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Coronavirus India Highlights: Priority remains utilising jabs for own vaccination drive, says MEA on vaccine export

Coronavirus India Highlights: India recorded 54, 336 new coronavirus cases and 1,321 deaths in the last 24 hours ending 9 am on Thursday. With this the country's total caseload has risen to over 3 crore, while the death toll has increased to 3.91 lakh. Meanwhile, the active caseload has dropped to 6.27 lakh.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi |
Updated: June 25, 2021 8:22:16 am
Beneficiaries above the age of 18 queue up for vaccination in ESIS hospital in Navi Mumbai.

Coronavirus India Highlights: The Ministry of External Affairs Thursday said that India’s stand on vaccine exports will depend on its domestic needs and asserted that priority remains to utilise made-in-India jabs for its own inoculation drive.

“Our position on the issue of vaccine exports has been consistent and clear. We have always stated that overseas supply of vaccines from India would depend on vaccine availability and our domestic vaccination programme,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during an online media briefing.

Earlier today, the Maharashtra government told Bombay High Court that more than 2,000 people have fallen victim to fake Covid-19 vaccination camps in Mumbai so far. Five FIRs have been registered so far and the statements of 400 witnesses have been recorded.

India recorded 54, 336 new coronavirus cases and 1,321 deaths in the last 24 hours ending 9 am on Thursday. With this the country’s total caseload has risen to over 3 crore, while the death toll has increased to 3.91 lakh. Meanwhile, the active caseload has dropped to 6.27 lakh.

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Coronavirus India Highlights: 54,336 new Covid-19 cases and 1,321 deaths on Wednesday; Madhya Pradesh records first death due to Delta Plus variant; Maharashtra reports over 10,000 cases again; challans for Covid violators rise in Delhi. Read latest news and updates below

21:39 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Priority remains utilising vaccines for our own vaccination drive: MEA

The Ministry of External Affairs Thursday said that India's stand on vaccine exports will depend on its domestic needs and asserted that priority remains to utilise made-in-India jabs for its own inoculation drive.

"Our position on the issue of vaccine exports has been consistent and clear. We have always stated that overseas supply of vaccines from India would depend on vaccine availability and our domestic vaccination programme," Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during an online media briefing.

"For the moment our priority remains on utilising made-in-India vaccines for our own vaccination programme which as you know has received a boost with the new phase of vaccination that was launched earlier this week on June 21," he was quoted as saying by PTI.
 

20:55 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Andhra Pradesh govt cancels class 10, intermediate exams

The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday announced the cancellation of the year-end examinations for Class 10 and intermediate on a day the Supreme Court took a serious view of the indecisiveness.

Education Minister A Suresh told reporters that they decided to cancel the exams as it was difficult to adhere to July 31 deadline set by the Supreme Court for completing the process.

He said a high-powered committee would be constituted to assess the marks to be awarded to intermediate students. (PTI)

19:45 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Covid: UP records 32 more deaths, 229 new cases

The Covid-19 death toll in Uttar Pradesh rose to 22,368 on Thursday with 32 more fatalities, while 229 new cases pushed the infection tally to 17,05,012, an official said. 

"In the past 24 hours, 229 fresh cases were reported in the state while 308 people recovered from the infection and have been discharged, taking the overall recoveries to 16,79,092," Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Amit Mohan Prasad told reporters.

The count of active COVID-19 cases stands at 3,552, he said, adding that the recovery rate currently is 98.5 per cent, PTI reported.

19:43 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Covid-19 Delta Plus variant: Important things you need to know

Just as India was breathing a sigh of relief that the second wave is nearly over, experts have identified another mutant, this time even more dangerous — the Delta Plus. Ever since coronavirus first hit the world in 2019, the virus has been constantly transforming. There is a long list of new variants; the new mutant version of the Delta strain of Covid first detected in India, Delta Plus, has now been seen as a virulent type. Labelled as a “variant of concern” by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), people have been warned against it. More info here

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17:48 (IST)24 Jun 2021
In Tamil Nadu, a tribal settlement still untouched by Covid-19

Coronavirus has found its way into every nook and corner of the country. This is where a Tamil Nadu village stands out. Chinnampathi, a tribal settlement in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district, has seen zero Covid-19 cases so far since the beginning of the outbreak last year. Read the full report here

16:17 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Mumbai fake vaccination drives: Another FIR registered

A fifth FIR has been registered at Bhoiwada Police station Wednesday against an unauthorised vaccination drive conducted on May 28 for 207 staffers of Poddar Center in Parel. 

14:41 (IST)24 Jun 2021
More than 1.89 crore unutilised Covid vaccine doses available with states/UTs: Govt

More than 1.89 crore balance and unutilised COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states and Union territories, the Union health ministry said on Thursday.

Two crore vaccine doses have been administered in the first 72 hours of the implementation of the new revised guidelines of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, the ministry said.

