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Coronavirus Live Updates: Kerala reports 21,116 Covid-19 cases, 197 deaths

Coronavirus (Covid-19) India Live News Updates: In total, India has 3,15,25,080 recoveries and a cumulative of 3,64,129 active cases.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 19, 2021 8:25:16 pm
Kozhikode: Health workers collect swab samples from corporation employees for Covid-19 tests. (PTI/File)

Coronavirus India Live updates: Kerala on Thursday recorded 21,116 fresh Covid-19 cases, pushing the total infection count to 37,46,121. The death toll also climbed to 19,246, with 197 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, according to an RTI response filed by the Covid-19 Vaccine Administration Cell of the Union Health Ministry, the data on CoWin portal, as of August 17, shows that the “total number of beneficiaries who got their first dose of Covishield Vaccine but did not get their second dose within stipulated period of time” is 3,40,72,993. Similarly, the number stands at 46,78,406 for Covaxin beneficiaries.

In other news, a UK-based study by Oxford University has found that obtaining two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines remains the most effective way to ensure protection against the Covid-19 Delta variant of concern.

On Wednesday, India recorded 36,401 new cases of coronavirus infections, as active cases came down to 3.64 lakh.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19) India Live News Updates: India reports 36,401 new Covid-19 cases, 530 deaths; Kerala logs 21,116 new cases. Follow this space for the latest updates.

20:25 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Bengaluru: Govt panel says need more beds to tackle 3rd wave, civic body calls it overestimation

Although the Karnataka government-appointed committee of experts recommended 1,838 to 3,677 beds for Bengaluru to tackle the possible third wave, when children may be the worst-affected group, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) feels this is an overestimation. They also said going by the current pattern, the city will not require that many beds.

“We are constantly monitoring the situation and there is no need to panic. We will not face any shortage of beds for the predicted third wave. Moreover, we are prepared to treat children,” BBMP chief commissioner Gaurav Gupta said.

The city currently has 1,939 beds for Covid treatment across government and private facilities with only 129 beds occupied. Out of these, 868 are HDU beds (45 occupied), 139 ICU beds (15 occupied) and 203 ICU ventilator beds (17 occupied). Read more.

20:17 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Delhi records 25 new cases of COVID-19, two fatalities

According to Delhi's health bulletin, the national capital recorded 25 new cases on Thursday and two deaths. The positivity rate dipped to 0.04 per cent, PTI reported.

19:12 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Explained: What three new studies say about Covid vaccine efficacy, and the need for booster shots

Three new studies published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that the protection offered by vaccines Pfizer and Moderna against SARS-CoV-2 wanes over time, prompting a debate among experts about the need for booster shots for everyone eventually. Even so, these vaccines have been largely effective against hospitalisations, the studies have found.

One of the studies said that two doses of mRNA vaccines were 74.7 per cent effective against infection among nursing home residents between March-May. This study says that during June-July, when the Delta variant was predominant, the vaccine effectiveness declined to 53.1 per cent. “An additional dose of Covid-19 vaccine might be considered for nursing home and long-term care facility residents to optimise a protective immune response,” this study has said.

The FDA said those who had received either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines could take a third dose. There is no information on beneficiaries of the Johnson and Johnson single-dose vaccine yet, but recipients of this vaccine will likely require booster shots. Read full Express Explained here.

18:54 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Kerala reports 21,116 Covid-19 cases, 197 deaths

Kerala on Thursday recorded 21,116 fresh Covid-19 cases, pushing the total infection count to 37,46,121. The death toll also climbed to 19,246, with 197 deaths in the last 24 hours.

As many as 19,296 people have been cured of the infection since Wednesday, taking the total recoveries to 35,67,492 and the number of active cases to 1,79,303, a state government release said.

18:38 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Israel, once the model for beating Covid-19, faces new surge of infections

A fourth wave of infections is rapidly approaching the levels of Israel’s worst days of the pandemic last winter. The daily rate of confirmed new virus cases has more than doubled in the past two weeks, making Israel a rising hot spot on the international charts.

