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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Coronavirus Highlights: PM Modi speaks with Biden, thanks US for support in fight against Covid

Coronavirus India Highlights: White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that the country was working around the clock to deploy supplies to help India tide over the crisis.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 28, 2021 8:55:32 am
In medicare hub, 45 percent critical care Covid beds cannot be used due to oxygen crisisAmid surge in COVID-19 infections, Centre on Sunday directed the states to ensure that the use of liquid oxygen is not allowed for any non-medical purpose. (Pavan Khengre)

Coronavirus India Highlights: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday spoke to US President Joe Biden and thanked him for all the support his  country is providing India in its battle against the Covid. Taking to Twitter, Had a fruitful conversation with Joe Biden today. We discussed the evolving COVID situation in both countries in detail. I thanked President Biden for the support being provided by the United States to India.” Their discussion also underscored the importance of smooth and efficient supply chains of vaccine raw materials and medicines, Modi added. “India-US healthcare partnership can address the global challenge of COVID-19,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the US Ambassador to the UN said the US will “work around the clock” to help India as it fights a “devastating” spike in COVID-19 cases and Washington is doing everything it can to help, including sending across raw materials for vaccines, ventilators, oxygen generation supplies and financial support for vaccine expansion.

Amid demands for medical oxygen coming in from various states, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday claimed that India has enough oxygen stock but the issue is its transportation. Assuring that there is absolutely no need to panic for oxygen, MHA Additional Secretary Piyush Goyal said, “We are trying to resolve issue of its transportation. The government is monitoring oxygen-carrying tankers on real-time basis through GPS, making them available to hospitals as early as possible.”

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Sunday announced 14-day lockdown in the state that will come into force from 9 pm on Tuesday to curb the spread of Covid-19 among its residents. During the period no public transport will be allowed to ply on the roads, but the shops of essential commodities will remain open from 6 am to 10 am every day, Yediyurappa said.

India recorded over 3.52 lakh new Covid-19 cases in the 24 hours ending 8 am Monday, taking the country’s total infections to over 1.73 crore. Out of these, over 28 lakh cases are currently active while 1.43 crore people have recovered after testing positive. With 2,812 new fatalities, the death toll is now over 1.95 lakh.

 

Live Blog

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal extends lockdown by another week.

00:14 (IST)27 Apr 2021
US determined to support India in COVID fight, ensure supply of vaccine raw materials: Biden to Modi

US President Joe Biden on Monday expressed solidarity with India in its fight against COVID-19 and asserted that his country was determined to support its efforts by quickly deploying resources like therapeutics, ventilators and identifying sources of raw materials to be made available for the manufacture of Covishield vaccine, according to a statement here.

Biden expressed the support of the US to India in a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which the two leaders discussed the pandemic situation in their countries, including India’s ongoing efforts to contain a second wave of COVID-19 through expedited vaccination efforts, and ensuring supply of critical medicines, therapeutics and medical equipment. Read more

22:54 (IST)26 Apr 2021
US to export up to 60 million AstraZeneca vaccines: AP

The U.S. will begin sharing its entire pipeline of vaccines from AstraZeneca once the COVID-19 vaccine clear federal safety reviews, the White House told The Associated Press on Monday, with as many as 60 million doses expected to be available for export in the coming months. The White House is increasingly assured about the supply of the three vaccines being administered in the U.S., particularly following the restart of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot over the weekend. The U.S. has also been under mounting pressure in recent weeks to share more of its vaccine supply with the world, as nations like India experience devastating surges of the virus and others struggle to access doses needed to protect their most vulnerable populations. AP

22:28 (IST)26 Apr 2021
PM Modi speaks with Biden, thanks US for support in fight against Covid

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday spoke to US President Joe Biden and thanked him for all the support his  country is providing India in its battle against the Covid. Taking to Twitter, Had a fruitful conversation with Joe Biden today. We discussed the evolving COVID situation in both countries in detail. I thanked President Biden for the support being provided by the United States to India.” Their discussion also underscored the importance of smooth and efficient supply chains of vaccine raw materials and medicines, Modi added. “India-US healthcare partnership can address the global challenge of COVID-19,” he said.

21:54 (IST)26 Apr 2021
Situation in India 'beyond heartbreaking': WHO chief

The situation in India, where COVID-19 cases have surged, is 'beyond heartbreaking', and the World Health Organization is sending extra staff and supplies there to help fight the pandemic, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday.

"WHO is doing everything we can, providing critical equipment and supplies, including thousands of oxygen concentrators, prefabricated mobile field hospitals and laboratory supplies," Tedros told a briefing.