More than 30 crore (30,33,27,440) vaccine doses have been provided by the Centre to states/UTs so far, through Government of India (free of cost channel) and direct state procurement category. Of this, the total consumption, including wastages, is 28,43,40,936 doses (according to the data available at 8 am on Thursday), the ministry said. (PTI)

14:30 (IST)24 Jun 2021
New research: Low-cost method for finding new variants of coronavirus

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have developed a technology for cost-effective surveillance of the global spread of new SARS-CoV-2 variants. The technique is presented in the journal Nature Communications.

Since the onset of the pandemic, thousands of viral genomes have been sequenced to reconstruct the evolution and global spread of the coronavirus. This is important for identifying particularly concerning variants that are more contagious, pathogenic, or resistant to the existing vaccines.

For global surveillance of the genome, it is crucial to sequence and analyse many samples in a cost-effective way. Researchers in the Bienko-Crosetto laboratory at Karolinska Institutet and Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) in Sweden have developed a new method, named COVseq, that can be used for surveillance of the viral genome on a massive scale at a low cost. Read the full report here. 

13:40 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Single dose of Pfizer, AstraZeneca Covid vaccine offers 60 per cent protection: Lancet study

A single dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine offers around 60 per cent protection against infection from SARS-CoV-2 in adults aged 65 years and above, according to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

To obtain real-world data on the effectiveness of these vaccines in care homes, the researchers from the University College London (UCL) in the UK used data from the VIVALDI study. That research investigated SARS-CoV-2 transmission, infection outcomes, and immunity in residents and staff in long-term care facilities in England for adults aged 65 years and older since June 2020.

This analysis included long-term care facility residents undergoing routine asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 testing between December 8, 2020 -- the date the first vaccine was administered in the study cohort -- and March 15, 2021 using national testing data linked within the COVID-19 Datastore. (PTI)

13:08 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Jaishankar compliments officials for timely passport delivery despite pandemic

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday lauded all government staff involved in timely issuance of passports to citizens notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic.

In an address at an event to mark 'Passport Seva Divas', Jaishankar particularly mentioned maintenance of "high standards" of passport services by the Ministry of External Affairs and other agencies during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Despite the pandemic, we continue to deliver passports in a timely manner and hope to reach the pre-pandemic level as soon as possible," he said. Jaishankar said the ministry has integrated 174 Indian embassies and consulates abroad with the passport service programme. (PTI)

13:07 (IST)24 Jun 2021
5 cases of COVID-19 'Delta Plus' variant in MP; 1 dead

Five persons have so far been found infected with the 'Delta Plus' variant of coronavirus in Madhya Pradesh and one of them has died, state Medical Education Minister Vishwas Sarang said on Thursday.

The other four persons, who were vaccinated against COVID-19, are fine, he told PTI. "One person from Ujjain, who died, was not inoculated," he said. 'Delta Plus' has been declared a variant of concern by the Centre.

So far, three persons from Bhopal and two from Ujjain have been found infected with the 'Delta Plus' variant in MP, the minister said. (PTI)

12:34 (IST)24 Jun 2021
'2,053 people given fake vaccines, 4 FIRs registered,' Mumbai police tells Bombay HC

Over 2,000 people received fake vaccinations at different camps across Kandivali, Borivali, Khar, Versova and Parel, Mumbai police told the Bombay High Court on Thursday. Four FIRs have been registered so far and the statements of 400 witnesses have been recorded. 

12:13 (IST)24 Jun 2021
'Daily vaccination rate has to treble so that 75% population gets fully vaccinated by year-end,' says Sonia Gandhi

Addressing a meeting of party general secretaries and in-charges of AICC in various states, Congress President Sonia Gandhi expressed concern about the rate at which India's ongoing inoculation drive was being carried out. "Daily vaccination rate has to treble so that 75% population gets fully vaccinated by year-end," she said. (With PTI inputs)

12:11 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Sonia Gandhi asks partymen to work to address vaccine hesitancy

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday expressed concern over the pace of vaccination in India, and said the country needs to prepare for the third wave of COVID-19 and protect children. Addressing a meeting of party general secretaries and in-charges of AICC in various states, she the party must ensure that vaccine hesitancy is overcome and wastage of vaccines minimised. (PTI)

11:51 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Make sure Covaxin accepted globally, people facing travel restrictions: Mamata to Centre

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday urged the Centre to immediately take steps to ensure that people vaccinated with Covaxin are not restricted from travelling to foreign countries.

Speaking to reporters at state secretariat Nabanna, Banerjee claimed that Covaxin has also created problems with neighbouring Bangladesh and Brazil.

“Covaxin has not been authorised by foreign countries and not accepted there. Several students, aspiring for higher studies abroad, are facing difficulties in travelling because they have taken the Covaxin doses,” she said. Read the full report here. 