Restrictions on gatherings and commercial and entertainment venues were reinstated this week, and the government is considering a new lockdown.

But some experts fear that Israel’s high rate of infections among early vaccine recipients may indicate a waning of the vaccine’s protections over time, a finding that contributed to a U.S. decision Wednesday to begin offering booster shots to Americans widely starting next month. Read the full New York Times report here.

18:07 (IST)19 Aug 2021
School may be closed if Covid situation worsens, attendance not must: UP govt

The Uttar Pradesh government, which has decided to open schools for physical classes, on Thursday said the attendance for students will not be compulsory and schools may be closed again if the Covid situation worsens.

Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma told this to the state legislative council while replying to a question by teacher constituency member Dhruv Kumar Tripathi. “In basic education, attendance is not compulsory. We have also not made attendance mandatory for classes from 9 to 12,” Sharma said. "In UP, the present atmosphere is sufficiently secure but if there is any indication of any concern (regarding Covid), we can also close schools,” he added. Read more.

File photo
17:50 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Karnataka: Pre-university colleges to hold online, offline classes at 50% strength from Aug 23

Pre-university colleges (for classes equivalent to XI and XII) in Karnataka have been asked to conduct online and offline classes at 50% student capacity after the state permitted offline classes from next Monday (August 23).

As per the standard operating procedure (SoP) issued by the Department of Pre-University Education (DPUE), pre-university (PU) colleges have been asked to divide students into separate batches for offline and online classes. “This rule will be applied primarily to PU colleges with a student strength exceeding 100,” a DPUE official told The Indian Express.

“While students of the offline batches can have classes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the others attending the online sessions can have them on Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” the SoP mentions. Read the highlights of the SoP here.

17:39 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Delhi High Court and district courts to start restricted physical hearings from Aug 31 and 24

The Delhi High Court and district courts, which were holding virtual proceedings due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will start physical hearings in a restricted manner from August 31 and 24, respectively, said the high court registry Thursday.

It is informed that the suitable number of benches that would hold the court physically shall be constituted as per the directions of the Chief Justice and the remaining benches shall continue to take up the matters through video-conferencing. On physical hearing days, the high court shall permit hybrid/video conferencing hearing when a request to such effect is made by any of the parties, the order added.

The Principal District & Sessions Judges and Principal Judge, Family Court (HQs) have been directed by the high court to prepare the roster of judicial officers in such a manner that every judicial officer holds physical court on alternate days while the others continue to hold courts through video-conferencing, as per the existing arrangement. (PTI)

17:14 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Andhra Pradesh records 1,501 new Covid cases, 10 deaths

Andhra Pradesh has reported 1,501 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, along with 1,697 recoveries, according to the state bulletin. It also recorded 10 deaths.

16:45 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Over 3.86 crore people didn't get 2nd dose of Covid vaccines within stipulated time: Govt

Over 3.86 crore people did not get their second dose of anti-Covid vaccines -- Covishield and Covaxin -- within the stipulated period of time, the government has said in response to an RTI query, news agency PTI reported. 

The Covid-19 Vaccine Administration Cell of the Union Health Ministry said from the data available till August 17, "the total number of vaccinees (beneficiaries) who got their first dose of Covishield Vaccine but did not get their second dose within stipulated period of time as prescribed by the Government of India as per the Due Report of in Co-WIN portal is 3,40,72,993. Similarly for Covaxin, the number stood at 46,78,406.

It is recommended the second dose of Covishield be taken within 84-112 days after the first, while in case of Covaxin the gap should between 28-42 days.

15:58 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Karnataka to conduct TB screening on Covid recovered patients

Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar Thursday stated that 23-25 cases of recovered Covid-19 patients contracting TB have been found in Karnataka. "As a precautionary measure, we have thought of conducting TB screening for all Covid recovered persons," he was quoted as saying by ANI.

