ‘Biological E’, Dr Renu Gupta said, “By the end of September or early October Biological E is expected to apply for approval from drug regulators. “We have the biological E candidate, which is again in phase three, and we are hoping that by end of September or early October, we should be ready to go to the regulator for approval. The nasal vaccine, which is again just been given phase two, phase three approval by the regulator… that’s again one of them.”
Further, she said, “Such a rich pipeline if you look at the global pipeline of vaccines. India now occupies a very prominent place. We have many other candidates which are in preclinical but using this very robust ecosystem that we have set up, also gives us the confidence now that we’ve been able to know, while we are working on phase two, phase three, we are all also testing each of these vaccines for the variants.”
On the effectiveness of vaccines against the variants like Delta or Delta plus she said, “We have good data to say that. What is its response to the Delta variants, we know what the response is.”

Home chef service trend grooming in Japan

Tokyo [Japan] : Restaurants in Japan are facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Emerging as a solution to this, the idea of “In Home Chef” is becoming popular.

Under this idea, professional chefs cook at home and people enjoy restaurant-quality meals. But unlike food delivery services, customers can discuss their requirements with the chef when he visits them. “Cooking is sometimes smooth and sometimes not, because situation depends on the available tools in family kitchen and ingredients. Also, when there are limitations of materials it is a challenge to create the menu,” said an In Home Chef.

Working parents are also finding In Home Chef service very helpful.
It is easy to order using online subscription service in which the chef prepares meals for three to four nights for a fee of about 70 dollars per visit, not including food costs.

“The food that chef prepares for us at home is very helpful and it is delicious so all the family feel happy. And during the time when the chef is cooking I can go to hair salon or play with my kids making toys or spend other time with my family,” said a customer who opted the In Home Chef service.
After preparing the meal chef explains each dish.

This way it is possible to accommodate each household’s various requirements, such as making special prepared meal for people receiving nursing care with special dietary restriction.

“Before, I used to work in the hotel or restaurant so customers came because they knew me or wanted to taste my cooking, but now it is challenging as I have to prepare different menus for each family according to their taste. So, the situation is different also the kitchen is different,” said another In Home Chef.
Due to coronavirus situation in the country, restaurants in some areas in Japan are asked to shorten their business hours, so more chefs are accepting the idea of taking their professional skill to customer’s home.
In this way they can keep their business going on and make more people familiar with their delicious food.

Curfew imposed on parts of Australia’s Sydney with lockdown extended one more month

Sydney, Aug 20: Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales (NSW), epicentre of the country’s current COVID outbreak, announced Friday to extend the lockdown on Greater Sydney until the end of September and to impose curfew on some areas of concern.

For residents and businesses in the local government areas of concern, the curfew will be introduced from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time except for authorised workers, emergencies or medical care from Monday Aug. 23. Outdoor exercise will be limited to one hour per day.

In Greater Sydney, mask wearing will be mandatory when the residents are outside home, except when exercising, from Monday Aug. 23.

The current lockdown on Greater Sydney and surrounding areas, that is scheduled to end on Aug. 28, will be extended until the end of September.

The announcement came after the state recorded 644 new locally acquired cases and four deaths in the past 24 hours to 8 p.m. Thursday local time.

There have been 10,582 locally acquired cases reported in NSW since June 16, when the first case in this outbreak was reported, accounting roughly one-fourth of Australia’s total COVID-19 cases since the initial outbreak early last year.

Study supports widespread use of better masks to curb COVID-19 indoors

Ottawa [Canada]: A new study highlights the need for widespread use of better face masks and the importance of good ventilation to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 indoors.
Engineering researchers at the University of Waterloo performed experiments using a mannequin to simulate a seated person breathing in a large room. The studies showed a significant buildup over time of aerosol droplets — exhaled droplets so tiny they remain suspended and travel through the air — despite the use of common cloth and blue surgical masks. “There is no question it is beneficial to wear any face covering, both for protection in close proximity and at a distance in a room,” said Serhiy Yarusevych, a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering and the leader of the study. “However, there is a very serious difference in the effectiveness of different masks when it comes to controlling aerosols.”
Previous research has found that aerosols dispersed by infected people are a source of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, even outside the two-meter social distancing zone widely recommended by public health officials.
The study showed that most common masks, primarily due to problems with fit, filter about 10 per cent of exhaled aerosol droplets. The remaining aerosols are redirected, mostly out the top of the mask where it fits over the nose, and escape into the ambient air unfiltered.
By contrast, higher-quality, more expensive N95 and KN95 masks filtered more than 50 per cent of the exhaled aerosols that can accumulate indoors and spread the COVID-19 virus when inhaled by other people.
Yarusevych, the principal investigator in the Fluid Mechanics Research Lab, said the much greater effectiveness of N95 and KN95 masks versus cloth and surgical masks makes a compelling case they should be worn in indoor settings, such as schools and workplaces, as much as possible.
“A lot of this may seem like common sense,” he said. “There is a reason, for instance, that medical practitioners wear N95 masks — they work much better. The novelty here is that we have provided solid numbers and rigorous analysis to support that assumption.”
Experiments also quantified the impact of ventilation systems, which circulate and replace air in rooms, on the accumulation of aerosols. Even modest ventilation rates were found to be as effective as the best masks in reducing the risk of transmission.
Ideally, Yarusevych said, the evidence shows that high-quality masks and proper ventilation should be used in combination to mitigate the threat posed by indoor aerosol accumulation as much as possible.
The study, Experimental investigation of indoor aerosol dispersion and accumulation in the context of COVID-19: Effects of masks and ventilation, appears in the journal Physics of Fluids.
Yarusevych collaborated with Sean Peterson, also a Waterloo professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering, and engineering PhD students Yash Shah and John Kurelek.

