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Coronavirus India Highlights: Covaxin effective against India, UK Covid-19 strains, says Bharat Biotech

Coronavirus Highlights: India reported 3,11,170 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the overall tally to 2.46 crore. As many as 4,077 deaths were reported across the country. The toll now stands at 2,70,284, while active cases stand at 26.18 lakh.

By: Express Web Desk | Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune |
Updated: May 17, 2021 9:43:40 am
A woman gets her first shot of Covaxin in Guwahati. (AP)

Coronavirus India Highlights: Bharat Biotech on Sunday said its COVID-19 vaccine ‘Covaxin’ has been found to be effective against coronavirus strains found in India and the UK. Citing a study published in peer-reviewed medical journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the Hyderabad-based vaccine major noted that vaccination with Covaxin produced neutralising titres against all key emerging variants tested, including B.1.617 and B.1.1.7, first identified in India and the UK, respectively.

India’s Covid-19 active case count has decreased to 36,18,458, while the daily positivity rate dropped to 16.98 per cent, the Union health ministry said on Sunday. “A declining trend in the positivity rate is also observed which has dropped to 16.98 per cent (May 16) from 24.47 per cent recorded on May 3,” it said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called on the Chief Ministers of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to discuss the Covid situation in their respective states.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Sunday that the lockdown in the National Capital has been extended by another week till May 24, ANI reported. “We are extending the lockdown for one more week. Instead of tomorrow, lockdown is extended till next Monday, 5 am in Delhi,” he said.

Meanwhile, India reported 3,11,170 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the overall tally to 2.46 crore. As many as 4,077 deaths were reported across the country. The toll now stands at 2,70,284, while active cases stand at 26.18 lakh.

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Coronavirus India Highlights: India reports 3.11 lakh new cases, 4,077 deaths; PM Modi calls CMs of Rajasthan, UP and Chhattisgarh to discuss Covid situation; Congress MP Rajeev Satav passes away; Delhi and Haryana extend lockdowns. Follow latest updates here

23:00 (IST)16 May 2021
SAD hands over 50 oxygen concentrators to AIIMS, will help increase L-2 bed strength

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Sunday handed over fifty oxygen concentrators to AIIMS, Bathinda, that will help the facility in increasing the number of  Level -2 beds by 50.

Former Chief Parliamentary Secretary Sarup Chand Singla on Sunday handed over the fifty concentrators on behalf of former Union minister and Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal to the AIIMS management. He said besides this donation,  Badal has taken the initiative of arranging another fifty concentrators which will be sent to different parts of the constituency in the coming days. Singla also thanked the Bathinda MP as well as SAD President, Sukhbir Singh Badal, for their efforts in creating a Covid Centre at AIIMS, Bathinda which will patients of the region tremendously.

AIIMS Executive Director, Dr D K Singh, while speaking on the occasion said steady supply of oxygen was the need of the hour for Covid patients and the concentrators given to AIIMS on Sunday would enable the institution to increase its Level -2 bed facility to cater to more Covid patients. 

SAD Bathinda Rural President Balkaur Singh was also present on the occasion.

22:37 (IST)16 May 2021
Nagaland logs 241 fresh Covid-19 cases, 13 more fatalities

Nagaland's Covid-19 tally crossed the 18,000-mark on Sunday as 241 more people tested positive for the disease, Health Minister S Pangnyu Phom said. The fresh infections pushed the coronavirus caseload in the northeastern state to 18,076. The death toll rose to 209 as 13 more patients succumbed to the disease, State Nodal Officer Dr Nyanthung Kikon said.

Of the fresh cases, 103 were reported from Kohima, 102 from Dimapur, 14 from Mokokchung, 10 from Longleng, five from Zunheboto, three from Phek and one each from Mon, Kiphire, Tuensang and Peren districts, the minister said. At least 108 people were cured of the disease during the day, taking the total number of recoveries in the state to 13,195, he said. (PTI)

22:21 (IST)16 May 2021
Stalin-led panel of all-party MLAs formed to fight Covid-19

A committee of 13 MLAs belonging to parties represented in the Tamil Nadu Assembly was set up on Sunday by the State government to offer it consultations on controlling the spread of Covid-19. The panel, headed by Chief Minister M K Stalin, would deliberate on the pandemic and offer consultations to the government, an official press release here said. Public Department Secretary would be the Member- Secretary of the committee.

It was formed on the basis of a resolution adopted in a meeting of the leaders of all legislature parties at the Secretariat here on May 13. DMK's Na Ezhilan, AIADMK's C Vijayabaskar (former Health Minister), Congress party's A M Munirathinam, PMK's G K Mani and BJP's Nayinar Nagendran are part of the panel.