15:31 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Kerala ready to vaccinate children once Centre's approval is received: State Health Minister

Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Thursday announced that the state government is ready to vaccinate children against Covid-19 as soon as it receives approval from the Centre, PTI reported.

George also added that the drive-in vaccination drive, where individuals can get registered, vaccinated and undergo observation without having to leave the vehicle, currently functional at the state capital, will be launched at other districs too, if successful. The state aims to vaccinate all those above 18 years of age by the end of September.

14:35 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Former Odisha Youth Congress president Sangram Jena dies of post Covid-19 complications

Sangram Keshari Jena, former Odisha Youth Congress president died of post-COVID-19 complications at a hospital in Hyderabad on Thursday, family sources said.
Sangram, also the son of former OPCC president Jaydev Jena, was 44 years old and is survived by his wife and two children.
Sangram's younger brother Manoj said he was airlifted to the private hospital in May after his condition deteriorated due to COVID-19 related complications. He was shifted outside the state as ECMO treatment could not be made available to him in Odisha. He was on the ventilator for over three weeks after testing positive for COVID in April.
Beginning his career as a students' leader, Sangram became the general secretary, BJB College Students' Union, in 1996-97. In 2014, he also unsuccessfully fought the elections for Bhadrak Lok Sabha constituency on a Congress ticket.
OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik and many other party leaders expressed their condolences over the untimely demise of Sangram, popular among the youths. (PTI)

14:14 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Puducherry adds 134 fresh Covid-19 cases, tally rises to 1,22,676

The union territory of Puducherry logged 134 new coronavirus cases during the last 24 hours, taking the overall tally to 1,22,676, a senior official of the Department of Health said on Thursday.
The new cases were identified at the end of the examination of 5,487 samples, Director of Health G Sriramulu said in a release. 
Puducherry reported 86 of the 134 fresh infections followed by Mahe (23), Karaikal (19) and Yanam (6), he added.
The number of active cases stood at 971 with 172 in hospitals and the remaining 799 in home isolation, he said.
One more patient succumbed to the virus in Puducherry pushing the toll to 1,806. 
As many as 95 patients recovered and were discharged in the last 24 hours, the Health department Director said and added that the total recoveries climbed to 1,19,899.
The test positivity rate in the union territory shot up to 2.44 per cent while fatality and recovery rates were 1.47 per cent and recovery rates respectively. (PTI)

13:25 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Covid-19 second wave over in Telangana: Health official

The second wave of COVID-19 has come to an end in Telangana with the virus situation fully under control in the state at present, a Health department official has said.
"It can be said that second wave has fully come to an end in Telangana. If we take various parameters like the number of new cases being reported, daily positivity rate and hospitalisation rate, coronavirus, as of now, is fully under control across Telangana, in all districts and all regions," state Director of Public Health G Srinivasa Rao said.
He said the administration is, however, fully alert in dealing with the situation and urged people not to let their guard down.
Telangana on Wednesday recorded 424 new COVID-19 cases taking the total number of positive cases in the state to 6,53,626.
The recovery and case fatality rates were at 98.35 per cent and 0.58 per cent, compared to the national average of 97.50 per cent and 1.3 per cent, respectively.
While the COVID-19 situation is under control, seasonal diseases like dengue and malaria are being reported in some districts of the state, he said on Wednesday. (PTI)

12:57 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Pfizer, AstraZeneca Covid vaccines less effective against Delta variant: Oxford-led study

The COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer and AstraZeneca are less effective against the Delta variant of coronavirus compared to the Alpha variant, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Oxford.
The researchers, however, noted that with Delta, Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and Oxford-AstraZeneca preventive, known as Covishield in India, still offer good protection against new infections.
The researchers analysed 2580,021 test results from nose and throat swabs taken from 384,543 participants aged 18 years or older between December 1, 2020 and May 16, 2021.
They also analysed 811,624 test results from 358,983 participants between May 17, 2021 and August 1, 2021.
However, Delta infections after two vaccine doses had similar peak levels of virus as those in unvaccinated people, the researchers said. (PTI)

12:24 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Tamil Nadu: Covaxin only for those needing second dose due to shortage in supply

Pune study shows feasibility of using mobile screening units to fight cervical cancerAmid a shortage in supply, Tamil Nadu Health and Family Welfare Minister Ma Subramanian said Wednesday that the state will only provide Covaxin shots to those requiring a second dose.

