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Monday, June 21, 2021

Coronavirus India Highlights: Govt reconstitutes empowered groups on COVID-19; oxygen, vaccination included too

Coronavirus (Covid-19) India Lockdown and Cases News Highlights: Today’s Covid numbers –– Delhi (956 cases), Mumbai (1048 cases), Kolkata (1735 cases), Bengaluru (4889 cases), Chennai (2705 cases)

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi |
Updated: May 30, 2021 9:20:06 am
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Covid-19 India Highlights: The Centre Saturday reconstituted the six empowered groups formed for COVID-19 management to make 10 panels, expanding their ambit to look after issues like availability of oxygen, vaccination, emergency response and economic welfare measures, PTI reported. According to an official order, the issues related to oxygen production, import, establishment of PSA plants will be dealt with by an empowered group, whose convenor will be the Secretary in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and it will have 10 members.

The Kerala government Saturday announced extension of the statewide lockdown till June 9, to arrest the spread of the COVID-19. In a press conference, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also announced announced the withdrawal of “triple lockdown” which was in place in Malappuram district which was recording high number of cases.

Meanwhile, Goa on Saturday recorded less than 1k cases first time since April 19. In the last 24 hours, the state saw 963 new cases, 27 deaths, 155 discharges from hospital and 1,206 recoveries. With the COVID-19 case positivity rate still hovering around 22 per cent, the Goa government has decided to extend the ongoing “corona curfew” by another week till June 7.

India, meanwhile, showed a decline in daily cases and reported 173,790 new Covid-19 cases and 3,617 deaths in the last 24 hours ending 8 am on Saturday. With 2,84,601 patients recovered during the last 24 hours, a total of 2,51,78,011 recoveries reported across the country so far. Also, the active caseload further declined to 22,28,724 with a drop of more than a lakh in the last 24 hours, as per the Union Health Ministry. The number of new Covid-19 cases detected on Friday is the lowest since April 12. Maharashtra reported 1,022 new deaths while Tamil Nadu had 486. Tamil Nadu recorded over 31,000 new cases while Karnataka had close to 23,000.

Live Blog

Coronavirus India Highlights: 1.73 Lakh new cases, lowest spike in 45 days; Students going abroad a priority for vaccination; US underlines Covid cooperation, India help; Follow this space for latest news and updates today.

22:32 (IST)29 May 2021
Over 21 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in India so far

The total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 21 crore, the Union health ministry said on Saturday. It said 14,15,190 people in the age group of 18-44 years received their first dose and 9,075 in the same group received their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday. Cumulatively, 1,82,25,509 persons across the country have received their first dose since the start of phase-3 of the vaccination drive, the ministry said. --PTI

22:15 (IST)29 May 2021
Mizoram extends lockdown in Aizawl till June 6

The Mizoram government on Saturday extended the ongoing lockdown in the Aizawl Municipal Corporation (AMC) area by another seven days till 4 am of June 6 to break the chain of Covid-19 transmission. The lockdown imposed in state capital Aizawl and all district headquarters was scheduled to be lifted at 4 am on May 31. The restrictions were first clamped on May 10 and extended a couple of times. However, this time the complete lockdown was extended only in AMC area as the majority of Covid-19 cases detected in the recent days have been from this zone, according to a government order. --PTI

21:45 (IST)29 May 2021
Maharashtra reports 20,295 new COVID cases

Maharashtra reports 20,295 new COVID cases, 31,964 discharges, and 443 deaths in the last 24 hours.

20:59 (IST)29 May 2021
Lockdown in Tirupati, Chittoor district to go on till June 15

The month-long COVID-19 restrictions in Tirupati and its entire Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh would be further intensified and extended for a fortnight from June 1 to June 15 in view of Covid-19 cases. After a Covid review meeting here, Deputy Chief Minister K Narayana Swamy, Ministers P Ramachandra Reddy and M Goutham Reddy told reporters that the existing daily 18 hour-long curfew restrictions would be increased to 20 hours and it would be extended till June 15. --PTI

20:58 (IST)29 May 2021
Vietnam finds new virus variant, hybrid of India, UK strains

Vietnam has discovered a new coronavirus variant that's a hybrid of strains first found in India and the UK, the Vietnamese health minister said Saturday. Nguyen Thanh Long said scientists examined the genetic makeup of the virus that had infected some recent patients, and found the new version of the virus. He said lab tests suggested it might spread more easily than other versions of the virus. Viruses often develop small genetic changes as they reproduce, and new variants of the coronavirus have been seen almost since it was first detected in China in late 2019. --AP

