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Sunday, October 17, 2021

From vaccination to case numbers, all Covid developments you need to know today

The active Covid-19 cases have declined to 3,18,181, comprising 0.95 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020.

By: Express Web Desk |
September 20, 2021 9:57:54 pm
A health worker administers a COVID-19 vaccine dose to a beneficiary wearing face mask of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on PM's 71st birthday. (PTI Photo)

With 30,256 people testing positive for coronavirus infection, India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,34,78,419, while the active cases declined to 3,18,181, the lowest in 183 days, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Monday.

The death toll climbed to 4,45,133 with 295 more fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.

The active cases have declined to 3,18,181, comprising 0.95 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.72 per cent, the health ministry said.

India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed the 81-crore landmark milestone (81,73,95,763) on Monday. Out of 81,73,95,763, 64.8% (60,88,10,164) eligible population received first dose of COVID-19 vaccination and 22.2% (20,85,85,599) eligible population received second dose of COVID-19 vaccination.

Pfizer Covid-19 shot safely bolsters antibodies in kids aged 5 to 11

Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE said their Covid-19 vaccine was safe and produced strong antibody responses in children ages 5 to 11 in a large-scale trial, findings that could pave the way to begin vaccinating grade-school kids within months.

The long-awaited results offer one of the first looks at how well a Covid vaccine could work for younger children. Pressure to immunize kids has been on the climb in the US, where a new school year has started just as the delta variant is fueling a surge in cases.

In a trial with 2,268 participants, two shots of a 10 microgram dose – one-third of the adult shot – produced antibody levels comparable to those seen in a trial of 16-to-25-year-olds who got the adult dose, the companies said, with similar side effects.

‘Vaccination is on…let govt take a call’: SC rejects plea seeking reopening of schools

The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a petition seeking reopening of schools, which were shut down across the country due to the Covid-19 crisis, saying it is a complex issue that should be better left to be handled by the government.

“These issues are fraught with grave complexity. We don’t think we should enter here by judicial mandates,” said a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and B V Nagarathna, allowing the petitioner, a class 12 student from Delhi, to withdraw the plea.

The bench asked the counsel to advise his client to rather spend time on studies.

UP: Certificate shows local BJP leader given 5 doses of Covid vaccine, 6th scheduled; probe ordered

The vaccination certificate of a BJP booth level leader here wrongly shows he has been given five doses of the coronavirus vaccine and is scheduled for the sixth, with officials saying it appears to be a case of “mischief” and conspiracy.

The case was reported from Sardhana area of the district after Rampal Singh (73), who says he is the BJP president of booth no 79 and is also a member of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, got his vaccination certificate downloaded.

He said the certificate shows he has been given five doses of the coronavirus vaccine and the sixth is also scheduled. He accused the health department of negligence and filed a complaint following which, the officials said, a probe has been launched.

‘Offensive’, ‘smacks of racism’: Tharoor, Ramesh on UK’s new Covid travel policy for India

Senior Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh Monday spoke out against the UK government’s decision to consider people vaccinated in India, Africa, South America and several other countries as unvaccinated, and make them go through a 10-day quarantine.

Tharoor, Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha MP, has pulled put of a debate at Cambridge Union and withdrawn from the events for the launch of the UK edition of his book “The Battle of Belonging”.

Rajya Sabha Congress MP Jairam Ramesh too termed the country’s new travel policy “absolutely bizarre”.

Will resume exporting Covid-19 vaccines from October: Mansukh Mandaviya

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday announced that India, which is the leading global manufacturer of vaccines, will resume exporting Covid-19 vaccine doses from October this year.

Mandaviya Monday added that Vaccine Maitri, which is India’s initiative to provide Covid vaccines to countries around the world, will resume in the fourth quarter starting October this year. He added that decision to resume vaccine exports has been taken “in order to fulfil the commitment of India towards COVAX, in line with our motto Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”.

Mandaviya further added that the surplus supply of vaccines will be used to fulfil India’s commitment towards the world for putting up a collective fight against Covid-19.

When Covid-19 stole their smell, these experts lost much more

For millions worldwide, anosmia – the partial or complete loss of the sense of smell – has become a telltale sign of Covid-19. For sommeliers, perfumers, oenologists and others, smell is a skill honed over many years of identifying things like subtle notes of citrus in a perfume, or parsing the bouquet of a mature Bordeaux.

When Covid-19 snatches that away, the fear of career-ending consequences can be particularly gripping, making anosmia a difficult, even taboo topic.

Fears that Covid-19 could derail careers are particularly acute in the highly competitive world of perfumery, where perfumers — sometimes known as “noses” in France — work hand-in-hand with evaluators to select and dose the chemical components of a fragrance for months or even years.

Cambodia bat researchers on mission to track origin of COVID-19

Researchers are collecting samples from bats in northern Cambodia in a bid to understand the coronavirus pandemic, returning to a region where a very similar virus was found in the animals a decade ago.

Two samples from horseshoe bats were collected in 2010 in Stung Treng province near Laos and kept in freezers at the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge (IPC) in Phnom Penh.

Tests done on them last year revealed a close relative to the coronavirus that has killed more than 4.6 million people worldwide. An eight-member IPC research team has been collecting samples from bats and logging their species, sex, age and other details for a week. Similar research is going on in the Philippines.

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