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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Coronavirus India Highlights: India requests EU to consider Covishield & Covaxin under ‘Green passport’ scheme

Covid-19 India Highlights: India recorded 45,951 new covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours ending 8 am on Wednesday, according to data from the Union Health Ministry.

By: Express Web Desk | Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi |
Updated: July 1, 2021 8:11:34 am
Delta Plus variant, Delta Plus in India, Delta+ cases in India, Delta Plus deaths in India, Maharshrra delta plus cases, Madhya Pradesh, States reporting Delta plus cases, India news, India covid cases, Indian expressA beneficiary receives a dose of Covid-19 vaccine in Mumbai.

Coronavirus India Highlights: India has requested members of the European Union to individually consider allowing Indians who have taken Covishield and Covaxin vaccines to travel to Europe, news agency PTI reported citing sources said.

The sources said India has requested the EU member nations to accept the vaccination certificate issued through the CoWIN portal under its ‘Green Passport’ scheme.

Earlier today, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) extended the restrictions on scheduled international passenger flights to and from India extended till July 31st, 2021. “However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis,” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) added.

Scheduled international passenger services have been suspended in India since March 23, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

India recorded 45,951 new covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours ending 8 am on Wednesday, according to data from the Union Health Ministry. 817 deaths were reported on Tuesday, the lowest since April 9.  There are a total of 3,03,62,848 cases in the country while at least 2,94,27,330 people have recovered from the disease. Active cases have dropped to 5,37,064 and the recovery rate has touched 96.92 per cent, the ministry said. 

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Coronavirus India Highlights: India records 45,951 new covid-19 cases, 817 deaths in last 24 hours; active cases drop to 5.37 lakh; Moderna gets emergency approval.

22:36 (IST)30 Jun 2021
Tejashwi, Tej Pratap take Sputnik shots

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, who had been facing flak from the ruling NDA in Bihar for his reluctance to get vaccinated against COVID-19, on Wednesday took the jab along with elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav.

Both the sons of RJD national president Lalu Prasad took their Sputnik shots at the Medanta hospital here.

"We took the Sputnik vaccine, A vaccine is a vaccine. What difference does it make whether it is Indian or foreign", Yadav told reporters afterwards. (PTI)

22:35 (IST)30 Jun 2021
PM Modi asks ministers to spread awareness among people about vaccination 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked his Council of Ministers to spread awareness among people about following Covid-19 protocols and vaccination to keep the third wave of the pandemic at bay.

Chairing a meeting of the Union Council of Ministers, he also asked the ministers to ensure that the projects for which they have laid the foundations are completed and inaugurated by them. He also asked them keep track of the projects and ensure these are not delayed, sources said. More details here.

PM Modi asks ministers to spread awareness among people about vaccination

21:17 (IST)30 Jun 2021
India requests EU states to consider Covishield, Covaxin under Green passport scheme

India has requested members of the European Union to individually consider allowing Indians who have taken Covishield and Covaxin vaccines to travel to Europe, news agency PTI reported citing sources said.

The sources said India has requested the EU member nations to accept the vaccination certificate issued through the CoWIN portal under its 'Green Passport' scheme.

The European Union's Digital COVID certificate framework to facilitate free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic is to come into effect on Thursday. Under this framework, persons who have taken vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will be exempted from travel restrictions within the EU.

20:12 (IST)30 Jun 2021
Nilgiris inoculate all eligible tribals with first dose of Covid-19 vaccine

Nilgiris has become the first district in Tamil Nadu to achieve 100 per cent Covid-19 vaccination with the first dose among the eligible tribal communities and tea-estate workers. Various NGOs like Nilgiris Adivasi Welfare Association (NAWA), Nilgiris Wayanad Tribal Welfare Society were roped in and special vaccination camps were organised in more than 400 tribal hamlets in Nilgiris which has a population of 2,75,000. Read the full report here.