UK records another 36,572 coronavirus cases

London [UK]: Another 36,572 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 6,392,160, according to official figures released Thursday.

The country also reported another 113 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 131,373. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test. Britain’s Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that he is “confident” that the COVID-19 booster vaccine will begin to be given to the most vulnerable from next month.

The government is still waiting for the final advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on the booster jabs. The JCVI is meeting on Thursday to discuss the potential booster campaign.

“So, we’re waiting for their final opinion and, looking at everything and the timing of that, I’m confident that we can start in September when we will start with the most vulnerable cohorts and start offering that third jab,” Sajid said.

More than 87 per cent of people aged 16 and over in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and more than 75 per cent have received both doses, the latest figures showed.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.

Kerala: ‘Taking possible measures to contain disease’

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India]: Amid the continuous surge in COVID-19 cases, Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Thursday said the state government is taking the best possible measures to contain the disease.

Briefing media persons, George said, “We are ramping up the testing to identify every single case. Our system is already on high alert and we are taking the best possible measures to contain the disease.

Kerala Government has already started talks regarding vaccine production in the state. We are trying to introduce fill-finish units.

We have discussed the issue with the Union Health Minister and the Centre’s response is very positive.” Asked about her meeting with Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, George said, “It was a very positive meeting. We asked for 1.11 crore more doses of COVID vaccines by September end. He agreed to it. We are thankful to the central government.”

She further said the state government’s aim is to innoculate all citizens above 18 years by the end of September. She urged people to remain cautious during the Onam festival keeping in mind the COVID cases surge in the state.

Kerala reported 21,427 fresh COVID cases and 179 deaths on Wednesday. The new cases pushed the cumulative COVID cases in the state to 37,45,457. With the new fatalities, the COVID death toll mounted to 19,049.

As many as 18,731 people recovered from the disease on Wednesday taking the total recoveries to 35,48,196. Meanwhile, the active number of COVID cases stands at 1,77,697. The positivity rate in Kerala on Wednesday remained at 15.5 per cent.

Delhi reports 38 new COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths in the last 24 hours

New Delhi [India]: The national capital on Tuesday saw a slight surge in its daily count reporting 38 new COVID-19 cases and four fatalities in the last 24 hours.

As per the Delhi health bulletin, a total of 53,345 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours wherein a positivity rate of 0.07 per cent was reported. The total cases mounted to 14,37,156 including 471 active cases. As a sign of relief, 30 recoveries were logged thereby escalating the total recoveries to 14,11,612.

However, the death toll touched 25,073 including new deaths with 1.74 per cent case fatality rate.
As far as the COVID-19 vaccination status in the national capital is concerned, cumulative beneficiaries vaccinated so far stand at 1,16,59,932 wherein 1,56,217 beneficiaries were vaccinated in the last 24 hours.
Yesterday, Delhi reported 27 new COVID-19 cases which was the lowest daily count in this year so far.

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.”

405 new Covid cases, three deaths in Telangana

Hyderabad (India) : Telangana reported three Covid-19 deaths and 405 infections on Monday even as the number of active cases further reduced to 7,093.
The total death toll now stands at 3,845 and the total count of cases stands at 6,52,785.
So far, a total of over 2.34 crore covid-19 tests have been conducted in the state, out of which 6,52,785 have been tested positive and 6,41,847 persons have recovered.
The number of active containment zones in the state also comes down to 20. Karimnagar, Jagtial, Nalgonda and Yadadri Bhuvanagiri districts registered the majority of the active containment zones in the state.
The case fatality rate (CFR) stands at 0.58 percent while the recovery rate rose to 98.32 per cent
So far 79.8 percent of overall cases in the state have been asymptomatic while 20.2 per cent have been symptomatic.
Of the 405 new cases, the highest of 67 was from Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation followed by 36 in Warangal Urban, 32 in Karimnagar, 24 each in Medchal Malkajgiri and Nalgonda.

UK records another 29,520 coronavirus cases

London [UK]: Another 29,520 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 6,241,011, according to official figures released Saturday.

The country also reported another 93 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 130,894. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test. England lifted almost all its remaining COVID-19 restrictions on July 19. Nearly 90 per cent of the adults in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and more than 76 per cent of adults have received both doses, the latest figures showed.

Meanwhile, British holidaymakers will benefit from cheaper travel testing packages, with the price of some tests to fall by a fifth from Saturday.

The cost of NHS (National Health Service) Test and Trace tests for international arrivals will now be reduced from 88 pounds (around 122 US dollars) to 68 pounds (around 94 US dollars) for green or fully vaccinated amber arrivals, and from 170 pounds (236 US dollars) to 136 pounds (189 US dollars) for two tests for amber arrivals who are not fully vaccinated, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

This is the second time pricing of NHS tests has been reduced, following a review in May.

“I am pleased to announce that with immediate effect we’re slashing the price of day 2 and 8 tests from NHS Test and Trace by a fifth – this will benefit people right across the UK. And I look forward to reviewing initial advice from the Competition and Markets Authority over the coming days,” said Britain’s Health Secretary Sajid Javid in a statement.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.

