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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Coronavirus India Highlights: Delhi records 648 new cases, lowest since Mar 18, positivity rate below 1%

Coronavirus India Highlights: Today’s Covid cases -- Delhi (648 cases), Mumbai (676 cases), Bengaluru (3992 cases), Chennai (2596 cases), Kolkata (1,324 cases)

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 1, 2021 8:53:49 am
This is the lowest spike in daily infections since April 9.

Coronavirus India Highlights: Delhi on Monday recorded 648 fresh Covid cases, lowest since March 18, and 86 new deaths. According to a health bulletin , the positivity rate in the national capital also fell below 1%.

The Bihar government on Monday extended the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown across the state for another week, till June 8 to curb the spread of coronavirus. In a tweet, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said, “In view of the corona infection, it has been decided to extend the lockdown by one week i.e. till June 8, 2021. But an additional discount is being given for business. Everyone wear mask and maintain social distance.”

Highlighting the technical difficulties faced by people in rural areas, the Supreme Court on Monday questioned Centre on mandatory registration on the CoWIN app in order to get vaccinated. It added that there is digital divide in the country and that policy makers should pay attention to the realities on ground. This comes as cases continue to rise in rural parts of the country, with vaccination numbers lagging behind. Meanwhile, the Central government told the Supreme Court that it will be able to vaccinate the entire adult population in India by the end of 2021.

India recorded over 1.52 lakh new covid-19 cases in the 24 hours ending 8 am on Monday, taking the country’s total infections to over 2.80 crore. This is the lowest spike in daily infections since April 9. Out of these, active cases further declined to over 20 lakh and the number of recoveries escalated to over 2.56 crore. With 3,128 new fatalities, the lowest since April 26, the death toll is now at over 3.29 lakh. As daily infections see a downward trend, several states announced a few relaxations while many have extended the lockdown measures.

In an important development, the Centre is looking at redefining its vaccine strategy and planning to begin testing the feasibility of mixing two different covid-19 vaccines to see if it helps boost immune response to the virus, The Indian Express has learnt. The government will also likely review the impact of extending the interval between covishield doses. A newly proposed vaccine tracker platform is likely to launch shortly too, sources said.Tamil Nadu continued to be the top contributor with 28,864 cases. Maharashtra count below 20,000 for second consecutive day.

 

Live Blog

India recorded over 1.52 lakh new covid-19 cases, lowest spike in 50 days; deaths at over 3.29 lakh; active cases below 20 lakh; Centre plans to redefine vaccine strategy. Follow this space for latest updates on coronavirus in India.

22:35 (IST)31 May 2021
Close to commit over $1-bn to Moderna for COVID-19 booster vaccine: Cipla to India

Seeking fast-track approvals to bring Moderna's single-dose COVID-19 booster vaccine in India expeditiously, Cipla has requested the government for indemnification and exemptions from price capping, bridging trials and basic customs duty, while stating that it is close to committing over USD 1-billion as advance to the US major, sources said on Monday. Commending the government for its efforts to increase the vaccine availability in the country for achieving effective protection against COVID-19, the Indian pharma giant has said its discussions with Moderna on the COVID-19 booster vaccine are nearing finalisation and for that, they are seeking the "partnership and support of the government to make this programme successful". Requesting the government to provide confirmation on four critical points --- exemption from price restriction, indemnification, bridging trial waiver and basic customs duty exemption, Cipla has said such an assurance will help make this significant financial commitment of more than USD 1 billion (over Rs 7,250 crore) advance to Moderna for its booster vaccine in India, sources privy to the development said. --PTI

21:38 (IST)31 May 2021
Karnataka: 16,604 new cases, 411 deaths; 250-bed govt hospital to come up in Bengaluru

Karnataka on Monday reported less than 16,604 new Covid-19 cases and 411 fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 26.04 lakh and the death toll to 29,090. A total of 44,473 patients were discharged from hospital during the day.

The total number of cases recorded in the state till date is 26,04,431, which includes 29,090 deaths and 22,61,590 discharges, the state bulletin said.

Bengaluru reported 3,992 fresh infections even as the city saw 20,332 discharges and 242 deaths on Monday. The total number of active cases in the city is  3,13,730. While the positivity rate stood at 13.57 per cent, the case fatality rate (CFR) is at 2.47 per cent. Read more

21:36 (IST)31 May 2021
Mumbai sees 676 COVID-19 cases, lowest since Feb 23

Mumbai on Monday reported 676 COVID-19 cases, the lowest since February 23 this year, taking its tally to 7,06,251, a civic official said. The day also saw 20 deaths, taking the toll to 14,884, he added. On Sunday, the city had reported 1,066 cases and 22 deaths, while on February 23, the addition to the tally was 643, he added. However, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) data revealed that the number of tests conducted in the last 24 hours was 17,865, lower than the 25,548 carried out on Sunday, which may be leading to a routine dip in cases on Monday, officials said. --PTI

19:57 (IST)31 May 2021
Kerala CM writes to states urging them to demand Centre to procure vaccines