19:14 (IST)30 Jun 2021
India believes there is urgent need for major reforms in WHO: Harsh Vardhan

India believes there is an urgent need for carrying out "major reforms" in the World Health Organization to ensure a timely, focused and effective response to potential future pandemics, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Wednesday.

Harsh Vardhan, who is also the chairman of the WHO Executive Board, said the global crisis arising out of Covid-19 pandemic is further compounded by ever-evolving new variants of the virus, and highlighted the need for greater collaboration between countries on various aspects of health to defeat it.

17:17 (IST)30 Jun 2021
Odisha extends partial lockdown till July 16

The Odisha government on Wednesday extended the partial lockdown in the state for 15 more days till 5 AM on July 16, a senior official said.

The existing restrictions will end at 5 AM on Thursday.

The state government has divided the 30 districts into A and B categories. Twenty districts where the test positivity rate (TPR) remains less than five per cent are in the A category, while the remaining 10 coastal districts, where the number of cases is high, are in the B category, Chief Secretary S C Mohapatra said. (PTI)

15:32 (IST)30 Jun 2021
PM Modi to address medical fraternity on National Doctors' Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the medical fraternity on the occasion of National Doctors' Day on Thursday. The event is being organised by the Indian Medical Association (IMA). 

15:21 (IST)30 Jun 2021
In Gurgaon, fear of 3rd wave keeps industry workers and orders at bay

Industries in Gurgaon are being impacted by rumours of a third wave of Covid-19. Officials from several associations said the fears are keeping both workers and business at bay, and hindering attempts to limp back to normal.

There are two major industries located in Gurgaon — the automobile industry and the garment industry. Both, officials said, are facing a shortage of labour and demand. Read full report here.

India's auto production to shrink by 8.3% in 2020; coronavirus spread may  hit supply chain, says Fitch | Business News,The Indian Express

14:19 (IST)30 Jun 2021
Home vaccination drive for bedridden to start in Pune, won’t seek Centre’s approval: Maha govt to HC

The Maharashtra government informed the Bombay High Court Wednesday that it won’t be seeking the Centre’s approval for home vaccination of bedridden and immobile persons. The drive will commence on an experimental basis, starting with Pune and subsequently, in other districts, the state said.

The Maharashtra government added that it wanted to inform the court and the petitioner on the conditions for such a drive, and it was open to suggestions and objections.

The state further submitted that the experiment would start today by inviting emails from interested persons on a dedicated email id, announced publicly through print and electronic media.

13:37 (IST)30 Jun 2021
Jharkhand: Vaccination centres empty due to vaccine shortage

Vaccination centres in Ranchi wore a deserted look on Wednesday due to vaccine shortage. Locals were seen waiting outside centres to get the inoculation done"I request govt to make proper arrangements for the vaccination of people. There's no information available here," a resident told news agency ANI. Jharkhand Health Minister Banna Gupta said there is a shortage of vaccines in the state. "We've requested the Government of India to give vaccines so that we can inoculate our people & save them from the potential third wave of #COVID19," he added. Here is a picture from a vaccination centre in Ranchi.

12:49 (IST)30 Jun 2021
Restrictions on international flights extended till July 31: DGCA

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Wednesday extended the restrictions on scheduled international passenger flights to and from India extended till July 31st, 2021, news agency ANI reported.

However, the restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the DGCA, an order said. It further said that international flights may be allowed on select routes on a case to case basis. 

12:45 (IST)30 Jun 2021
Brazil suspends Covaxin deal as graft allegations probed

The Brazilian government, which agreed to purchase 20 million doses of Bharat Biotechs COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, on Wednesday announced suspension of the contract following allegations of irregularities in the deal.

“By recommendation of @CGUonline, we decided to temporarily suspend the Covaxin contract.

According to CGU’s preliminary analysis, there are no irregularities in the contract, but, due to compliance, the @minsaude opted to suspend the contract for further analysis,” Brazil Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga tweeted.

12:38 (IST)30 Jun 2021
Explained: How Covid-19 pandemic impacted household savings, deposits and debt

Last week, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released its preliminary estimate of household financial savings.