Kerala reports 19,451 new COVID cases, 19,104 recoveries

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 14: Covid-19 was newly detected in 19,451 persons in Kerala on Friday while 19,104 patients have recovered from the disease, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.
In a press release here this evening, the CM said, “1,39,223 samples were tested during the last 24 hours and the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) is 13.97per cent. A total of 2,93,34,981 samples have been sent for testing till this day.”
Meanwhile, 105 recent deaths were confirmed today as due to Covid taking the death toll in the state to 18,499.
Weekly Infection Population Ratio (WIPR) is above 8 at 634 wards under 87 Local Self Governments (LSGs) where strict restrictions are being imposed.
In the last 24 hours, Covid was not detected in any person who recently came to Kerala from the UK. So far, 11 people who came from the UK were diagnosed with the genetically modified virus.

Pakistan reports 4,786 new COVID-19 cases

Islamabad [Pakistan], August 14 : Pakistan reported 4,786 new COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) said on Saturday, as the country’s overall confirmed cases rising to 10,94,699, including 9,83,754 recoveries.
In the last 24 hours, 59,136 COVID-19 tests were conducted out of which 4,786 were positive, NCOC said. The disease killed 73 people over the last 24 hours, increasing the overall death toll to 24,339, the NCOC added, and 4,729 are in critical condition.
Pakistan’s southern Sindh province is the most affected region of the country with 409,578 infections followed by the eastern Punjab province which has reported 370,599 cases

Arunachal logs 166 new Covid cases; one succumbs

Itanagar, Aug 14: As many as 166 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Arunachal Pradesh in the last 24 hours, taking the state’s infection tally to 51,139, while the death toll rose to 252 as one more succumbed to the disease.
Out of the new positive cases, Itanagar Capital Complex reported the highest at 41, followed by Lower Subansiri 19 and Changlang 14, as per the bulletin issued by the state Directorate of Health Services.
Of these, 78 patients are asymptomatic and 88 symptomatic.
According to the bulletin, the fresh casualty was reported from Itanagar Capital Complex. A 30-year-old woman who tested positive through rapid antigen test (RAT), passed away on Friday afternoon at DCH, Chimpu here. She died due to acute respiratory distress syndrome with Covid pneumonia. The body was handed over to the administration as per Covid SoP.
On the other hand, the recoveries tally rose to 48,598 as 271 patients were discharged in the last 24 hours. The recovery rate is over 95 percent.
Active cases tally stands at 2,289.

Mah: Marathwada registers 330 Covid-19 cases, 11 fatalities

Aurangabad, Aug 13: The Marathwada region of Maharashtra recorded 330 new Covid-19 cases and 11 deaths during the past 24 hours, health authorities informed.

Details from all the district headquarters collected by UNI show that out of the eight districts of the region including Beed district was the worst-affected as it recorded 154 new cases and 7 deaths, followed by Osmanabad with 92 cases and 3 deaths, Aurangabad with 28 cases and single death, Latur with 37 new cases Jalna with 11 cases, Nanded had six cases, Parbhani and Hingoli one each case.

Meanwhile, during the past 24 hours, 6,388 fresh cases of COVID-19 were recorded across the state, taking the total number of infections to 63,75,390.

The state also registered 208 more deaths, taking the death toll to 1,34,572.

Meanwhile, the highest 8,390 patients also recovered in the state, pushing the total number of recoveries to 61,75,010.

The state’s recovery rate currently stands at 96.86 per cent while the fatality rate is 2.11 per cent.

At present, there are 62,351 active cases across the state undergoing treatment at different COVID-19 centres and hospitals, added the health authorities.

South Korea reports 1,987 more COVID-19 cases, 218,192 in total

Seoul, Aug 12: South Korea reported 1,987 more cases of the COVID-19 as of midnight Wednesday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 218,192.

The daily caseload was down from 2,222 in the previous day, but it hovered above 1,000 for 37 straight days. The daily average tally for the past week was 1,785.

The recent resurgence was attributable to cluster infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province.

Of the new cases, 522 were Seoul residents and 570 were people residing in Gyeonggi province.

The virus spread also raged in the non-metropolitan area. The number of newly infected people in the non-capital region was 746, or 38.3 percent of the total local transmission.

Forty cases were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 12,592.

Three more deaths were confirmed, leaving the death toll at 2,138. The total fatality rate stood at 0.98 percent.

A total of 1,029 more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, pulling up the combined number to 190,535. The total recovery rate was 87.32 percent.

The country has tested over 12.2 million people, among whom 11,478,754 tested negative for the virus and 510,096 are being checked.

Since the mass vaccination was launched on Feb. 26, the country has administered COVID-19 vaccines to a total of 21,813,171 people with 8,226,416 fully vaccinated.

Chinese mainland reports 61 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases

Beijing, Aug 12: The Chinese mainland on Wednesday reported 61 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, including 38 in Jiangsu Province, 10 in Hubei, seven in Hunan, and three each in Henan and Yunnan, the National Health Commission said in its daily report on Thursday.

Also reported were 20 new imported cases, including five each in Shanghai, Guangdong and Yunnan, three in Guangxi, and one each in Fujian and Sichuan.

Two suspected cases arriving from outside the mainland were newly reported in Shanghai on Wednesday.

No deaths related to COVID-19 were newly reported, the commission added.