20:40 (IST)29 May 2021
Here are today's Covid numbers from top cities

Today’s Covid numbers: Delhi (956 cases), Mumbai (1048 cases), Kolkata (1735 cases), Bengaluru (4889 cases), Chennai (2705 cases)

20:30 (IST)29 May 2021
Govt to ensure enhanced, liberalised insurance compensation to families hit by COVID-19: PM

Government to ensure enhanced, liberalised insurance compensation to families hit by COVID-19, in addition to pension for surviving dependants, the Prime Minister's Office said on Saturday. Government stands in solidarity with families of COVID-19 victims; Efforts being made to mitigate financial difficulties faced by them, it said.

20:10 (IST)29 May 2021
Railways delivered more than 20,770 tonnes of oxygen to 15 states over last month

The Indian Railways has delivered over 20,770 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen to 15 states over the last month to augment the government's efforts in the fight against coronavirus, the national transporter said on Saturday. While 305 'Oxygen Express' trains have completed their journey so far, six loaded trains are on the run with more than 420 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen in 26 tankers. Assam received its third Oxygen Express on Saturday with 80 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen in four tankers. Among the southern states, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana have received over 1,600 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen each. --PTI

19:19 (IST)29 May 2021
Kerala lockdown extended till June 9

The Kerala government Saturday announced extension of the statewide lockdown till June 9, to arrest the spread of the COVID-19. In a press conference, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also announced announced the withdrawal of "triple lockdown" which was in place in Malappuram district which was recording high number of cases.

18:26 (IST)29 May 2021
Kumaraswamy urges Karnataka govt to prioritise vaccination of youths

HD Kumaraswamy urges Karnataka government to prioritise the vaccination of youths

18:22 (IST)29 May 2021
PM CARES to support education of children orphaned by Covid

The Central government on Saturday announced that PM CARES fund will support children who lost their parents in Covid. In a release, the Prime Minister's Office said:

"Government stands with children who lost their parents due to Covid. Such children to get a monthly stipend once they turn 18 and a fund of Rs 10 lakh when they turn 23 from PM CARES. Free education to be ensured for children who lost their parents to Covid.The children will be assisted to get an education loan for higher education & PM CARES will pay interest on the loan. The children will get free health insurance of Rs 5 lakh under Ayushman Bharat till 18 years & premium will be paid by PM CARES."

17:57 (IST)29 May 2021
J&K to give monthly pension of Rs 1,000 to families who lost their sole earning member to COVID

The UT administration on Saturday decided to pay a special monthly pension of Rs 1,000 to the families who have lost their sole earning member to COVID-19.

It also decided to pay Rs 20,000 to 40,000 as special annual scholarship the children of such families who are studying upto 12th class, and higher education, respectively.

The Administrative Council (AC), which met here on Saturday under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, approved the grant of financial relief through the Special Assistance Scheme for COVID Moralities (SASCM/Saksham) to the families of COVID victims, an official statement here said.

The scheme aims to ensure sustenance of families who have lost their sole breadwinner. Under the new scheme Saksham, the surviving spouse, and one eldest surviving member of affected families will receive a special monthly pension of Rs. 1000 through direct bank transfer (DBT), provided that they are not otherwise receiving any pension under other schemes.

Additionally, the scheme will also provide special scholarships to children who lost their earning parent(s)/ sibling(s)/ guardian(s) to COVID. The special scholarship will be paid annually at the rate of Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 40,000 through DBT to children studying up to 12th standard, and higher education, respectively.

The Administrative Council also approved the creation of a special cell in the Social Welfare Department for handholding the families of COVID victims and facilitating the extension of benefits under different Government schemes including financial assistance for self-employment. -- Arun Sharma reports from Jammu

17:34 (IST)29 May 2021
If public cooperated, question of extending lockdown may not arise: Karnataka CM

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Saturday said the question of extending the lockdown may not arise if only the public cooperated and there is a decline in COVID-19 cases. These would be the factors that would determine the State government's decision on the lockdown which the State is currently in till June 7. Speculations have been rife that the government may extend the lockdown once again following the Centre's direction to continue with the COVID-19 guidelines till June 30. --PTI