Addressing reporters in Chennai, Subramanian said the state government has received 39,08,250 doses of Covaxin and 36,31,545 have been administered. He added that the government has notified the Centre that four lakh doses are needed to give the second dose as well.

He informed that there remains no shortage when it comes to Covishield as the gap between its two doses is 84 days whereas two shots of Covaxin are to be given in 28 days. Read more

12:00 (IST)19 Aug 2021
SpiceJet to trial IATA app that stores Covid certificates for international travel

SpiceJet on Thursday said it will conduct the trial of IATA Travel Pass mobile application that allows travellers to store and manage their verified certificates regarding COVID-19 tests or vaccines.
"The trial will be conducted on flights out of Mumbai to Male effective August 23, 2021," the airline said in a statement.
IATA Travel Pass offers secure and efficient alternative to current paper processes used to manage health requirements in the wake of enormous testing and vaccine verifications, the budget carrier stated.
The app manages and verifies the traveller's COVID-19 status in line with governments' health and border requirements, SpiceJet noted.
The mobile app has been built by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which is a global airlines body that has around 290 airlines as its members. (PTI)

11:38 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Over 50-cr samples tested for Covid-19 in India till now: ICMR

The number of samples tested for COVID-19 in the country has crossed the 50 crore-mark and in this month, the average daily testing has been over 17 lakh, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Thursday.
The last 10 crore tests were done in only 55 days, the ICMR said in a statement.
"On July 21, 2021, India had tested 45 crore COVID-19 samples, which reached the 50-crore mark on August 18, 2021," the ICMR said.
According to its website, 50,03,00,840 samples have been tested up to August 18.
"ICMR has been enhancing COVID-19 testing capability across the country by expanding and diversifying testing capacity by leveraging technology and facilitating innovation in affordable diagnostic kits. The testing strategy has been carefully calibrated to increase access and availability of testing," the ICMR said.
It said that in this month, the average daily testing was of more than 17 lakh. (PTI)

11:32 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Mumbai: Vaccination at govt-run facilities to remain suspended today and tomorrow

The Covid-19 vaccination drive at the 314 civic and government-run vaccination centres in Mumbai will remain suspended on Thursday and Friday due to a shortage of supply, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said on Wednesday.

The vaccination drive will resume from Saturday, August 21.

The civic body added that the inoculation process will resume on Saturday as a fresh stock of vaccines are expected to arrive on Thursday night and will be distributed to all publicly run centres the next day. Read more

Covishield, EMA A woman gets a Covid-19 vaccine at a centre in Mumbai. (Express file photo by Amit Chakravarty)

UP government: Over 6 crore Covid vaccine shots administered

The state government on Tuesday said more than six crore Covid-19 vaccine doses had been administered in the state to date, claiming that it was the only state to have done so.

Meanwhile, India on Tuesday reported 35,178 new Covid-19 cases and 440 deaths, as per the Union Health Ministry. The health ministry said as many as 56.06 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far.

In other news, a study among healthcare workers in Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital has reported that a single vaccine dose not offer any significant protection against symptomatic infections, or moderate or severe Covid-19 disease.

The study, conducted between March 1 and May 31 among 4,276 employees of the hospital by a team led by Dr Ruma Satwik, found that there was no significant difference in the incidence of symptomatic or severe infections among those who had received only one dose of the vaccine and those who were not yet vaccinated.

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