Sputnik V jab 83 per cent effective against Delta variant, says Russian health ministry

Moscow [Russia] August 11 : Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 is around 83 per cent effective against the Delta variant of coronavirus, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said on Wednesday citing data collected by the health ministry.
“The data confirms that Sputnik V remains protective against newly detected variants and retains one of the best safety and efficacy parameters. The Russian Ministry of Health has also published data on Sputnik V’s efficacy against the Delta variant. The vaccine is 83.1 per cent effective and shows 6x reduction of infection risk. Sputnik V is also 94.4 per cent effective against hospitalizations with 18x reduction in hospitalisation risk,” the RDIF statement said. Furthermore, real-world data obtained during mass vaccinations in Argentina, Bahrain, Hungary, Mexico, Russia, Serbia, the Philippines and UAE demonstrate lack of serious adverse events (such as CVTs or myocarditis). In several countries where multiple vaccines are used, the Russian vaccine has demonstrate done of the best safety and efficacy parameters.
At present, Sputnik V has been approved in 69 countries with total population exceeding 3.7 billion people – nearly half of the global population.
RDIF has concluded production partnerships with more than 20 companies in 14 countries, including the leading manufacturers in India, China, South Korea, Argentina, Mexico and other countries.
The RDIF statement also said that the two-dose Sputnik V vaccine, the single dose Sputnik Light vaccine is also demonstrating high safety and efficacy results in Argentina. Sputnik Light is the first component of Sputnik V (recombinant human adenovirus serotype number 26 (rAd26)).
In particular, data from the Ministry of Health of the province of Buenos Aires showed that Sputnik Light had helped to elicit antibodies in 94 per cent of those vaccinated and provided for a strong immune response.

UK reports highest daily coronavirus death toll since March

The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 130,503. 

London : Britain recorded another 146 coronavirus-related deaths, the highest daily figure since March 12, according to official data released Tuesday.

The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 130,503. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The country also reported another 23,510 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 6,117,540.

Meanwhile, three-quarters of adults in Britain have now received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to a statement from the Department of Health and Social Care.

The latest Data from Public Health England (PHE) showed that Covid-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalization from the Delta variant first detected in India.

The analysis showed the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96 per cent effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92 percent effective against hospitalization after two doses. The Delta variant is currently the dominant strain in Britain.

The data from PHE and Cambridge University showed that around 60,000 deaths, 22 million infections and 66,900 hospitalizations have been prevented by the vaccines.

“It’s so important that those who haven’t been vaccinated come forward as soon as possible to book their jab – to protect themselves, protect their loved ones and allow us all to enjoy our freedoms safely,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a statement.

England has lifted almost all its remaining Covid-19 restrictions since July 19. Nearly 90 per cent of the adults in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine, the latest figures showed.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the United States as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.

India reports 38,353 new nCoV cases, 497 deaths in last 24 hrs

New Delhi, Aug 11: India recorded 38,353 new cases of COVID-19 during the past 24 hours post which the overall tally has spiked to 3,20,36,511, while the death toll mounted to 4,29,179 with 497 more fatalities, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

According to the Ministry, the active cases declined by 2,157, to stand at 3,86,351. It is now 1.21 per cent of the total caseload.

The past 24 hours saw 40,013 people recovering from the deadly virus, taking the total recovery count to 3,12,20,981, which is 97.45 per cent of the case tally. The fatality rate stood at 1.34 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that a total of 48,50,56,507 samples have been tested so far for coronavirus. Of this, 17,77,962 were tested on Tuesday.

Till now, 51,90,80,524 people have been administered COVID-19 vaccines, with 41,38,646 being inoculated against the virus in the past 24 hours.

India reports 28,204 COVID-19 cases, 373 deaths in 24 hrs

New Delhi, Aug 10: India reported 28,204 new Coronavirus infections and 373 deaths in the past 24 hours, the lowest since March 16, Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

With this, the overall tally has spiked to 3,19,98,158 and death toll to 4,28,682. The number of per day deaths linked to Covid-19 complications has also dropped below 400.

The number of active Covid-19 cases in the country also dropped to 3,88,508, the lowest in 139 days. A decrease of 13,680 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload during the same time frame.

The national Covid-19 recovery rate has also improved to 97.45per cent, which is the highest ever recovery rate achieved, the Health Ministry said.

On the vaccination front, more than 52,56,35,710 vaccine doses have been provided to states/UTs. Of this, the total consumption, including wastages, is 51,09,58,562 doses, as per the data available at 0800 hrs today.

Globally, India comes second in terms of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, following the United States with more than 35.69 million patients.

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11, 2020. To date, more than 201.69 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 4.27 million fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Marathwada registers 312 COVID-19 cases, 5 deaths

Aurangabad, Aug 10: Marathwada region of Maharashtra recorded 312 new Covid-19 cases and 5 fatalities during the past 24 hours, health authorities informed.

Details from all the district headquarters collected by UNI show that out of the eight districts of the region, Beed district was the worst-affected as it recorded 167 new cases and 3 deaths, followed by Latur which had 14 cases and single death, Aurangabad had 13 cases and single death, Osmanabad had 94 cases,Jalna had 14 new cases, Nanded recorded 9 cases, Hingoli had only single case and Parbhani nil.

Meanwhile, during the past 24 hours, 4,505 fresh cases of COVID-19 were recorded across the state, taking the total number of infections to 63,57,833.

The state also registered 68 more deaths, taking the death toll to 1,34,068.

Meanwhile, the highest 7,568 patients also recovered in the state, pushing the total number of recoveries to 61,51,956.

