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Coronavirus Highlights: Discussed with UN Secretary-General need to ramp up vaccine supply, says Jaishankar

Meanwhile, the number of fresh cases reported in the last 24 hours are 1,568 in Delhi, 1,037 in Mumbai, 6,243 in Bengaluru, 2,979 in Kolkata and 4,041 in Chennai.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 1, 2021 8:34:07 am
Covid-19A woman takes the jab in Delhi (Express photo by Praveen Khanna)

Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Tuesday said he has, during his first face-to-face interaction with UN Secretary-General António Guterres since India entered the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member in January this year, discussed the Covid challenge with an emphasis on finding an urgent and effective global solution to ramp up the vaccine supply chain for greater production and fairer distribution. Jaishankar was accompanied by India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti and Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu as he arrived at the UN Headquarters to meet the UN chief. The meeting lasted almost an hour.

Bharat Biotech on Tuesday said it expects approval for Covaxin from the World Health Organisation for Emergency Use Listing during July-September. The company said regulatory approvals for Covaxin are in process in more than 60 countries including the USA, Brazil and Hungary among others.

Meanwhile, the number of fresh cases reported in the last 24 hours are 1,568 in Delhi, 1,037 in Mumbai, 6,243 in Bengaluru, 2,979 in Kolkata and 4,041 in Chennai.

Covid patients will not be allowed to remain in home isolation in 18 Maharashtra districts and must go to quarantine centres. Maharashtra Health Minister said, “We have decided to stop home isolation for Covid patients in 18 districts where the positivity rate is high. The patients from these districts will have to go to a quarantine centre and won’t be allowed to stay in home isolation.”

India recorded over 1.96 lakh new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours ending 8 am Tuesday, taking the country’s total infections to over 2.69 crore . The daily spike in new cases have fallen below 2 lakh after a month. Out of these, over 25 lakh are active cases while over 2.40 crore people have recovered after testing positive. With 3,511 news deaths, the toll is now at 3,07,231. This is the the lowest spike since May 3. The drop is mainly because of Maharashtra reporting far lesser number of deaths.

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Coronavirus Highlights

22:49 (IST)25 May 2021
Punjab reports 4,798 new cases and 176 deaths

Punjab reports 4,798 new cases, 6,451 recoveries and 176 deaths.

22:48 (IST)25 May 2021
Assam reports 5,767 new cases and 92 deaths

Assam reports 5,767 new cases, 4,783 discharges and 92 deaths.

22:46 (IST)25 May 2021
Centre should start producing vaccines at facility near Chennai: M K Stalin

Tamil Nadu CM M K Stalin says Centre should start producing Covid vaccines at a facility owned by it near Chennai. (PTI)

22:25 (IST)25 May 2021
Lok Sabha Speaker inspects Kota college in PPE kit

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla inspects Kota's New Medical College in a PPE kit.

21:43 (IST)25 May 2021
Virus in fully vaccinated remains rare, US CDC

US health officials say coronavirus infections in fully vaccinated people remain rare.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday issued a report on these breakthrough cases through the end of April, when 101 million Americans were fully vaccinated. Of those, about 10,300 breakthrough infections were reported, that's about 1 infection in every 10,000 fully vaccinated people, based on the available data.

Nearly two-thirds were women, and the median age of all cases was 58. About 25% of the infections involved people who didn't have symptoms. About 10% were hospitalized and about 2% died.

The report is based on voluntary reporting by 46 states and territories and isn't considered a complete tally of all breakthrough infections that may have occurred. Health officials say no vaccine is perfect and infections were expected in some vaccinated people. (AP)

21:32 (IST)25 May 2021
Jharkhand extends lockdown-like restrictions till June 3

Jharkhand extends lockdown-like restrictions with stricter provisions till June 3, says official. (PTI)

21:31 (IST)25 May 2021
Discussed COVID challenge with UN Secretary-General: S Jaishankar