T Sadhan Tirumalaikumar (MDMK represented as DMK member in the House as the Vaiko-led party fought polls in DMK's rising sun symbol), S S Balaji of Viduthali Chiruthaigal Katchi, V P Nagai Mali of the CPI(M) and T Ramachandran belonging to the CPI are in the committee. A member each from Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, Kongu Nadu Makkal Desiya Katchi and Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (all allies of DMK) and Puratchi Bharatham (AIADMK partner) are also part of the panel. (PTI)

22:07 (IST)16 May 2021
Covid-19: 139 more fatalities, 9,115 new cases in Haryana

Haryana on Sunday reported 139 Covid-19-related fatalities, taking the death toll to 6,685, while 9,115 new cases pushed the infection count to 6,94,427. According to the health department's daily bulletin, the new deaths include 16 from Hisar, 12 each from Gurgaon and Jind, 10 from Rohtak and nine from Ambala district.

Among the districts which reported a big spike in daily cases include Gurgaon (1,864), Faridabad (702), Hisar (713) and Sonipat (520), it said. The total active cases currently stands at 90,066 while the overall recoveries so far stands at 5,97,676. The positivity rate is 8.41 per cent while the recovery rate is 86.07 per cent, it added. (PTI)

22:06 (IST)16 May 2021
Maharashtra: 133 inmates of district prison test Covid-19 positive

A total of 133 prisoners have tested coronavirus positive in Osmanabad district jail of Maharashtra in two days, authorities said on Sunday. As per the data released by the district civil hospital, 35 inmates were found positive for the infection on Saturday, while 98 others were found infected on Sunday. Nine of the infected inmates are women, the data revealed. (PTI)

21:54 (IST)16 May 2021
Maharashtra: 200 booked for motorcycle procession at man's last rites

Some 200 people were booked for holding a motorcycle procession as a man murdered by history- sheeters was being taken for last rites, police in Pune said on Sunday. The procession, with some 100 motorcycles, started from Dhanakwadi and ended at Katraj crematorium on Saturday, an official said. All 200 people who took part in the procession and gathered illegally for the last rites have been booked and efforts were on to nab them, he added. (PTI)

21:38 (IST)16 May 2021
The new restrictions under Kerala's ‘triple lockdown’

Four districts of Kerala, which are witnessing a severe Covid spread, would be placed under a highly restrictive ‘triple lockdown’ for a week starting Monday.

The ‘triple lockdown’, for which detailed guidelines have been issued, will come into effect in Malappuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram districts at midnight. In the remaining 10 districts, a general lockdown will continue till May 23 with more exemptions being allowed.

The ‘triple lockdown’ strategy, which was experimented with in Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod districts successfully last year, involves focused interventions by the administration and law enforcement agencies at three levels to clamp down on the movement of the public and ensure smooth operation of essential sectors. (Read our Explainer)

21:35 (IST)16 May 2021
Puri Jaganath temple to remain closed for public till June 15 as Covid cases rise

Keeping in view the surge of Covid-19 cases in Odisha and also in Puri, the authorities of the temple of Lord Jagannath in the pilgrim town on Sunday announced that the 12th century would remain out of bounds for the public till June 15. The famous temple is closed for the devotees since May 5 as a state-wide lockdown was imposed by the Odisha government.

The Shree Jagannatha Temple Administration made the decision to keep the temple closed for people till June 15 at a review meeting chaired by SJTA Chief Administrator Dr Krishan Kumar and attended by Puri Collector Samarth Verma. The administration of the temple in Puri is under the law department of the state government and the SJTA, which is responsible for management of the shrine, is headed by a senior IAS officer.

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21:34 (IST)16 May 2021
Gujarat sees 8,210 new Covid-19 cases,14,483 recoveries, 82 deaths

Gujarat on Sunday reported 8,210 fresh coronavirus positive cases, taking the tally to 7,52,619 while 82 fatalities, including 13 deaths in Ahmedabad, pushed the toll to 9,121, the state health department said. A total of 14,483 patients were discharged during the day, taking the count of recoveries so far in Gujarat to 6,38,590, it said, adding the state's case recovery rate has improved to 84.85 per cent. Gujarat is now left with 1,04,908 active cases.