16:29 (IST)29 May 2021
Saudi Arabia to supply more oxygen, containers to India

Saudi Arabia is shipping to India more medical oxygen and tankers for ferrying them as it increases aid for the nation fighting the world's worst outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, Saudi Arabia shipped 80 tonnes of liquid oxygen to India and now three more containers with 60 tonnes of oxygen and another 100 containers to ferry them. "Deeply appreciate the gesture of HRH Prince Abdulaziz, Minister of Energy, KSA for the offer to send 3 ISO Containers with 60 tons of LMO, which are expected to arrive in Mumbai on 6 June 2021, and also to provide 100 ISO containers in the coming months to support #IndiaFightsCorona," Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan tweeted. --PTI

16:07 (IST)29 May 2021
Delhi records less than 1,000 fresh Covid cases first time since March 22

The number of cases recorded in 24 hours in Delhi has come down to three digits after 67 days, with the city reporting 956 in the last 24 hours on Saturday.

The city had conducted 80,473 tests in the last 24 hours, out of which 956 turned out to be COVID positive. This means that the city’s positivity rate further decreased to 1.19%. The last time the city had recorded less than 1,000 cases was on March 22, when there were 888 new cases and a positivity rate of 1.32%. However, while the number of deaths recorded then was 7, the number continued to remain high at 122 on Saturday. Read more

15:13 (IST)29 May 2021
Karnataka CM to decide on lockdown extension, may toe Centre's line

Indicating that the lockdown to contain Covid in the State may be extended till June 30 as was directed by the Centre, Karnataka Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Saturday said Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa would take a decision after meeting his Ministers. The State is currently under lockdown till June 7. "We have announced a lockdown till June 7 and it will be implemented completely. The Union Home Ministry that has given guidance has said that strict measures should be in place till June 30," the Karnataka Home Minister said. Speaking to reporters here, he said it was decided at a meeting on Friday that the Chief Minister would call a meeting of all Ministers and decide on how to implement the lockdown. --PTI

15:11 (IST)29 May 2021
Goa curfew extended till 7am, June 7

"Government of Goa has decided to extend the curfew till 7 am of 7th June 2021," tweets CM Pramod Sawant.

14:46 (IST)29 May 2021
COVID-19: Five lakh vaccine doses administered in Goa so far

A total of five lakh anti-coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered to the people in Goa so far, with the state government saying that the 'Tika Utsav' has helped it in reaching out to the beneficiaries, especially in the rural parts.

Goa, which has a population of 16 lakh, has witnessed a spike in COVID-19 cases over the last one month.

As per the government records, five lakh vaccine doses (including the second jabs) have been administered in the state till May 28. (PTI)

14:34 (IST)29 May 2021
Centre said Delhi won’t get vaccines for people in 18-44 age group before June 10: Manish Sisodia

Delhi’s supply of vaccine doses for those in the 18-44 category will not be replenished before June 10, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Saturday. He added that this had been communicated to the Delhi government by the Centre on Friday.

With the supply of doses running out, vaccination for people in the 18-44 category has been stopped at all the Delhi government vaccination centres for the last six days.

“Because of the central government’s mismanagement, the youth are not getting vaccinated in any state. In Delhi, we’ve had to stop is it and yesterday, the Centre told us that the vaccines for the youth will not arrive before June 10,” Sisodia said.

14:17 (IST)29 May 2021
Covid-19 fails to deter hundreds of climbers on Mount Everest

A year after Mount Everest was closed to climbers as the pandemic swept across the globe, hundreds are making the final push to the summit with only a few more days left in the season, saying they are undeterred by a coronavirus outbreak in base camp.

Three expedition teams to Everest cancelled their climb this month following reports of people getting sick. But the remaining 41 teams decided to continue with hundreds of climbers and their guides scaling the 8,849-metre top in the season that ends in May, before bad weather sets in.

Even though the coronavirus has reached the Everest base camp, it has not made any huge effect like what is being believed outside of the mountain, said Mingma Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks, the biggest expedition operator on Everest.
No one has really fallen seriously sick because of COVID or died like the rumors that have been spreading.

Jaishankar meets Blinken, other top officials; US underlines Covid cooperation, India help

S Jaishankar, Antony Blinken, Indian US ties, Covid cooperation, Jaishankar meets Blinken, G-7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting, India news, Indian express news At the beginning of the meeting, Blinken described Jaishankar as “my friend and colleague”. (ANI)

The Central government on Saturday announced that it will support the children orphaned by Covid-19 and will ensure their free education. In a release, it said that the children who lost parents to the pandemic will get a monthly stipend once they turn 18 and a fund of Rs 10 lakh when they turn 23 from PM CARES. The government will also assist them to get higher education loans and the PM CARES will pay the interest.