S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, says, “Discussed the COVID challenge with UN Secretary-General António Guterres with emphasis on finding urgent and effective global vaccine solutions to ramp up the vaccine supply chain for greater production and fairer distribution.” (ANI)

21:28 (IST)25 May 2021
Created task force and special executive committee to plan for third wave of pandemic: Goa CM

Goa CM Pramod Sawant says, “We have created a task force committee and a special executive committee for the anticipated third wave. Pediatricians from private and govt sectors are members of the expert committee. At any time, we can convert 20% of our ICU beds into neonatal ICU beds.” (ANI)

21:26 (IST)25 May 2021
A total of 513 doctors have died so far in country during second wave of pandemic

As per the latest data, a total of 513 doctors have died across the country in the second wave of the pandemic: Indian Medical Association

21:14 (IST)25 May 2021
Moderna's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine in India likely next year; Pfizer ready with 5 crore doses for 2021

Moderna is expecting to launch a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine in India next year and is in talks with Cipla among other Indian firms, while another US giant Pfizer is ready to offer 5 crore shots in 2021 itself but it wants significant regulatory relaxations including indemnification, sources said on Tuesday.

While Moderna has conveyed to Indian authorities that it does not have surplus vaccines to share in 2021, there are limited prospects of Johnson & Johnson exporting its jabs from the US to other countries in the near future, the sources privy to discussions added.

Two rounds of high-level meetings chaired by the Cabinet Secretary were held last week on the availability of vaccines in the global as well as domestic markets as it was felt that there is an urgent need to procure the jabs at a time the country is reeling under an unprecedented second wave of COVID-19 and a widening gap between supply and requirement.

In the case of Pfizer, the US pharma giant has indicated availability of 5 crore vaccine doses -- 1 crore in July, 1 crore in August, 2 crore in September and 1 crore in October --for supply to India in 2021 and that it will deal only with Government of India and payment for vaccines will have to be made by GOI to Pfizer India.

The central government will make its own arrangement for further channelization of procured vaccines in the domestic market. (PTI)

20:56 (IST)25 May 2021
Tamil Nadu reports 34,285 new cases and 468 deaths; 4,041 fresh infections in Chennai

Tamil Nadu has reported 34,285 fresh cases and 468 deaths in the last 24 hours. Out of these, 4,041 fresh infections were reported in Chennai.

20:35 (IST)25 May 2021
Maharashtra reports 24,136 new cases and 601 deaths

Maharashtra reports 24,136 new cases, 36,176 patient discharges, and 601 deaths in the past 24 hours.

20:16 (IST)25 May 2021
Uttarakhand reports 2,756 new cases and 81 deaths

Uttarakhand reports 2,756 new cases and 81 deaths in the last 24 hours.

20:14 (IST)25 May 2021
Madhya Pradesh reports 2,422 new cases and 68 deaths

Madhya Pradesh reports 2,422 new cases, 7,373 recoveries and 68 deaths in the last 24 hours. (ANI)

20:08 (IST)25 May 2021
West Bengal reports 17,005 new cases and 157 more deaths; 2,979 fresh infections in Kolkata

West Bengal has reported 17,005 fresh cases and 157 more deaths. Kolkata has recorded 2,979 new infections and 33 deaths.

20:03 (IST)25 May 2021
Mumbai reports 1,037 fresh cases and 1,427 recoveries

Mumbai has reported 1,037 fresh cases and 1,427 recoveries.

19:35 (IST)25 May 2021
Bharat Biotech expects EUA from WHO for Covaxin in July-September

Bharat Biotech on Tuesday said it expects approval for Covaxin from the World Health Organisation for Emergency Use Authorisation during July-September. The company said regulatory approvals for Covaxin are in process in more than 60 countries including the USA, Brazil and Hungary among others.

"Application for EUL has been submitted to WHO-Geneva, regulatory approvals are expected July-September 2021," it said in a release.