At 2,278, Ahmedabad district reported the highest number of new cases in the state in the day, followed by 882 cases in Vadodara, 705 in Surat, 535 in Rajkot, 411 in Junagadh, 319 in Jamnagar, and 269 in Bhavnagar. (PTI) 

21:32 (IST)16 May 2021
Enough vaccines in country from July-August: Union minister

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar on Sunday said India will have enough Covid-19 vaccine doses from July-August. He hit out at the Congress for attacking the Centre on the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and said the opposition party did not have to face such tough times during their rule.

Speaking to reporters here after attending a crisis management committee meet, Tomar said, "The Congress leadership has nothing to do with the country or public interest. During their time, they did not have to face a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic." "The Congress is playing politics on vaccines, which is very unfortunate. India will have enough vaccine doses from July-August," he added. A 1000-bed hospital was under construction near the government medical college here and it would soon start functioning with 570 beds to begin with, the Union minister said. (PTI)

21:28 (IST)16 May 2021
Record 70 Covid-19 deaths in Himachal

The coronavirus death toll rose to 2,311 in Himachal Pradesh on Sunday with record 70 more fatalities, while 2,378 new infections took the infection tally to 1,60,240, an official said. Out of the fresh deaths, the highest 30 were in Kangra district alone. The number of active cases in the state stands at 36,909, according to data. The highest 11,579 active cases were in the worst-hit Kangra district. The number of recoveries increased to 1,20,990 with 2,378 more people recuperating from the infection, the official said. (PTI)

20:54 (IST)16 May 2021
Mizoram reports 181 new Covid-19 cases, one more death

At least 181 more people, including a two-month-old baby and three security personnel, tested positive for COVID-19 in Mizoram on Sunday, taking the tally in the northeastern state to 8,679, an official said. The death toll rose to 24 as a man succumbed to the disease while undergoing treatment at Zoram Medical College here. Aizawl reported the highest number of fresh cases at 103, followed by Lunglei at 53.

The remaining infections were registered in Champhai, Kolasib, Khawzawl, Serchhip and Siaha districts. Fifteen new patients have travel history, while others were found positive for the disease during contact tracing, the official said. As many as 104 fresh cases were detected through Rapid Antigen Test, 66 through RT-PCR and 11 through TruneNat method, he said, adding that 103 of the new patients were asymptomatic. (PTI)

20:43 (IST)16 May 2021
Madhya Pradesh sees 7,106 Covid-19 cases, 79 deaths; 12,345 recover

Madhya Pradesh on Sunday reported 7,106 Covid-19 cases and 79 deaths, taking its tally to 7,31,385 and the toll to 6,992, an official said. He said 12,345 persons were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, taking the count of recoveries in the state to 6,29,741, leaving it with 94,652 active cases.

"With 1,487 new cases, Indore's caseload went up to 1,37,878, while that of Bhopal rose to 1,13,208 with the addition of 982 cases. With eight deaths each, the toll in Indore and Bhopal rose to 1,261 and 846 respectively. Indore has 14,888 active cases and Bhopal has 14,093," the official informed. With 66,517 samples being examined in the last 24 hours, the number of tests in MP crossed 87.85 lakh. (PTI)

20:41 (IST)16 May 2021
Covid-19: 156 more deaths, 10,290 more cases in Rajasthan

The Covid-19 death toll in Rajasthan rose to 6,777 on Sunday with 156 more fatalities, while 10,290 new cases pushed the infection tally to 8,59,669, according to an official report. The number of active cases in the state currently stands at 1,94,382 from 2,08,688 a day before, it said.

The maximum deaths and positive cases on Sunday were reported from Jaipur at 41 and 2,558 respectively, it said. A total of 6,58,510 Covid patients have recovered so far in the state so far, it added. (PTI)

20:12 (IST)16 May 2021
Covid-19: 403 deaths, 31,531 new cases in Karnataka in last 24 hours

Karnataka records 403 Covid-related deaths in the last 24 hours, of which 160 were from Bengaluru (Urban & Rural). The state also saw 31,531 new cases and 36,475 recoveries. Testing, however, has dropped to 1,13,219.

20:08 (IST)16 May 2021
Mahrashtra logs 34,389 new Covid-19 cases, 974 deaths in last 24 hours

Maharashtra records 34,389 fresh Covid-19 cases, 59,318 discharges and 974 deaths in the last 24 hours. The state’s active case count stands at 4,68,109.

20:03 (IST)16 May 2021
Already booked online appointments for second Covishield dose to remain valid: Centre

The Union health ministry on Sunday clarified that already booked online appointments for second dose of Covishield vaccine will remain valid and the same will not be cancelled on Co-WIN platform.

It, however, said requisite changes have now been done in the Co-WIN digital portal, as a result of which further online or on-site appointments will not be possible if the period after first dose date for a beneficiary is less than 84 days.