He said he had already announced 2,600 extra WHO staff members were going to India to help support the effort to fight the disease. --Reuters

20:35 (IST)26 Apr 2021
PharmEasy initiates India’s largest COVID-19 Vaccination Drive

PharmEasy, India’s leading digital healthcare platform has launched the biggest COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country. With this drive, the company aims to vaccinate over 3 crore people via camps and vaccine centres. Individuals, companies, RWAs, Old Age Homes etc. can register for vaccines that will be administered.

India has witnessed a record rise in COVID-19 cases due to the second wave, surpassing the worst of last year. Given the current situation, the Government of India has invited the participation of private companies to accelerate vaccination across the country. From 1st May 2021, wherein all legal adults (above the age of 18) will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

PharmEasy has extended its support in furthering the clarion call of “Teeka Utsav” given by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. Leveraging its presence across India, with over 80,000 partner retailers, 5,000 doctors and a state-of-the-art pharma supply chain facility enabling last-mile delivery of cold chain products, the company aims to vaccinate over 3 crore families via 5,000 partner centres, pan-India in the next few quarters. Basis the availability of vaccines and guidelines provided by GOI (to be released soon), PharmEasy will release the timelines for the start of the vaccination drive. As soon as the vaccines doses are available, the company will reach out to registered individuals and assist them with vaccination slots at camps set-up in their vicinity.

20:34 (IST)26 Apr 2021
Thai PM fined for not wearing mask

Thai prime minister fined $190 for not wearing face mask 

19:26 (IST)26 Apr 2021
Maharashtra's daily vaccination crossed 5 lakh today

Maharashtra's daily vaccination crossed 5 lakh -- highest single day count -- on Monday.

19:23 (IST)26 Apr 2021
Govt asks Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech to lower price of COVID vaccines

"Government asks Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech to lower price of COVID vaccines as India gears up to inoculate all aged above 18," PTI quoted official sources.

19:02 (IST)26 Apr 2021
Maha COVID-19 second wave situation getting better: Minister

In 15 out of 36 districts in Maharashtra, the number of people getting discharged is much higher than patients getting admitted in hospital for COVID- 19, which is a "satisfactory and comforting indication", state medical education minister Amit Deshmukh said here on Monday. He said the state government had set up jumbo treatment facilities, ramped up testing and ensured effective home isolation to tackle the second wave of the infection, which was "unprecedented and four times stronger than the first one". On the drop in numbers and the recovery rate climbing up steadily, the minister told reporters, "This is a satisfactory and comforting indication. I feel restrictions are working and the second wave numbers will soon come down if all of us adhere to COVID-19 norms." The state government was planning to get vaccines from the international market to carry out a massive drive covering as many people as possible in a short period of time, the minister added. --PTI

18:53 (IST)26 Apr 2021
Over 3,000 new Covid cases in Gurgaon for fifth day in a row

For the fifth day in a row, Gurgaon recorded over 3,000 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, with 3,555 people testing positive for the infection. Seven people also succumbed to the infection. According to the district health bulletin, Gurgaon now has 27, 318 active cases of Coronavirus, of which 26, 137 are in home isolation.

Since the pandemic first broke out, Gurgaon has recorded 1,06,839 cases of Coronavirus, of which 79,085 people have recovered from the infection and 436 have succumbed to it. Of those who died due to Coronavirus, 326 had comorbidities while 110 were people without any comorbidities.

As the district has seen a surge in Covid cases and consequently in the demand for hospital beds, the administration has started working towards increasing the number of beds for Covid patients. Last week, directions were give to hospitals to increase the number of beds reserved for Covid patients to 60 percent of total bed capacity under the general category and 75 percent of total bed capacity in terms of ventilator and ICU beds. Despite this, however, the web portal where data regarding bed availability is being maintained in real time indicated that as of 6.30 pm on Monday, three ICU beds and only one ventilator bed were vacant in the district. --Sakshi Dayal reports from Gurgaon

18:51 (IST)26 Apr 2021
Nitish holds high-level meeting on COVID surge in Bihar

Amid coronavirus surge and experts prediction that cases may further increase in the coming days, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Monday held a high-level review meeting on COVID situation and issued order to further ramp up test of samples and ensure timely delivery of reports so that treatment of the infected can start at the earliest. Kumar also instructed officials to take all steps to meet the requirment of medical oxygen for critically ill patients in the government as well as private COVID designated hospitals. "If the requirement of medical oxygen is more than what the Centre has alloted to Bihar than the state government will arrange it at its own expense," he said, according to an official statement. --PTI