The state’s recovery rate currently stands at 96.77 per cent while the fatality rate is 2.1 per cent.

At present, there are 68,375 active cases across the state undergoing treatment at different COVID-19 centres and hospitals, added the health authorities.

Fuelled by Delta variant, US COVID-19 cases hit highest level since February

Washington [US]: US average of daily COVID-19 cases hit the highest level since February on Sunday (local time), fuelled by the Delta variant.
Hospitals in the South are running out of space or staff as all the beds are taken up by Covid victims, with some patients unable to get the care they would normally receive, reported CNN. Infected people need immediate Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment which is not available at the hospital. An ECMO treatment uses external machinery that can function as the heart and lungs. It’s been used in some severely ill Covid-19 patients, including young adults.
Across the country, states are struggling to fend off the Delta variant — the most contagious strain of coronavirus yet. But the situation is particularly worrisome in several Southern states, reported CNN.
Louisiana set a new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations last week.
Florida’s hospitalizations recently jumped 13 per cent above the state’s previous peak on July 23, 2020, according to a survey by the Florida Hospital Association.
The US now is averaging more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases every day — the highest in almost six months, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Because it can take days or weeks for some COVID-19 cases to lead to hospitalization or death, doctors are bracing for an ugly repeat of scenes from 2020.
The vast majority of those getting hospitalized with or dying from COVID-19 are not fully vaccinated, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week.
For adults previously infected with COVID-19, vaccines give better protection against re-infection than natural immunity on its own, according to a CDC study published Friday.
The study suggests people who got COVID-19 in 2020 and didn’t get vaccinated were more than twice as likely to be re-infected in May or June 2021, compared with people who also had Covid-19 but were later fully vaccinated, reported CNN.
There is no minimum time to wait between recovering from COVID-19 and getting vaccinated, the CDC said.
Moreover, almost half the country is not fully vaccinated, including children under 12 who are not yet eligible but are still vulnerable to COVID-19, reported CNN.
Scientists say the Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox, with each infected person potentially infecting eight or nine other people.
Delta may also cause more severe disease than other strains of coronavirus, according to studies cited in an internal CDC presentation.
According to CNN, now some hospitals are seeing younger COVID-19 patients than before.

Rickey Medlocke Tests Positive for Coronavirus

The upcoming shows of Lynyrd Skynyrd have been cancelled after one of the band members, Rickey Medlocke tested positive for coronavirus.

As per Fox News, the musical band has scrapped its four shows due to Rickey’s ill health. Confirming the news, a manager for the classic Southern rock band issued a statement that read, “due to unforeseen circumstances, Lynyrd Skynyrd is unable to perform the next four shows in Canton, OH, Jackson, MI, Atlanta, GA and Cullman, AL. Longtime band member Rickey Medlocke has tested positive for COVID-19.”
“Rickey is home resting and responding well to treatment. We will continue to update you on his condition,” the manager added.

The show scheduled for August 13 in Atlanta, Georgia, has been rescheduled to October 23.
News of Medlocke’s COVID-19 diagnosis comes weeks after fellow guitarist Gary Rossington, 69, who has been playing with the band since its earliest days in Florida, underwent an emergency heart procedure.

UT records 79 COVID-19 fresh cases, no fatalities in past 24 hours

Puducherry, Aug 8: The new Coronavirus cases dropped to 79 against 102 registered on Saturday while there was no deaths, since the last 24 hours, ending at 10 AM on Sunday.

One death had been recorded yesterday.

With this, the infection tally has risen to 1,21,602 and the death toll remained at 1,800.

According to COVID-19 status released by the health department here, of the 5,490 swab sample tests conducted, 79 persons tested positive.

As many as 47 new cases were reported in Puducherry region, 10 in Karaikal region, two in Yanam region and 20 in Mahe region.

About 112 persons were discharged in the last 24 hours. Of them, 72 were from Puducherry region, 25 from Karaikal region, six from Yanam region and nine from Mahe region.

Presently, 104 patients are being treated in hospitals in Puducherry region, 20 in Karaikal region, six in Yanam region and 51 in Mahe region.

Another 668 persons diagnosed positive for COVID-19 were taking treatment under home isolation in all the four regions of the UT.

So far, 1,21,602 persons were infected by Corona virus and of which 1,18,953 patients were treated and discharged, 1,800 people died and presently there are 849 active cases.

The test positivity rate in the UT is 1.44 per cent, case fatality rate is 1.48 per cent and the recovery rate is 97.82 percent.

As many as 7,36,686 persons including healthcare workers, frontline workers and general public were so far vaccinated against Covid in the Union Territory.

