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Coronavirus India Highlights: Centre directs states to operate all private hospitals as vaccination sites

Coronavirus Highlights: India's Covid-19 tally surpassed 1.12 crore on Tuesday with 12,286 new infections. More than half of these, or 6,397 cases, were detected in Maharashtra.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru, Chennai, Guwahati, Mumbai, New Delhi |
Updated: March 3, 2021 10:32:16 am
coronavirus vaccine, covid-19A senior citizen receiving her first dose of Covid vaccination at the Fortis hospital, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi on Tuesday. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

Coronavirus India Highlights: The Centre on Tuesday directed states to utilise full capacity of private hospitals to operate as vaccination sites, as India entered Day 2 of the second phase of the inoculation drive today. All private hospitals that are not empanelled under the Central government schemes are now permitted to operate as vaccination sites.

More than 1.48 crore doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered till 1 pm today since the second phase of the inoculation drive kickstarted Monday, the government informed. Out of this, 2,08,791 people are above the age of 60 or are aged between 45-60 with comorbidities. Also, the government has received 50 lakh registrations on CoWIN for COVID-19 vaccination so far.

Addressing a press briefing, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan further said that although certain states in the country have seen a surge in the number of active cases, the recovered cases are more than 97 per cent and the active cases are still less than 2 per cent. He added that the COVID-19 pandemic is close to being under control with India’s overall case positivity at 5.11 per cent. “According to the World Health Organisation, if 140 tests per million are being conducted per day and the case positivity rate is at 5 per cent or below, it means the COVID-19 pandemic is under control. We are very close to that mark at 5.11 per cent overall case positivity”.

Meanwhile, India’s Covid-19 tally surpassed 1.12 crore on Tuesday with 12,286 new infections. More than half of these, or 6,397 cases, were detected in Maharashtra. Kerala reported 1,938 cases. At least 97 deaths were reported on Monday, taking the toll in the country to over 1.57 lakh. Apart from Maharashtra and Kerala, the other states reporting an uptick in daily cases are Punjab, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Jammu & Kashmir and Madhya Pradesh.

Live Blog

Coronavirus India Highlights: Day 2 of Covid-19 vaccination; at least 25 lakh have registered on Co-WIN; India's tally surpasses 1.11 crore; Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab see uptick in cases. Follow latest news and updates below

21:43 (IST)02 Mar 2021
Karnataka minister takes COVID vaccine at home, Centre seeks report from state

The Central government on Tuesday said that it has asked for a report from the Karnataka government in connection with state Agriculture Minister B C Patil taking the COVID-19 vaccine at his residence instead of going to a designated hospital.

B C Patil (64) on Tuesday got into a controversy after taking the vaccine at his house instead of going to a hospital. Patil and his wife took the vaccine at his Hirekerur residence in Haveri district in the state on the second day of the second phase of the vaccination drive. Read More

21:42 (IST)02 Mar 2021
First COVAX vaccines arrive in Cambodia from India

Cambodia on Tuesday received its first batch of 324,000 coronavirus vaccine doses from India that are part of the World Health Organization's COVAX initiative, as the country expands its immunisation programme with the goal of inoculating a majority of its population this year.
      
Health Minister Mam Bunheng was at the airport to receive the shipment of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine. Prime Minister Hun Sen will be given the first dose on Thursday.
    
Cambodia, which has yet to report any virus deaths, received its first shipment of 600,000 doses of a Chinese-produced vaccine on February 7, part of 1 million doses Beijing is donating. (AP) 

20:42 (IST)02 Mar 2021
Kerala Covid-19 wrap: 2,938 new cases, 16 deaths; three ministers get vaccine shots

Kerala recorded 2,938 new Covid-19 cases and 16 deaths on Tuesday. With 3,512 patients recovering from the infection in the last 24 hours, the active caseload came down to 47,277. The number of people who have succumbed to the infection in the state now stands at 4,226.

For the second consecutive day, the test positivity rate stood below 5%, with 68,094 samples tested in the last 24 hours. Read More

20:39 (IST)02 Mar 2021
Centre directs states to utilise private hospitals in full capacity for Covid-19 vaccination drive

In a push to further increase the vaccination coverage among the general population, the Centre has directed the states to utilise 100 per cent capacity of private hospitals functioning as Covid-19 vaccination centres.

In the first two days of the second phase of innoculation drive that began on Monday – where all citizens above the age of 60 years and those above 45 years with associated comorbidities are eligible for vaccination – only private hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat, Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), and State Health Insurance were designated as vaccination centres. Read More

20:19 (IST)02 Mar 2021
No COVID death in Delhi

Delhi witnessed no coronavirus death in a day, the Health Department said on Tuesday, the fifth time within a month that there was not a single daily fatality from the pathogen in the city.
       