The Centre had on May 13 extended the gap between the first and second doses of Covishield vaccine to 12-16 weeks based on the recommendations by the Covid Working Group chaired by N K Arora. (PTI)

19:56 (IST)16 May 2021
West Bengal logs 19,117 fresh Covid-19 cases, 147 deaths

West Bengal records 19,117 new Covid-19 cases, 19,113 discharges and 147 deaths in the last 24 hours. (ANI)

19:34 (IST)16 May 2021
Mumbai records 1,544 fresh Covid-19 cases, slight increase from Saturday's number

Mumbai, in the last 24 hours, recorded 1,544 fresh Covid-19 cases. The city currently has 35,702 active cases while its recovery rate stands at 92%. The fresh cases increased slightly from Saturday's figure which stood at 1,477. 

19:28 (IST)16 May 2021
Himachal records 2,378 fresh cases, 70 deaths in last 24 hours

Himachal Pradesh records 2,378 fresh Covid-19 cases, 70 deaths and 4,974 recoveries on in the last 24 hours. (ANI)

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India’s coronavirus numbers over the last two weeks suggest the second wave may have reached its peak, or will in the next few days. However, the end of the second wave may still be a long distance away. India’s cases, which touched 4.14 lakh last Thursday, have dropped significantly in the last one week.

In Mumbai, active Covid-19 cases have started dropping. As on Friday, the active caseload dropped to 37,656. A month ago, on April 14, the city had 87,443 active cases with a recovery rate of 81%. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) data shows the recovery rate has also improved over the last four weeks. The recovery rate now, according to the BMC dashboard, is 92%. Officials said that the numbers are an indicator of significant improvement in Covid-19 situation in Mumbai after last month’s peak.

The Kerala government on Friday extended the ongoing lockdown till May 23 as the state’s positivity rate still remains high. “The positivity rate remains high, so the state government has decided to extend the present complete lockdown in Kerala till May 23,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said. The state has recorded 34,694 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, while 93 deaths took the toll to 6,243, the chief minister added.

Behind bodies found on river banks, a Covid shadow

Days ago, the bodies were in scores, unclaimed, uncounted and unidentified. On Friday, at the Gahmar Ghat in Ghazipur, there were five. Two face down in the sand on the Ganga riverbank; one part submerged, the remaining two in fragments. Not far from here, in Unnao, again on the banks of the Ganga, an estimated 200 bodies were laid bare this week by the shifting sand after a heavy downpour.

These bodies, juxtaposed with images of overflowing cremation and burial grounds, frame a tragic rural postcard from UP and downstream Bihar touched by Covid.

Interviews with next of kin, officials, eyewitnesses and local residents in Unnao and Ghazipur reveal that behind the bodies lie long-held traditions, deep economic distress and the sudden rush to lay the dead to rest — all of this under the shadow of a devastating pandemic that has led to several deaths outside official records.

Covid reaches the interiors: secluded tribe in Odisha’s Niyamgiri hills affected; survey on

The first cases of coronavirous infection have been reported among the Dongria Kondh tribe, settled in the Niyamgiri hills of Rayagada district in Odisha, sparking concern among officials.

One of the particularly vulnerable tribal groups in India, the Dongria Kondhs had remained untouched during the first wave. Given their poor immunity due to lack of nourishment and a secluded way of life, officials are worried about the impact of the current virulent Covid-19 wave on them.

The administration had initiated a door-to-door survey in villages specifically falling under the Kalyansinghpur block following reports of tribe members showing members.

Maharashtra wants 50% vaccine doses of Bharat Biotech’s Pune plant

The state government will urge Bharat Biotech, the Hyderabad-based firm that is manufacturing the Covid-19 vaccine, to reserve 50 per cent doses manufactured at its proposed Pune plant for supply within Maharashtra, said deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Friday.

Delhi: Drugs to oxygen, amid Covid-19 surge, black market flourishes

Rs 50,000 for a vial of remdesivir, Rs 40,000 for a large oxygen cylinder: This is what some people paid in Delhi over the last three weeks trying to save lives of loved ones as the Covid surge left the healthcare infrastructure overwhelmed, and created fertile grounds for black marketers.

Explained: Punjab’s Covid-19 vaccine shortage, and why it wants to join Covax facility

On Friday, the Punjab government announced that, since it was facing a shortage of Covid-19 vaccines, it had decided to join the global Covax facility to procure supplies. Several other states, and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, have over the past few days expressed their intention to import vaccines from abroad.

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First published on: 15-05-2021 at 09:40:12 am
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