India gave priority to poor in its strategy to combat COVID-19 crisis: PM Modi

New Delhi [India], August 7 : India gave first priority to the poor in its strategy to combat the COVID-19 crisis, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.
While interacting with beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana in Madhya Pradesh, through video conferencing, the Prime Minister said: “Be it Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana or Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana, we thought about the food and employment of the poor from the first day itself.” He noted that over 80 crore citizens have been provided free ration after the COVID-19 started in the country.
“Not just wheat, rice or pulses but over 8 crore poor families were even provided free gas cylinders during the lockdown. Over 20 crore women received around Rs 30,000 crores directly in their Jan Dhan bank accounts,” the Prime Minister stated.
Terming heavy rain and floods in several districts of Madhya Pradesh as “unfortunate”, PM Modi said, “Lives and livelihood of several people affected. The Government of India and the entire nation stands with Madhya Pradesh in these times of crisis.”
“Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his entire team are going to the spots and carrying out rescue and relief operations. Be it NDRF, Central forces, or Air Force, all facilities are being provided to the State government for help in this situation,” he noted.
He said that at a time when there is a worldwide crisis on livelihood, it is constantly being ensured that there is a minimum loss in India.
“For this, many steps have been taken in the last year and are being taken continuously. Lakhs of crores of rupees have been provided to small, small, micro industries to continue their work,” PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister asserted that efforts are being made to give strength to the poor, empowerment in the true sense from the past several years.
“I remember what used to be the condition of roads in MP, we used to hear about big scams from here. Today, cities in MP are creating new models for cleanliness and development. Today, roads are being built in every village of the country, new jobs are being created, farmers have access to markets, poor people are able to reach the hospital on time in case of illness,” he added.

India’s fight against Covid gets strong impetus, says PM Modi as country administers 50 crore doses

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said India’s fight against coronavirus has received a strong impetus as the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country surpassed the 50-crore mark.
In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, “India’s fight against COVID-19 receives a strong impetus. Vaccination numbers cross the 50 crore mark. We hope to build on these numbers and ensure our citizens are vaccinated under #SabkoVaccineMuftVaccine movement.” Home Minister Amit Shah wrote, “The world’s largest Covid vaccination campaign under the leadership of PM Modi has made a new record by crossing the 50 crore mark today. In such a large country, such widespread vaccination in such a short time shows the sensitivity of Modiji towards the security of the life of every countryman.”
India’s cumulative vaccination coverage on Friday crossed the 50 crore milestone.
More than 43.29 lakh (43,29,673) vaccine doses have been administered today, as per the 7 pm provisional report, the union health ministry said in a statement.

Health Minister Mandaviya meets Adar Poonawalla, discusses COVID vaccine supply ramping up

In order to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine supply in the country, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday met Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla in the national capital and held a discussion over the supply of Covishield vaccine.

New Delhi [India], August 6 : “We had many good meetings here. We discussed ramping up vaccine production. More than 17 countries in Europe have already approved Covidshield and many are in line to give approval. We discussed also this. This will be good news for all the travellers also. We were doing what we can do for our students,” Poonawalla told ANI after the meeting with Union Health Minister. More than 136 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses are expected to be available till the end of this year, informed the central government on Friday.
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 Members of Parliament 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 crores 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 said, “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. 

COVID-19 fatality figure crosses 800th mark in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills

Shillong, Aug 5: The number of fatalities due to COVID-19 related complications in East Khasi Hills, the most pandemic-hit district, which includes Meghalaya capital Shillong went up to 802 with
the death of five more infected persons, even as three more deaths due to the viral disease were reported from other districts, taking the number of casualties to 1133 in the State on Thursday.
“The Ri-Bhoi district, West Garo Hills district and West Khasi Hills district reported one death each due to COVID-19 on Thursday,” Director of Health Services (MI), Dr. Aman War said, adding that of
the eight persons who succumbed to the viral disease in the State over the past 24 hours, six were
not vaccinated against the virulent virus.
On the other hand, 576 new cases of COVID-19 added up to 5,574 active cases and 510 more
cases of recovery from the viral infection surged the number of recovered cases to 60,885 in the
State, which has registered 67,592 confirmed cases till date.
With 2,183 active COVID-19 cases, the East Khasi Hills is the most COVID-19 affected district, followed by West Garo Hills district with 810 active cases, West Khasi Hills district with 765 active cases, West Jaintia Hills district with 566 active cases, Ri-Bhoi with 541 active cases, South West Khasi Hills district with 267 active cases and East Jaintia Hills district with 135 active cases, while
the other districts had less than 100 active cases each as per the latest virus count.
As on date 8,71,677 persons have been tested for COVID-19 across the State, with 8,04,085 of
the results coming out negative for the virus, as per data released by the National Health Mission, Meghalaya.
Meanwhile, as on Thursday, 31,872 health care workers had received the first dose of the
vaccine against COVID-19 and 23,416 were administered with the second dose, 96,937 front-line workers got the first jab and 45,423 took the second shot, 7,82,350 persons from among the
general public were inoculated with the first dose and 1,42,447 citizens were fully vaccinated with
the second shot across the state, as per official report received from the State health and family
welfare department.
Containment measures, including night curfew are in force across the State, which has been subject
to sharp spike in COVID-19 cases, even as the government has been making efforts to enhance vaccination among the people with the rate of inoculation being way short of the national average.

India reports 42,982 new cases, 533 deaths in last 24 hours

New Delhi, Aug 5: India recorded 42,982 new cases of COVID-19 during the past 24 hours pushing the case tally to 3,18,12,114, while the death toll mounted to 4,26,290 with 533 more fatalities, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.

According to the Ministry, the active cases increased by 723, to stand at 4,11,076. It is now 1.29 per cent of the total caseload.

The past 24 hours saw 41,726 people recovered from the deadly virus, taking the total recovery count to 3,09,74,748, which is 97.37 per cent of the case tally. The fatality rate stood at 1.34 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that 47,48,93,363 samples have been tested so far for coronavirus, of which 16,64,030 were tested on Wednesday.

Till now, 48,93,42,295 people have been administered COVID-19 vaccines, with 37,55,115 being inoculated against the virus in the past 24 hours.