18:41 (IST)26 Apr 2021
Committed to use entire production capability to produce medical oxygen: Sterlite Oxygen plant

Committed to making entire production capability available to produce medical oxygen: Sterlite Oxygen plant

18:21 (IST)26 Apr 2021
Form STF to take action against black-marketing of life-saving drugs: Delhi govt to DMs

The Delhi government has directed all district magistrates to constitute a 'Special Task Force' to take strict action against those involved in hoarding and black-marketing of life-saving drugs which are used for treating coronavirus patients. Chief Secretary Vijay Dev, in an order, said drugs controllers will also constitute sufficient number of teams on urgent basis for inspecting, checking, raiding and stopping the manufacturing and supply of spurious drugs. Dev, who is also the chairman of DDMA's state executive committee, directed officers concerned to submit a daily action-taken report. On Sunday, Delhi recorded 350 COVID-19 deaths and 22,933 cases with a positivity rate of 30.21 per cent. This was the fourth day on the trot that the city had recorded over 300 fatalities due to coronavirus. It had reported 357 fatalities, the highest so far since the pandemic began a year ago, on Saturday, 348 on Friday and 306 on Thursday, according to government data. --PTI

18:20 (IST)26 Apr 2021
Centre approves setting up of 13 oxygen plants in Northeastern region

The Centre has decided to set up 13 oxygen generation plants in five Northeastern states to boost availability of the life-saving gas amid its shortage in several states of the country when COVID-19 cases are surging, an official said here on Monday. "Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram will get three oxygen plants each while Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur will get two units each," the official told PTI. These 13 are among the 551 dedicated Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) medical oxygen generation plants to be set up inside public health facilities across the country, he said. The PM Cares Fund has given in-principle approval for allocation of funds for the installation of the plants. There is no mention of the three other Northeastern states - Sikkim, Tripura and Assam - in the approved plans, the official said. --PTI

17:12 (IST)26 Apr 2021
We will work in close collaboration to contain COVID: Japanese PM after speaking with Modi

Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga on Monday confirmed that it will work together with India to contain Covid pandemic 

"Just had a phone call with Narendra Modi. We confirmed that we will work in close collaboration to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and had fruitful discussions on regional issues and Japan-India cooperation in order to realize a Free and Open Indo-Pacific," he tweeted.

16:00 (IST)26 Apr 2021
Fighting COVID-19 together features in talks between Modi, Japanese PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday discussed with his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga the COVID-19 situation as the two leaders underscored the importance of close cooperation between their countries to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic. They spoke of working together to create resilient, diversified and trustworthy supply chains, ensuring reliable supply of critical materials and technologies, and developing new partnerships in manufacturing and skill development to deal with the crisis, a statement said. During their telephonic talks, the two leaders discussed the COVID-19 situation in their countries and exchanged views on various regional and global challenges posed by the pandemic, it added. "Spoke to PM @sugawitter of Japan on phone. We reviewed the progress in various ongoing bilateral initiatives. We also discussed our cooperation in diverse areas including high technology, skill development and in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic together," Modi tweeted. --PTI

15:46 (IST)26 Apr 2021
Air India brings 318 oxygen concentrators from New York to Delhi

Air India on Monday brought 328 oxygen concentrators to India in its New York-Delhi flight, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said. "All efforts to strengthen India's fight against the pandemic are on. 318 Philips oxygen concentrators on @airindiain flight from JFK airport land at @DelhiAirport," Puri tweeted on Monday.

15:12 (IST)26 Apr 2021
Chennai corporation sets up temporary vaccine centres

In a bid to manage the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Greater Chennai Corporation has planned to set up temporary vaccine centres in 15 zones across the city. Though centres will have both Covishield and Covaxin vaccines, due to the shortage, Covaxin will be administered to only those whose second dose is due.  As per the latest reports, a total of 13,24,904 people have been vaccinated in Chennai. 

The corporation has also released a list of government and private hospitals where Covaxin shot would be available.

The civic body is also planning to open a 500-bed COVID care centre with oxygen facility. The officials said the preparatory works have begun but they are still awaiting the approval of state government as it involves a lot of process. As per IANS, the corporation is looking to open centre at Guindy trade centre, Kilpauk Indoor Stadium or KP Park.

On Sunday, the total number of COVID cases surpassed the 15,000 mark in Tamil Nadu. With 82 deaths, the toll reached 13,557. The overall tally in the state increased to 10,81,988 with 15,659 fresh cases on Sunday. Chennai recorded 4,206 new cases and 30 deaths. Following Chennai, Chengalpattu recorded 1242 cases, while Coimbatore and Tiruvallur reported 1038 and 885 cases.