The infection tally rose to 6,39,681 with new 217 cases the previous day and 78 more people recuperated from the virus, taking the number of recoveries to 6.27 lakh, the department said.
     
The active cases rose to 1,543 from 1,404 and the positivity rate came down from 0.44 per cent to 0.33 per cent. As many as 66,624 samples were tested, higher than 39,733 tests conducted on Sunday, according to a health bulletin.

The cumulative positivity rate and fatality rate stands at 5.12 per cent and 1.71 per cent respectively. (PTI)

19:01 (IST)02 Mar 2021
54 students of Haryana school test positive for Covid-19

Days after schools reopened across Haryana, at least 54 students in Karnal’s Kunjpura Sainik school have tested positive for Covid-19. Samples of 390 teachers, staff members and students were taken after schools reopened recently, out of which the report of 54 students came out positive.

“All the students are in the age group of 16-18 years and were in the school hostel. They had returned from their homes after the school reopened. The school’s hostel has been declared a containment zone. Adequate Covid-19 protocols are being followed,” Karnal’s chief medical officer Dr. Yogesh Sharma told The Indian Express. Read More

18:38 (IST)02 Mar 2021
Fadnavis alleges corruption in COVID-19 management in Maharashtra

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday alleged corruption in the measures taken by the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government in handling the COVID-19 situation in the state. Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, the Leader of the Opposition also referred to a Central survey and said the number of COVID-19 deaths in Maharashtra could have been lesser by 30,900 and the cases by 9.55 lakh had the state government handled the situation properly. Read More
    

18:00 (IST)02 Mar 2021
Acceptance for free, safe COVID-19 vaccine high among Indian women: Survey

COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among pregnant women and mothers is the highest in India, the Philippines and some Latin American countries, according to a survey of 16 countries that asked questions premised on a safe and free preventive with 90 per cent efficacy.
      
The survey to assess the response of pregnant women and mothers of children younger than 18 years and their willingness to vaccinate themselves and their children was conducted by a led by team from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
    
The online survey was conduced between late October and mid-November 2020. Almost 18,000 women in 16 countries responded to questions about the hypothetical safe and free COVID-19 vaccine with 90 per cent efficacy, the Harvard  researchers said. (PTI)

17:10 (IST)02 Mar 2021
Amid rise in cases, PCMC turns down speculation of bed shortage

In the wake of the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Pune, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) on Tuesday turned down speculations that it would be soon falling short of beds to admit coronavirus patients. The PCMC also said that it was not planning to activate 23 Covid Care Centres (CCC) due to adequate availability of beds.

“We have some 2,000 beds available to accommodate new Covid-19 patients at our facilities,” Additional Municipal Commissioner Ajit Pawar told The Indian Express. Read More

17:01 (IST)02 Mar 2021
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh gets first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at RR Hospital in New Delhi. Informing about the same in a tweet, he said the vaccine is 'completely safe and hassle free.' 

The minister also appreciated the efforts of India’s scientists and doctors who developed the vaccine in a short span of time. 

16:53 (IST)02 Mar 2021
Five states account for over 84 per cent of total active infections

India's total COVID-19 active cases stand at 1.68 lakh with five states accounting for 84.16 per cent of the active infections, while six states and UTs have a weekly positivity rate higher than the national average of 2 per cent, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday.
      
Maharashtra and Kerala alone account for 67.84 per cent of total active cases, it said.
    
Six states and UTs including Maharashtra, Kerala, Goa, Chandigarh, Punjab and Gujarat have a weekly positivity rate higher than the national average of 2 per cent. Maharashtra leads all the states with a weekly positivity rate of 10.02 per cent, the ministry said. (PTI)

16:50 (IST)02 Mar 2021
Kamal Haasan receives first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan was on Tuesday administered with the COVID-19 vaccine at a city hospital. The actor-politician was inoculated a day after the nationwide vaccination of 60 plus age group and those aged between 45-59 with co-morbidities was launched, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi receiving the first shot on Monday.
    
'I took the coronavirus vaccine at Sri Ramachandra Hospital. Those who care not only for themselves but also for others should get vaccinated,' Haasan said in a tweet that was accompanied with a picture of him getting vaccinated.
    
'Immunisation of the body immediately (and) vaccination against corruption next month. Get ready,' he said in an apparent reference to the April 6 Assembly elections. (PTI)

16:42 (IST)02 Mar 2021
India exhibited capacity to innovate, manufacture vaccines: WHO chief scientist


India has shown the capacity to be a global-scale manufacturer and also an innovator when it comes to coronavirus vaccines, World Health Organization's Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said Monday. 
      
Speaking at the Global Bio-India 2021, she opined that the fight against the coronavirus pandemic is at a very critical junction now as cases have suddenly gone up, particularly in Europe and America. There are many uncertainties now, especially on the different variants of the virus, she noted.

