Updated: April 13, 2021 8:04:59 pm
India reported 1,61,736 new Covid-19 cases and 879 deaths in the last 24 hours ending 9 am on Tuesday, according to the data by the Union Health Ministry. With this, the total number of coronavirus cases in the country rose to 1,36,89,453, which includes 12,64,698 active cases, 1,71,058 deaths and 1,22,53,697 recoveries.
Meanwhile, India, which became the 60th country to approve the use of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine in an emergency situation, will produce over 850 million doses of the vaccine annually. In India, Sputnik V is the third coronavirus vaccine to get emergency use approval, after Covishield (Serum Institute of India) and Covaxin (Bharat Biotech).
Also, as the country entered the third day of ‘Tika Utsav’ on Tuesday, the Union Health Ministry said as many as 10.85 crore people have been administered at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine so far. (Follow Covid-19 India Live Updates here)
Here are the other Covid-19 related developments:
UP CM Yogi isolates self after staff test Covid positive
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth has gone into self-isolation after some of his staff tested Covid-19 positive.
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— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) April 13, 2021
“Some officers of my office have tested positive for Covid-19. As a precaution, I have isolated myself,” Adityanath tweeted. On Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh reported the highest-ever single-day spike of 18,021 coronavirus cases while 85 fatalities took the death toll in the state to 9,309.
Shortage of staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic has forced authorities to take the help of a daily wage gardener to collect samples of people at the government civil hospital in Madhya Pradesh’s Sanchi, the constituency of state health minister Prabhuram Choudhary.
The incident came to light on Monday when some television reporters recorded the gardener, Halke Ram, collecting swabs of people for testing at the hospital in Sanchi, a world heritage site located 50 km away from Bhopal.
Block Medical Officer (BMO) Dr Rajyashri Tidke told PTI on Tuesday that the help of the gardener was taken for collecting samples due to the shortage of employees.
“Almost half of the staff of the hospital was found coronavirus positive. I had already informed senior health officials about the shortage of staff in the Sanchi civil hospital,” she said.
Problem is not of vaccine shortage but of better planning: Centre
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan Tuesday said that shortage of doses is not a problem in states but better planning is. “Till now, we’ve provided 13,10,90,000 doses to states and Union Territories. On one hand, we have states like Kerala where there is zero wastage (of vaccine) and on the other hand, we have several other states where there still is 8-9% of wastage,” he said.
#WATCH: Union Health Secretary speaks on reports of #COVID19 vaccine shortage. He says, “…As per 11 am data today, unutilised doses available with states/UTs is over 1,67,20,000. By April end we’ll provide 2,01,22,960 doses. Issue is about better planning & not shortage…” pic.twitter.com/MxI9WxFiMy
— ANI (@ANI) April 13, 2021
“As per data till 11 am today, unutilised doses available with states/UTs is over 1,67,20,000. This month – till April end – 2,01,22,960 doses will be provided to states/UT. This clearly shows that issue is about better planning & not the shortage of doses,” he added.
With an aim to fast track the approvals for foreign manufacturers to commercially market their Covid-19 vaccine in the country, the Centre Tuesday announced that vaccines that have been granted emergency approvals by US, UK, Japanese regulators, including those listed by the WHO may be granted emergency use approvals in India.
The Centre said that decision will facilitate quicker access to such foreign vaccines by India and would encourage imports including import of bulk drug material, optimal utilization of domestic fill, and finish capacity. “…which will, in turn, provide a fillip to vaccine manufacturing capacity and total vaccine availability for domestic,” the Centre said.
India to produce over 850 million doses of Sputnik V: RDIF
India will produce over 850 million doses of the vaccine annually. This will be sufficient to vaccinate more than 425 million people around the world, Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, has said.
“We appreciate the decision of India’s regulatory bodies to grant authorization for Sputnik V. Approval of the vaccine is a major milestone as Russia and India have been developing an extensive cooperation on clinical trials of Sputnik V in India and its local production,” he said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
The total population of 60 countries where Sputnik V is approved for use is 3 billion people or about 40 per cent of the global population.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to cancel the year-end board exams for classes X and XII in view of the fourth wave of the Covid cases. Kejriwal said the city has seen 13,500 cases in the city in the past 24 hours, which is the highest to date.
“Around 6 lakh children will write these exams and 1 lakh teachers will be involved. These exams centres can become hotspots. The health and wellbeing of children is very important. I appeal to CBSE with folded hands that the exams be cancelled. Some other method of evaluation can be thought of – online or internal assessment perhaps. But cancelling these exams is crucial. Many countries have also cancelled exams; some Indian states have done it too. These exams should be cancelled too,” he said.
Twelve days into the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar amid a Covid surge across the country, the Uttarakhand government is struggling to keep in place basic preventive measures such as effective thermal screening and wearing of masks. By Monday evening, over 28 lakh devotees turned up for the second shahi snan (royal bath) in the Ganga. And according to medical department officials, over 18,169 devotees were tested between 11.30 pm Sunday and 5 pm Monday — 102 were found positive.
Over the last 48 hours, The Indian Express walked through an area of over 10 km — from the railway station in Haridwar, the iconic Har ki Pauri and the ghats. There were no arrangements for thermal screening anywhere, and no action against those not wearing masks despite a new AI-enabled CCTV system in place to track them.
No question of lockdown in Karnataka right now, says CM Yediyurappa
Ruling out the possibility of a lockdown in Karnataka right now, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa Tuesday said he has called for an all-party meeting to discuss the Covid-19 situation.
“Have called an all-party meeting on April 18 regarding COVID situation here. No question of lockdown right now. The technical advisory committee has said that positive cases will increase here till May 2 hence people must abide by COVID appropriate behaviour,” ANI quoted Yediyurappa as saying.
A spike in coronavirus cases across the country seems to have forced a rethink within the government on the CBSE’s offline Board examinations, scheduled to begin on May 4. Sources in the Education Ministry told The Indian Express that holding the examinations on time seems “difficult”, given the increase in fresh infections. While the government now seems open to reconsidering the examination dates, officers said it was too early to indicate the exact changes to the schedule.
Tourists visiting Himachal Pradesh will not be “harassed” for a coronavirus negative test report on the state’s borders, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Tuesday.
Days after the state government announced making it mandatory for people coming from seven worst-affected states to show a COVID-19 negative test report on entering the state, Thakur said they have put in place a mechanism for monitoring tourists on their arrival at the place of their stay.
“We have taken care of our tourism industry to ensure it does not suffer this session as the coronavirus pandemic affected it last year. So, in the SOP released for the industry, we have put in place a mechanism to monitor it accordingly. Tourists and other visitors will not be harassed by stopping for corona reports on the state’s borders because it causes a lot of inconvenience and difficulty to them,” PTI quoted Thakur as saying.
On a day the capital recorded a new high of 11,491 infections — and 72 deaths — the Delhi government issued an order to convert 14 top private hospitals in the city into Covid-only facilities.
A total 3,202 beds in wards and 1,135 ICU beds in these hospitals will now be dedicated entirely to the treatment of Covid-19 patients. The order comes into effect immediately.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Monday said that residents of the state need to mentally prepare themselves for an impending lockdown, and that the state would give adequate time for the residents to prepare themselves before the lockdown is implemented.
“There will be prior information given to people before the lockdown is implemented. At this point of time all that I would want to say to the residents of the state is that they should mentally prepare themselves for a lockdown,” Tope said.
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