Kerala CM writes to CMs of 11 states (Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharashtra), urging them to unitedly demand the Centre to procure vaccines needed by States & distribute free of cost

19:42 (IST)31 May 2021
Educate people about importance of vaccines and COVID-appropriate behaviour, I-B minister tells media

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar on Monday urged the media to "continuously" inform and educate people about the importance of COVID vaccines and COVID-appropriate behaviour so that all those above 18 years can be inoculated by December this year. In a video message on Twitter, the minister said the COVID pandemic is a major crisis and vaccination is "the right treatment" for it. But, even after inoculation, people should take all precautions and follow COVID-19 safety protocols like maintaining distance, wearing masks and keeping hands clean, he said. "COVID-19 is a major crisis. Inoculation is the right treatment. People should also understand that even after inoculation, they should take precautions like maintaining a distance of two yards, wearing a mask and washing hands," Javadekar said in Hindi. --PTI

16:25 (IST)31 May 2021
AP govt gives nod to use of traditional medicine prepared by Ayurvedic practitioner

The Andhra Pradesh government on Monday gave the green signal for the use of the traditional medicine, touted as a miracle cure particularly for Covid-19 patients, being prepared by an Ayurvedic practitioner B Anandaiah in Krishnapatnam village in SPS Nellore district. The government, however, did not permit Anandaiah to administer the eye drops that were found to enhance the oxygen levels within a few minutes. At a high-level review meeting on Covid-19, chaired by Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, the government decided to permit the administration of three traditional drugs, simply named P, L and F. -- PTI

16:00 (IST)31 May 2021
Delhi Police fines over 1,000 people in a day for not wearing face masks

The Delhi Police fined 1,080 people on Sunday for not wearing face masks, officials said on Monday. According to police data, on March 30, 920 people were fined for not wearing masks and 19 for not maintaining social distancing. On March 31, 1,091 were fined for not wearing masks and 16 others for violating social distancing norms. On Sunday, 108 people were also fined for not maintaining social distancing, the officials said. "The Delhi Police has issued over one lakh challans to people during lockdown for not wearing masks and violating social distancing etc. We urge people not to come out of their homes unnecessarily and follow Covid appropriate behaviour despite the fact that the cases are declining and the process of unlocking has started," Delhi Police Additional Public Relations Officer (PRO) Anil Mittal. --PTI

15:50 (IST)31 May 2021
'Ensure pvt hospitals don't offer vaccine packages, hotel stays as part of immunisation drive'

Centre writes to all state, asks them to ensure private hospitals do not have vaccine packages and hotel stays as part of immunisation drive. Allows only Hospital Vaccination, corporate or housing society Vaccination, government office Vaccination centres and door service in case of specially able population. 

This notification comes after hotels and hospitals started tying up for vaccine-stays.

13:43 (IST)31 May 2021
Andhra Pradesh imposes Covid-19 curfew till June 10

The Andhra Pradesh government on Monday imposed a covid-19 curfew in the state till June 10, the Chief Minister's Office said. (With ANI)

13:37 (IST)31 May 2021
Delh: IGI Airport launches dedicated COVID-19 vaccine centre

Delhi International Airport on Monday announced the launch of a dedicated COVID-19 vaccination centre in association with Manipal Hospital from June 1. Set up at Terminal-1 of Indira Gandhi International Airport, the facility aims to provide vaccination opportunity to over 60,000 employees of various stakeholders -- airlines, cargo business, ground handling agencies, Air Traffic Control, among others, working at the airport, Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) said in a release.

All staff who are over 18 years of age can register themselves and get jabbed at the centre on a payment basis, either through their employer or directly by themselves. The government has identified aviation as a priority sector and those working with it should be considered as a priority group for vaccination, this current effort by DIAL is in line with that, it said. 

13:32 (IST)31 May 2021
Maharashtra lockdown extension: All civic bodies with over 1 million census to be separate units for restrictions

Maharashtra Chief Secretary has extended the lockdown till June 15 and the corporations of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Pimpri Chinchwad, Pune, Aurangabad, Nashik, Vasai Virar, Nagpur – all civic bodies with more than one million census shall be considered as separate administrative units within respective territorial jurisdiction of local disaster management authorities for the restrictions that are placed for breaking the chain of corona virus.

12:48 (IST)31 May 2021
Bihar extends Covid-19 lockdown till June 8

The Bihar government on Monday extended the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown across the state for another week, till June 8 to curb the spread of coronavirus,

In a tweet, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said, “In view of the corona infection, it has been decided to extend the lockdown by one week i.e. till June 8, 2021. But an additional discount is being given for business. Everyone wear mask and maintain social distance.”

12:34 (IST)31 May 2021
Over 2,000 new Covid-19 cases, 59 deaths; rural areas account for over 50% infections

Pune reported 2,187 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, a slight decline from the previous day when 2,290 cases were registered. The daily spike in new cases have remained below 5,000 since the past 2 weeks now.