Brazil’s COVID-19 cases surpass 20 mln

Sao Paulo, Aug 5: Brazil reported 40,716 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total caseload to 20,026,533, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the national death toll rose to 559,6071 after 175 more deaths were detected.

Brazil currently has the world’s second-highest pandemic death toll after the United States, and the third-largest caseload after the United States and India.

The South American country is experiencing a new wave of infections, which has overwhelmed hospitals, said the ministry.

Nepal records 4,107 new cases of COVID-19

Kathmandu [Nepal]: Nepal on Wednesday recorded a total of 4,107 new cases of coronavirus infection, the highest single-day rise in cases since June, thereby taking the national tally to 7,69,922.

As per the data released by the country’s health ministry, a total of 16,298 samples underwent tests out of which about 25 per cent of those tested (4107) turned out positive. A total of 11,354 swab samples were tested in the RT-PCR method, of which 2,975 returned positive. Likewise, 4,944 people underwent antigen tests for the virus, of which 1,132 tested positive.

According to the data released by the ministry, there are 33,464 active cases across the country. Out of those cases, 3,194 are hospitalized, 714 in intensive care units and 156 on ventilators.

In the past 24 hours, 1,535 people have achieved recovery whereas 35 deaths have been reported. Of the total cases so far, 661,651 people have achieved recovery while 9,957 people succumbed to the virus.
Likewise, 2,074,786 people have received their full dose of the Covid-19 vaccine while 4,297,612 have received their first dose. Today, a total of 115,155 people were vaccinated throughout the country.

‘Second wave not over yet’

New Delhi [India]: Underlining that the second wave of COVID-19 is not over yet, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said that the Reproduction (R) number is high in eight states adding that case trajectory needs to be controlled there.
Addressing a press conference over the Covid-19 situation in the country, Joint Secretary of Union Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal said whenever R number is above one, it means that the case trajectory is increasing and it needs to be controlled. These eight states include Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram, Karnataka, Puducherry, Kerala, he informed.
“US, Canada, Australia, and India have 1.2 R number, on average. This means one infected individual is infecting more than one person. R number is high in 8 states of India. Growth rate and active cases are also assessed using the Reproduction (R) Number. It is the average number of new infections generated by one infected individual during the entire infectious period,” he said.
“Whenever R number is above one, it means that the case trajectory is increasing and it needs to be controlled,” the official added.
Agarwal further said that a high number of COVID cases are being reported across the world and the pandemic is far from over.
“As far as India is concerned, the second wave is still not over,” said Agarwal.
Speaking about the case positivity rate in the country, he said, “There are 44 districts where the case positivity rate is over 10 per cent. These districts are in Kerala, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland among others.”
“There were 279 districts on June 1, where over 100 cases were reported but it has come down to 57 districts now, where over 100 cases are being reported in the country.”
“The number of cases decreased by 222 districts. Case trajectory is seen in the limited area. There are 18 districts incl 10 districts of Kerala where an increasing trend in cases is seen. These 18 districts constitute 47.5 per cent cases,” he added.
“There are few states where over 3 crore vaccination doses have been supplied. UP has been given 4.88 crore doses, Maharashtra has been given 4.5 crore doses and Gujarat has been given 3.4 crore doses,” he added further.

389 deaths in Brazil over COVID-19 in one day

Brasilia [Brazil]: Brazil recorded 389 more COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, raising its national death toll to 557,223, the health ministry said on Monday.
Meanwhile, the total caseload rose to 19,953,501 after 15,143 new cases were detected. The numbers released on Monday were less than half of the country’s daily average, due to fewer tests performed and fewer deaths certified on weekends.
According to the moving average of cases over the last seven days, Brazil recorded 960 daily deaths and 35,120 cases on average for the past week.
The South American country currently has a mortality rate of about 265 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants and an incidence rate of 9,495 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, according to a report from the health ministry.
As of Sunday, Brazil has vaccinated 142.3 million people against COVID-19, including 100.8 million with their first dose and 41.4 million people fully vaccinated.

Telangana adds 591 new Covid cases, 2 fatalities on Monday

Hyderabad, Aug 2: Telangana added 591 new COVID-19 cases until 1730 hours on Monday, to push the cumulative caseload to 6, 45,997 till date.
COVID-19 deaths surged to 3,807 after two patients succumbed to the deadly virus in the last 24 hours translating a case fatality rate of 0.58 per cent as against the countrywide mortality rate of 1.3 per cent, according to the bulletin issued by the Office of the Director, Public Health and Family Welfare here tonight.
A total of 643 people have recovered from coronavirus statewide in a span of 24 hours taking the overall recoveries thus far to 6, 33,371 constituting a recovery rate of 98.04 per cent while the national recovery rate was 97.33 per cent.
The number of active cases in the state currently stands at 8,819, the bulletin said.
As many as 1,07,472 samples were tested in the state during the last 24 hours to detect the contagious virus out of which the results of 1,154 swab samples are awaited.
Cumulatively, 2,21,97,450 COVID-19 tests have been carried out in the state so far since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the bulletin said.

HP : Schools Reopen

Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India] : Schools across the state re-opened for classes 10, 11 and 12 from Monday while adhering to COVID-19 protocols.

“We are delighted to return to school. We will follow protocols of wearing masks, hand hygiene, and physical distancing,” said a student. Another student said “We even attended the online classes, but we had to face many issues in that. At times, we ran out of connectivity. Returning back to school is good because we can interact with our teachers and friends. Offline studying is better than online.”