11:50 (IST)24 Jun 2021
LED TV, fridge among lucky draw prizes, Bathinda hospital starts incentive-based vaccination drive

TO ENCOURAGE more people to get vaccinated against Covid-19, the Kishori Ram Hospital in Bathinda has announced free gifts, sponsored by donors, as incentives. This hospital has already been providing free treatment to Covid patients till level 2 in coordination with the NGO Noujawan Welfare Society, and is now running a free vaccination camp as well, in coordination with the health department.“The free gifts scheme was started on June 23 and ten prizes will be given to vaccinated persons chosen via lucky draw on July 4,” said Dr Vittul Gupta from Kishori Ram Hospital.On June 23, 121 persons got vaccinated at this hospital and all were given coupons as part of the lucky coupon scheme. Read the full report here.  

11:48 (IST)24 Jun 2021
A Punjab village with ‘100% vaccination’: How a reluctant attitude turned into acceptance

ON JUNE 12, Ludhiana district’s Bhikhi Khatra became the first village in Punjab to attain the status of “100 per cent vaccination”, but it was not an easy task.

The villagers needed much convincing to take the Covid vaccine, which required multiple visits by health officials to their homes. The panchayat is to get a Rs 10 lakh grant as announced by Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.

Health department official Dr Sukhwinder Singh said 50 per cent of the villagers had to be requested repeatedly to get the jab. The village has a population of 1,700, out of which 947 were adults.

“A total 905 have been vaccinated, 18 were pregnant females who could not be vaccinated as there are no guidelines for them while the rest 24 were medically unfit for vaccination i.e their chemotherapy was going on or a few were having some other serious ailments and hence doctors did not give consent. Hence, under these conditions, 905 needed to be vaccinated and hence the 100 per cent target had been achieved,” he added. Read the full report here. 

10:48 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Centre’s info to states: In under 2 months, private hospitals got 2 crore Covishield jabs, 1.08 crore still left

Private hospitals across the country have 1.08 crore Covishield vaccine doses as pending stock, according to a presentation by the Centre to the states on Tuesday.

Together these hospitals purchased 1.97 crore doses of Covishield from May 1 to June 22 under the open market policy, which allows them to purchase up to 25 per cent of total vaccine supply available in the country. Of 1.97 crore doses, the data show, they have administered 88.9 lakh doses as of June 22 — an average of 1.71 lakh doses per day.

An official said the data of vaccine stock is based on information declared by private sector to the government. Read the full report here. 

10:19 (IST)24 Jun 2021
TMC MP Mimi Chakraborty, several others fall prey to fake vaccination camp, 1 held

Trinamool Congress MP Mimi Chakraborty and several others became the victim of a fake Covid vaccination camp that was held in the Kasba area on Tuesday. Police have arrested a 28-year-old man, identified as Debanjan Deb of Hosenpur, who allegedly impersonated as Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Municipal Corporation and organised the camp.

Police have sent the samples for test to ascertain if the people at the camp were given genuine or fake vaccines.

“The accused has claimed that he had procured the vaccines from outside Swastha Bhawan and Bagri market. We are sending the samples to examine if they were genuine vaccines or not,” said DC ( South Suburban Division) Rashid Munir Khan. Read the full report here. 

10:17 (IST)24 Jun 2021
Coca-Cola bottling plant at heart of Kerala agitation 20 years ago will now be a 600-bed Covid hospital

This 34-acre patch of land in Palakkad first made headlines over two decades ago when it was chosen as the site of a Coca-Cola plant, marking the soft-drink giant’s high-profile entry into Kerala. But soon, it was back in the news, at the centre of a massive agitation by local residents who complained of heavy pollution and groundwater exploitation.

Finally, in 2004, Coca-Cola pulled down the shutters, and the location, near the hamlet of Plachimada, faded into obscurity. On Friday, the plant will be back under the spotlight, when the state government opens the doors of a new 600-bed Covid facility there.

All it took was an idea — and one month, says Kerala Electricity Minister K Krishnankutty whose constituency of Chittur includes Plachimada. Read the full report here. 

After a gap of seven days, Maharashtra on Wednesday crossed the 10,000 single-day case mark, reporting 10,066 fresh infections. The state had on June 16 reported 10,107 cases and since then, the daily count has remained below 10,000. Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope expressed concern over statewide daily cases not remaining below 7,000-8,000 on a consistent basis. The state also reported 163 more deaths, with which the fatality count increased to 1,19,303, the health department said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Union Health Ministry said that around 40 cases of the Delta plus variant, classified as a variant of concern (VOC), have been detected in Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh. “As of now among the samples sequenced (45000+) in India, Delta plus variant – AY.1 – has been observed sporadically in Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, with around 40 cases identified so far and no significant increase in prevalence,” the ministry said in its statement. The Centre has advised the three states to strengthen surveillance and take appropriate public health measures.

India reported 50,581 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, according to data released by the Union Health Ministry. The active caseload has dropped to 6,43,194, the lowest in 82 days. Meanwhile, the number of fresh cases recorded on Wednesday are 111 in Delhi, 863 in Mumbai, 1,008 in Bengaluru, 178 in Kolkata and 396 in Chennai.

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