14:40 (IST)26 Apr 2021
Karnataka announces 14-day lockdown from Tuesday night

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Sunday announced 14-day lockdown in the state that will come into force from 9 pm on Tuesday to curb the spread of Covid-19 among its residents.

During the period no public transport will be allowed to ply on the roads, but the shops of essential commodities will remain open from 6 am to 10 am every day, Yediyurappa said.

Separate guidelines for the lockdown will be issued by the government later in the day. Since the Covid cases were increasing in Karnataka and Bengaluru city, few members of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), which held a meeting on April 24, had advised the government to impose a two-week lockdown.

13:41 (IST)26 Apr 2021
In all party meet, TN CM Edappadi K Palaniswami passes resolution to re-open Thoothukudi's plant to produce oxygen for 4 months

Resolution passed in the all party meeting convened by Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami to allow the reopening of the Sterlite copper smelter plant at Thoothukudi to manufacture oxygen for a period of four months.For this, a committee will also be set up under the district collector to monitor manufacturing activities.

At a crematorium in New Delhi amid the second wave of Covid-19. (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)

Air India on Monday brought 328 oxygen concentrators to India in its New York-Delhi flight, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said. "All efforts to strengthen India's fight against the pandemic are on. 318 Philips oxygen concentrators on @airindiain flight from JFK airport land at @DelhiAirport," Puri tweeted on Monday.

In an all party meeting convened by Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami, a resolution was passed to allow the reopening of the Sterlite copper smelter plant at Thoothukudi to manufacture oxygen for a period of four months. This comes after Sterlite Copper plant, owned by the Vedanta group of companies, sought approvals Tamil Nadu government and the Centre to operate its oxygen plants to meet the rising demand for Covid-19 patients across the country.

As Delhi continues to grapple with the ongoing Covid surge, the Delhi government on Monday announced that it will provide free vaccines to everyone above 18 years of age when the drive begins on May 1. “Today we have given the approval for the purchase of 1.34 crore vaccines. We will make an effort to ensure that it is purchased soon and administered at the earliest to people, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced.

The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the state government to set up more virus testing centres and expand its sample collection infrastructure. The court was replying to Centre’s representative, who said that testing numbers have gone down in the national capital.

The PM CARES Fund has given in-principle approval for allocation of funds for the installation of 551 dedicated Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Medical Oxygen Generation Plants inside public health facilities to address the oxygen crisis across the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed that these plants should be made functional as soon as possible. He said that these plants will serve as a major boost to oxygen availability at the district level.

A week after indicating that it would not be lifting a ban on exports of key ingredients required in vaccine manufacture, the United States has now vowed to support India in its battle against an aggressive second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that the country was working around the clock to deploy supplies to help India tide over the crisis.

"The US is deeply concerned by the severe Covid outbreak in India. We're working around the clock to deploy more supplies and support to our friends and partners in India as they bravely battle this pandemic. More very soon," Sullivan said at a press briefing, according to ANI.

Days after Serum Institute of India came up with the prices of Covishield, Bharat Biotech on Saturday announced the prices of Covaxin which are pegged at Rs 600 per dose for state hospitals, Rs 1,200 for private hospitals.

Uttar Pradesh Saturday recorded its highest single-day rise in fresh infections and deaths with 38,055 fresh cases and 223 fatalities, pushing the tally to 10,51,314 and toll to 10,959. West Bengal's tally too reached 7,28,061 with 14,281 new COVID cases -- highest till now. Karnataka and Gujarat too added record number of cases -- 29,438 and 14,097 respectively -- to their total infection counts that crossed 17 lakh and 4.8 lakh in respective states.

Ahead of the roll-out of immunisation of people between 18 and 45 years of age from May 1, the Centre Saturday asked states to register additional private vaccination centres and ensure effective crowd management at sites, reported PTI. The Union government also emphasised on inoculation through "only online registration" for beneficiaries eligible for vaccines.

Taking a slew of measures to boost the availability of medical oxygen in the country amid Covid surge, the central government Saturday decided to waive basic customs duty and health cess on the import of oxygen and related equipment for next three months with immediate effect, PTI reported. At a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it was also decided to exempt basic customs duty on the import of Covid vaccines with immediate effect for a period of three months, a government statement said.

India recorded over 3.46 lakh new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours ending 8 am Saturday. The rapid uptick in new cases has taken India’s total infection count to over 1.66 crore. Out of these, over 25.52 lakh cases are currently active while over 1.38 crore people have recovered after testing positive. With 2,624 new fatalities the death toll is now over 1.89 lakh.

 

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