With the decline in positivity rate and increase in recovery rate, the situation of Covid-seems to be improving. In the state, six districts have recorded a positivity rate of less than 5 per cent.

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.

Schools reopen in Punjab and C’garh

Amritsar/Ludhiana (Punjab) [India], August 2 : Students returned to schools in Punjab after a year with COVID-19 protocols in place. At Government Girls Senior Secondary School in Amritsar, school principal Mandeep Kaur told ANI, “The school has reopened for students of all classes now. Arrangements for ensuring proper sanitization in the vicinity have been made.” “Students have also been asked to carry their own sanitizer. Wearing a mask has been made compulsory. All teachers have received double doses of vaccines for protection against the virus. We have reduced the strength of classes to 50 percent.”
“Also, for those who do not feel comfortable attending physical classes, online classes will continue simultaneously. Hence, it is not compulsory for students to come here”, said the Principal.
Ashima, a school teacher said, “We have sanitized the school properly. We have also taken parents’ permission for allowing them to attend classes via physical mode. Children are advised to carry their own sanitizer, water bottles and tiffin.”
At Government Senior Secondary Smart School, school Principal Sanjeev Thapar said, “Our school will function in double shift. We have nearly 3500 students in our school. Of this, around 1500 students have turned up in the morning shift. We are ensuring that all COVID-19 guidelines are adhered to in the school premises.”
Amir, a student said, “I am happy that school has reopened after a year. I am happy to see my friends again after a long time.”
Earlier, the Punjab government had allowed schools to reopen for students of Classes 10 to 12 from July 26.
On July 31, an order issued by the state government stated the reopening of the government and non-government schools from August 2.
The Punjab government had declared preparatory leave in schools for all the classes earlier on March 12 this year, due to a surge in Covid cases in the state.

Schools re-open in C’garh amid relaxations in COVID-19 restrictions

Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], August : Amid relaxations in COVID-19 restrictions, some schools in Raipur re-opened on Monday for classes 10th and 12th.
A class 12th student of Holy Cross School while speaking to ANI said, “We are excited to meet our friends and teachers. We are going to the school after such a long time, it feels so good.” “We are coming to the school after a long time. I am happy to see my friends after so long. I was bored attending online classes all this while,” said another student of the same school.
The decision to re-open government and private schools with 50 per cent attendance across the state for classes 10th and 12th came at a recent cabinet meeting chaired by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.
The state government had in an official order said schools will be reopened in districts with a positivity rate of 1 per cent.
Educational institutions in the state were shut due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh has so far reported 1,002,222 COVID-19 cases, 13,525 deaths and 986,778 recoveries. Active cases in the state stand at 1,919.

Dr Fauci alerts ‘things are going to get worse’ due to COVID-19

Washington [US]: US top coronavirus adviser Dr Anthony Fauci on Sunday said that “things are going to get worse” in the United States as the Delta variant has led to a surge in coronavirus cases in the country.
Fauci also said that he does not think the United States will return to lockdowns, even as the number of coronavirus cases in the country spikes largely because of the highly infectious delta variant. “I don’t think we’re going to see lockdowns. I think we have enough of the percentage of people in the country, not enough to crush the outbreak, but I believe enough to not allow us to get into the situation we were in last winter,” The Hill quoted Fauci’s interview with ABC’s “This Week.”
He did, however, say “things are going to get worse,” before contending that the country is “seeing an outbreak of the unvaccinated.”
“We have 100 million people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not getting vaccinated. We are seeing an outbreak of the unvaccinated,” he said.
Fauci added that there will likely be “some pain and suffering in the future.”
“We’re looking, not, I believe, to lockdown, but we’re looking to some pain and suffering in the future because we’re seeing the cases go up, which is the reason why we keep saying over and over again, the solution to this is get vaccinated and this would not be happening,” he said.
The number of COVID-19 infections in the US has crept up in recent weeks largely because of the delta variant, which is now the dominant strain in the US. The cases, however, have mainly infiltrated individuals who are not yet inoculated, reported The Hill.
More than 164.4 million people in the US have been vaccinated against COVID-19, which is equivalent to 49.5 per cent of the total population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

World is going through an education crisis due to COVID-19, says UN chief, Antonio Guterres

New York [US]: The world is going through an education crisis as millions of children remain out of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday.
Taking to Twitter, Guterres said, “We are in the middle of an education crisis. 156 million students are still affected by school closures due to COVID19, and 25 million may never return. An effective pandemic recovery requires investment in teachers, digital learning, and systems fit for the future.” The overall global COVID-19 caseload has topped 198.1 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 4.22 million and vaccinations soared to over 4.11 billion, according to the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.
In its latest update, Johns Hopkins revealed that the current global caseload, the death toll stood and vaccination tally stood at 198,175,138, 4,221,996 and 4,110,644,112, respectively.

Delhi zoo reopens after 105 days

New Delhi [India]: After being closed for 105 days, Delhi’s National Zoological Park reopened for the public on Sunday.

The zoo was temporarily shut due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in the national capital during the second wave. “On the first day, more than 92 per cent of tickets were sold.

Due to this prolonged disconnection behaviour between public and animals, few species will take time to adjust whereas others remain indifferent,” said Ramesh Pandey, Director, National Zoological Park.

However, the director reiterated that visitors should strictly follow Covid protocols.

The zoo will operate in two shifts– 9 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 5 pm. People will now be able to book tickets online.

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