As many as 30 vaccines are at different stages of development in India. Covaxin, developed indigenously by Biotech, and Covishield, developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and being manufactured at Serum Institute of India, are already in use in the country. (PTI)

12:44 (IST)02 Mar 2021
Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat report uptick in Covid-19 cases

Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat are reporting an uptick in Covid-19 cases. The Centre has advised these states to maintain a continued rigorous vigil to contain the spread of the disease.

11:58 (IST)02 Mar 2021
Farooq Abdullah received Covid-19 vaccine dose in Srinagar

National Conference president and Lok Sabha MP Farooq Abdullah received the Covid-19 vaccine at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science in Srinagar, reported ANI.

Photo via ANI
11:55 (IST)02 Mar 2021
Dr Harsh Vardhan gets first Covid-19 vaccine shot

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine today. He was administered the shot at Delhi Heart & Lung Institute in New Delhi. Vardhan was innoculated along with his wife. Here are some PTI photos:

11:38 (IST)02 Mar 2021
Ravi Shastri receives first dose of Covid-19 vaccine in Ahmedabad

Ravi Shastri received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in Ahmedabad. The 58-year-old, the head coach of the Indian cricket team, thanked the staff at Apollo Hospital for their co-operation and support. "Got the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine. Thank you to the amazing medical professionals & scientists for empowering India against the pandemic. Extremely impressed with the professionalism shown by Kantaben & her team at Apollo, Ahmedabad in dealing with Covid-19 vaccination," he tweeted.

09:51 (IST)02 Mar 2021
BJP MP from Khandwa, Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan dies

BJP Lok Sabha MP from Khandwa, Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan passed away during treatment in Medanta Hospital in New Delhi. He had tested positive for Covid-19 and was undergoing treatment in the city. Chauhan was the former president of MP BJP unit.

Picture via ANI
09:39 (IST)02 Mar 2021
India's latest Covid-19 numbers
09:32 (IST)02 Mar 2021
India donates Covid-19 vaccines to Saint Lucia and St Kitts and Nevis

India has donated Covid-19 vaccines to Saint Lucia and St Kitts and Nevis, two countries in the Caribbean. Allen M. Chastanet, Prime Minister of St Lucia, tweeted last night: "Thank you to Prime Minister @narendramodi and our friends from India for donating 25,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine to Saint Lucia."

PM Timothy Harris of St Kitts and Nevis said, "I would like to thank the Prime Minister of India, @PMOIndia for the compassion he is showing other nations during this time. His generous heart and enduring sense of caring and solidarity are important values which we both share. Our nation is grateful for the vaccines provided."

On Day 1 of Phase 2 of Covid-19 vaccination in India, people receive their first doses at Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital in New Delhi (Express Photo: Praveen Khanna)

India Coronavirus News Live Updates:

Maharashtra

Maharashtra vaccinated 5,867 senior citizens and 1,253 comorbid population on Monday as the next phase of immunisation kicked off, data pooled from several districts and state health department show. Even as a large number of senior citizens and people with various co-morbidities thronged vaccination centres in several cities, Maharashtra’s overall vaccination numbers fell by half on Monday, achieving 48 per cent of targeted vaccinations.

Delhi

As many as 15,521 beneficiaries — including people above 60 years and those aged 45 and above with co-morbidities — received the Covid-19 vaccine in the capital under the second phase on Monday. This includes 5,176 people above 60 years, 1,009 between 45 years and 59 years, as well as 4,296 frontline workers and 1,954 healthcare workers who got their first dose.

The immunisation programme was carried at 192 sites where 308 centres have been set up by the Delhi government.

West Bengal

A total of 17,079 people were vaccinated on Monday with no case of adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) reported, said a health official adding that the new CoWIN-2 portal was plagued by glitches.

“The third phase of the Covid vaccination using the new portal version CoWIN-2 started today throughout the state. Besides health and frontline workers, and election officials, elderly people and those above 45 people with co-morbidities were vaccinated today. The portal issues were there, and the vaccination programme suffered because of that. So far, 17,079 were reported to be vaccinated, and there is no information of any AEFI case,” said the official.

Chandigarh

The second phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive began at 18 sites in Chandigarh, including five private facilities, on Monday. As many as 493 citizens above the age of 60 received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on the first day of the third phase of the vaccination drive, and 63 people in the age group of 45 to 60 years (with co-morbidities), opted for the vaccine.

Gujarat

The first day saw over 61,000 getting inoculated in Gujarat, with Surendranagar outperforming the state average.

Sabarkantha vaccinated 4,000 beneficiaries followed by Dahod (3,800 plus) and Vadodara district (3,200 plus) indicating rural districts fared better. Tribal districts of Narmada and Dang fared the worst with fewer than 100 beneficiaries of third phase receiving the first shot. In Ahmedabad city, the drive was marked with “technical glitches” and a “low turnout against the target, where 997 people got their first shot.

 

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