The decline in cases in the last 24 hours coincided with fewer number of tests having been conducted. Only 22,097 samples were tested on Sunday, the lowest in more than two weeks. The district has tested more than 50 lakh samples to date.

Rural areas of Pune continue to account for most of these cases. On Sunday, these areas contributed 1,125 cases, or more than half from the entire district. However, the positivity rate is gradually declining in these regions as well. (With Seona James)

12:10 (IST)31 May 2021
SC questions Centre on mandatory registration on CoWIN app for vaccination

Highlighting the technical difficulties faced by people in rural areas, the Supreme Court on Monday questioned Centre on mandatory registration on the CoWIN app in order to get vaccinated. It added that people in rural areas may face difficulties due to this. This comes as cases continue to rise in rural parts of the country, with vaccination numbers lagging behind.

11:57 (IST)31 May 2021
India's entire adult population will be vaccinated by 2021 end: Centre tells SC

The Central government on Monday told the Supreme Court that it will be able to vaccinate the entire adult population in India by the end of 2021. 

11:21 (IST)31 May 2021
British intelligence believes COVID-19 lab leak theory ‘feasible’: Report

British intelligence agencies now believe it is “feasible” that the COVID-19 pandemic began with a coronavirus leak from a Chinese bio laboratory, a media report said here on Sunday, prompting Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi to demand that the WHO must fully investigate the origins of the deadly virus.

The origins of the COVID-19 remain a widely debated topic, with some scientists and politicians maintaining that the possibility of a lab leak of the deadly virus exists.

Western intelligence, including in Britain, at first considered there was only a “remote” chance that it had leaked from the laboratory, where research is conducted into bat-derived coronaviruses, including one closely associated with COVID-19. But there has since been a reassessment, and a lab escape is thought “feasible”, The Sunday Times reported, citing sources. (PTI)

11:16 (IST)31 May 2021
‘Covid pandemic led to rise in number of smokers wanting to quit’

With medical practitioners warning that Covid-19 symptoms are much worse among smokers, the pandemic has seen a rise in the number of people wanting to kick the habit.

“The proportion of people who call and register for quitting is much higher, so the number of people seriously wanting to quit has increased. 90 per cent of callers calling during Covid are because of the health concerns around the disease,” Dr. Pratima Murthy, Professor of Psychiatry and Head of the Department at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) Bengaluru said. (With Anuradha Mascarenhas)

10:12 (IST)31 May 2021
India's covid recovery rate rises to 91.60 per cent

India's covid recovery rate increased to 91.60% on Monday. The weekly positivity rate is currently at 9.04% and daily positivity rate at 9.07%, less than 10% for 7 consecutive days, according to the Union Health Ministry.

10:10 (IST)31 May 2021
Tests on mixed vaccines may start in a few weeks

India may soon begin testing the feasibility of a regimen that mixes two different Covid-19 vaccines to see if it helps boost immune response to the virus.

The testing may be carried out both using vaccines that are currently available in the country, and those that are in the pipeline, The Indian Express has learnt. Work is expected to begin “in a few weeks”, according to Dr N K Arora, chairman of the Covid-19 working group under the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI). (Read Prabha Raghavan's report here)

10:02 (IST)31 May 2021
🚨 India records over 1.52 lakh new covid cases, 3,128 deaths

India recorded over 1.52 lakh new covid-19 cases in the 24 hours ending 8 am on Monday, taking the country's total infections to over 2.80 crore. This is the lowest spike in daily infections since April 9. Out of these, active cases further declined to over 20 lakh and the number of recoveries escalated to over 2.56 crore. With 3,128 new fatalities, the lowest since April 26, the death toll is now at over 3.29 lakh.

Beneficiaries being inoculated inside Vishnudas Bhave Auditorium, Vashi on Thursday morning. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

Meanwhile, the United States is closely monitoring India’s Covid challenge and will “respond positively to any Indian requirement,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is said to have assured External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during a “productive discussion” Friday. This was their second interaction after their May 3 meeting on the sidelines of the G-7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in London.

Sources said that the two discussed how ramped-up vaccine production in India can address both domestic needs and the imperatives of global public health. To that effect, India and the US will collaborate bilaterally, in the Quad format, and through multilateral initiatives, sources said.

And as states begin cautiously calibrating how to unwind their lockdowns beginning June, they face a double challenge. Key indicators show that industry and business activities may not be as adversely hit by the second Covid wave as they were by a national lockdown last year, but they are still very vulnerable given the low vaccination levels among the larger, younger population.

And at the individual and household level, public fear and anxiety this time are deeper and have hit consumption and demand harder than last year on several accounts.

So Google mobility and other high-frequency data, until third week of May (see chart), point towards decline in activity on all fronts including retail, grocery, transit stations and toll collections as compared to March and April.

For example, according to Google mobility data, visits on May 18, 2020 (Monday), to grocery and pharmacy stores were down 21% compared to a pre-Covid base line. This year, on May 17, 2021 (Monday), the corresponding decline was sharper at 27.6%. Similarly, for workplaces, visits were down 45% on May 18 last year but down 51% this year.

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