People queuing up at Baker Memorial School, Kottayam for Covid-19 vaccine. (Express Photo)
Following the Supreme Court’s rap to Kerala government over easing of Covid restrictions for Bakrid, the state has announced a complete lockdown for July 24 and 25. It also stated that the Health department will conduct a mass testing campaign on Friday, July 23 with a focus on districts with high test positivity rate (>10 per cent).
Meanwhile, in a sharp criticism to the Centre’s remarks in the parliament, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said “They (Centre) will soon say there was no Covid-19. If there were no deaths due to lack of oxygen, then why were hospitals going to High Court for shortages? This is completely false,” he told reporters.
On Tuesday, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Bharati Pravin Pawar informed Rajya Sabha that no death due to lack of oxygen has been specifically reported by the states and union territories. The government, however, said there was “unprecedented surge” in demand of medical oxygen during the second wave of Covid-19.
India records 42,015 new coronavirus cases, 3,998 deaths; Assam doctor infected with Alpha and Delta variants of coronavirus simultaneously.
Bengaluru: Passengers wear face masks for prevention against COVID-19, at Sangolli Rayanna railway station in Bengaluru, Thursday, July 15, 2021. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday apprised the floor leaders of both Houses on Covid-19 situation and said that "pandemic should not be a matter of politics and is a matter of concern for entire humanity," a statement from the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs stated. PM also stressed the need to properly plan the vaccination drives at the district level based on the advance availability information.
Earlier in the day, the ICMR said that it would be wise to consider reopening primary schools first as children can handle viral infection much better. In the latest national sero survey conducted by ICMR in June-July, one third of the population did not have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies meaning that about 40 crore people still vulnerable to Covid-19 infection. The government further said that 67.6% of India's population above 6 years have been found to have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and that 85 per cent of surveyed healthcare workers had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 while one-tenth of HCWs still unvaccinated.
Meanwhile, four Covid-19 vaccine candidates are at different stages of human trials while one, developed by Genique Life Sciences, is in the advanced pre-clinical stage, Union Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh said on Tuesday in a written response to a question in the Rajya Sabha, news agency PTI reported.
He said that Cadila Healthcare Ltd's DNA-based vaccine candidate is in phase three clinical trial and it has also submitted the interim data for emergency use authorisation. Biological E Ltd's vaccine candidate is also in phase three clinical trial. Bharat Biotech International Ltd's Adeno intranasal vaccine candidate is in phase three clinical trial, while Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd's mRNA-vaccine candidate is in Phase one clinical trial. The Gurgaon-based Genique Life Sciences Pvt Ltd's vaccine candidate is in the advanced pre-clinical stage, he added.
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