Bharat Biotech further said it has got EUA in 13 countries with more to follow. (PTI)

19:30 (IST)25 May 2021
Assam govt extends curfew in urban areas till June 5

Assam govt extends curfew in urban areas till June 5. As per fresh guidelines, all shops, commercial establishments and govt and private offices will shut down by 1 pm on all days. (ANI)

19:29 (IST)25 May 2021
Karnataka reports 22,758 new cases and 588 deaths; 6,243 fresh infections in Bengaluru

Karnataka reports 22,758 new cases and 588 more deaths. Out of the new cases, 6,243 fresh infections were reported in Bengaluru. The state now has 4,24,381 active cases and the positivity rate is at 21.13%.

18:43 (IST)25 May 2021
Should cancel board exams if we can't vaccinate school students, Manish Sisodia tells Union Education Minister

Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia tells Union Education Minister, “If we can't vaccinate school students, we advise to cancel board exam this year. Results can be declared based on their performance in the last two yrs. Plan 'B' can be prepared for students disagreeing with it.”

He adds, “I would urge you to hold a high-level discussion next month regarding the examination in 2022. We can start preparing for next year now itself.” (ANI)

Coronavirus India Live Updates: Covid-19 variant in India needs two vaccine doses for better safety, says UK government Government teacher Anita sanitizes children's hands as she had tested positive after UP Panchayat polls. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

On Monday, India's death toll crossed 3 lakh, with nearly 50 per cent of fatalities accounting after the second wave hit the country. Over 1.4 lakh deaths have been reported in the seven weeks after March. With this, the country now accounts for 16% of the global confirmed cases, and 9% of global deaths. How far is second wave peak? Read our explainer here 

Amid a shortage in the supply of coronavirus jabs, the states have started demanding, in chorus, that the Centre import and distribute vaccines across the country. This comes as global manufacturers like Moderna and Pfizer told states that they will only deal directly with the union government.

In its briefing, the health ministry reiterated that over 1.80 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs and they will receive over 48 lakh doses in the next three days. The Centre has so far provided, both through the free of cost category and through direct state procurement category, more than 21.80 crore vaccine doses to states.

Meanwhile, Sputnik V vaccine was launched in India on Monday by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Indian drug firm Panacea Biotec. Panacea Biotec will now produce 100 million doses of Sputnik V per year. Full-scale production of the vaccine is expected to start this summer, RDIF and Panacea Biotec said in a joint statement.

India’s Covid-19 death toll went past the 3-lakh mark on Monday after 4,454 people died due to the virus in the last 24 hours. This makes India only the third country after the United States and Brazil to record more than 3,00,000 fatalities. However, fresh infections dipped to 2,22,315 on Monday, the lowest since April 15. Tamil Nadu continues to be the top contributor with 35,483 new cases. While Maharashtra reported 26,672 cases, Karnataka’s number stood at 25,979.

The Rajasthan, Delhi and Haryana governments on Sunday extended their lockdowns to contain and combat the Covid-19 virus. While the shutdown will continue till June 8 in Rajasthan, it will go on till May 31 in Delhi and Haryana. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that the national capital will begin the unlock procedure in a phased manner if cases keep plunging.

Most of the states have supported the CBSE’s proposal to conduct the Class 12 Board examination for only 19 major subjects in a shortened format in July-August, The Indian Express has learned. However, several states such as Kerala, Assam, Delhi, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Meghalaya have urged the Central Government to vaccinate teachers and students on priority to ensure their safety during their time at the test centre.

Meanwhile, early signs of the waning of the oxygen crisis are visible in the country with liquid medical oxygen supplied to hospitals over the last 72 hours showing a decline for the first time in almost a month.

“Actual consumption has dropped to 8,000 MT a day from around 8,900 MT a day,” an official said. While the quantity supplied has dropped, it is still much higher than the demand recorded during the first wave of Covid-19 last year.

The data maintained by an empowered group of officers tasked with oxygen supply shows total oxygen supplied to hospitals hit a peak of 8,944 metric tonnes (MT) per day on May 9 dropped to about 8,100 MT a day on May 18-19. However, it has again risen marginally to 8,334 MT a day on May 20.

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