The number of cases recorded in 24 hours in Delhi has come down to three digits after 67 days, with the city reporting 956 in the last 24 hours on Saturday.The city had conducted 80,473 tests in the last 24 hours, out of which 956 turned out to be COVID positive. This means that the city’s positivity rate further decreased to 1.19%. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said Delhi’s supply of vaccine doses for those in the 18-44 category will not be replenished before June 10. He added that this had been communicated to the Delhi government by the Centre on Friday.

With the supply of doses running out, vaccination for people in the 18-44 category has been stopped at all the Delhi government vaccination centres for the last six days.

With today's data, the recovery rate has increased to 90.80 per cent. Also, the weekly positivity rate is currently at 9.84%, daily at 8.36%, less than 10% for 5 consecutive days.

The Union Health Ministry Saturday said over 27.7 crore vaccine doses have been provided to states and union territories. Out of which, the total consumption, including wastages is 20,80,09,397 doses, it said. "Over 1.82 crore Covid vaccine doses are still available with the states/union territories. Over 4 lakh doses are in the pipeline and will be received by the states/UTs within the next 3 days," the ministry said.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday, in what was their second meeting after they met on May 3 on the sidelines of the G-7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in London.

The meeting, which was ongoing at press time, was expected to focus on vaccine cooperation between the two countries. While India is struggling with a shortage of vaccines, the US has surplus vaccines and raw materials needed to manufacture them.

At the beginning of the meeting, Blinken described Jaishankar as “my friend and colleague”. “The United States and India are working together on so many of the most important challenges of our time and ones that are putting a profound impact on our lives,” he said.

“We are united in confronting Covid-19 together, we (are) united in dealing with the challenge posed by climate change, to partner together directly, through Quad and other institutions in the United Nations in dealing with many of the challenges that we face in the region and around the world,” Blinken said.

Kerala, Mumbai ease inoculation for students headed abroad

Meanwhile, the Kerala Health Department Friday tweaked vaccination norms for those travelling abroad, allowing them to take the second dose of Covishield vaccine after four to six weeks of the first one, as against the existing 12-16-week interval recommended now. Last week, the state government had included those travelling abroad for jobs and studies among priority groups for vaccination, to be administered Covishield procured by the government.

In Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation also announced Friday that those going abroad for studies would be given priority among the 18-44-year age group for Covid-19 vaccination. The municipal corporation has set aside three days in the week (Monday to Wednesday) for their vaccination without pre-registration, at specified centres in Mumbai.

49 lakh to 21: mobility data pegs Kumbh’s numbers down

EVEN as the second Covid wave raged across the nation, the Uttarakhand government officially announced that on the three key days of the Kumbh, April 12, 13, and 14, a total of 49 lakh devotees had taken a dip in the Ganga at Har Ki Pauri and linked ghats in Hardwar.

Under fire for this gathering — the Uttarakhand High Court last week called holding Kumbh a “mistake” — officials in the state government and the district administration, after a detailed review, have assessed that the attendance figure was almost 70% down, to an estimated 15 lakh, for these three days.

When contacted, Sanjay Gunjyal, Inspector General of Police, Kumbh Mela, said: “The footfall on April 12 was only 21 lakh; on April 13 around 3 lakh and on April 14, about 12 lakh.”

No consensus in GST Council on rate for vaccines amid Centre-Oppn rift

Differences emerged between Opposition-ruled states and Centre as the discussion on granting further relief for Covid-related items, such as vaccines, medical supplies, reached an impasse in the 43rd Goods and Services Tax Council meeting on Friday. It has now been referred to a Group of Ministers, which will submit its recommendations by June 8.

The Council, which met after October 2020, discussed the issue of compensation payments, for which states raised concerns about the 7-per cent revenue growth assumption. A special session will be called soon for discussing compensation issues and the extension of guaranteed compensation period beyond June 2022. “It is one thing to rush to say — do this, it will benefit the common man. But when the technical, fitment and law committees go into the details, you realise that that could have collateral impact on many others. I am not talking about the revenue generation aspect, but how many other items will get included in it as a result of which, how you are going to implement it,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

 

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