For lakhs of households in the country, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a decline in financial assets such as bank deposits, pension money, life insurance funds and currency holdings. While the RBI estimated an increase in debt of around 20 crore households, which contribute around 60% of gross savings in the economy, financial savings showed a decline of over 45% from June to December 2020.

12:17 (IST)30 Jun 2021
Initial data from sero survey: In Chandigarh, 63.7% of children have Covid-19 antibodies

The sero survey by PGI focused on the paediatric age group of the city has started, and the initial data from the survey shows that out of the 276 samples tested, 185 were found to have antibodies.

“Today, initial data from the survey shows that out of the 276 samples tested, 185 were found to have antibodies, which means around 63.7% of children in Chandigarh have already been infected by COVID-19, and they could have got the infection from their parents or their immediate families. The data reveals that a large number of children have been infected, and gives us a clue about how the magnitude of the third wave will not be focused on children. Even in the second wave, the majority of children had mild infection, with the mortality low,” said PGIMER director Jagat Ram, adding that the survey will help in true assessment of paediatric population at risk and in detecting antibody formation in response to previous infection.

11:50 (IST)30 Jun 2021
Several East Delhi markets shut till Monday for crowding and violation of social distancing norms

Several markets, big and small, in East Delhi have been ordered to remain shut till July 5 for crowding and not being able to follow social distancing norms.

This includes Main Bazar Laxmi Nagar from Vikas Marg to Lovely Public School, Kishan Kunj and its surrounding markets such as Mangal Bazar, Vijay Chowk, Subhash Chowk, Jagatram Park and Guru Ramdas Nagar.

Markets were allowed to reopen in the city on an Odd-Even basis, where half the shops would open on one day and the other half on the alternate day.

11:17 (IST)30 Jun 2021
Tripura among top in vaccine table, here’s why

Some weeks ago, Purna Laxmi Debbarma, an 85-year-old from Ramakrishna Para in West Tripura district, got her first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. “I didn’t feel any pain,” she said, rubbing her left arm. “I will be healthy now with this vaccine. I’m happy.”

With 98 per cent of its 45-plus population and 80 per cent of the 18+ population getting at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, Tripura has one of the highest vaccination figures in the country. But it wasn’t an easy journey for the tiny Northeast state — from battling initial vaccine hesitancy and tackling irregular supplies of the vaccine, to now being a vaccine trailblazer.

Tripura’s population of 37 lakh is spread across eight districts. Many of the tribal hamlets have rough terrain and are poorly connected. What made it doubly tough was the lack of awareness on Covid, let alone the vaccine, in some of the remote areas of the state.

11:17 (IST)30 Jun 2021
Tripura among top in vaccine table, here’s why

Some weeks ago, Purna Laxmi Debbarma, an 85-year-old from Ramakrishna Para in West Tripura district, got her first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. “I didn’t feel any pain,” she said, rubbing her left arm. “I will be healthy now with this vaccine. I’m happy.”

With 98 per cent of its 45-plus population and 80 per cent of the 18+ population getting at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, Tripura has one of the highest vaccination figures in the country. But it wasn’t an easy journey for the tiny Northeast state — from battling initial vaccine hesitancy and tackling irregular supplies of the vaccine, to now being a vaccine trailblazer.

Tripura’s population of 37 lakh is spread across eight districts. Many of the tribal hamlets have rough terrain and are poorly connected. What made it doubly tough was the lack of awareness on Covid, let alone the vaccine, in some of the remote areas of the state.

11:00 (IST)30 Jun 2021
SC directs government to frame guidelines to pay compensation to Covid-19 victims' kin

Supreme Court Wednesday directed the government to frame guidelines to pay ex-gratia compensation to the families of those who died due to Covid-19, news agency ANI reported.  

10:29 (IST)30 Jun 2021
Chandigarh Admin allows shops to open till 9 pm, evening vaccination centres to operate from today

The Chandigarh Administration on Tuesday gave further relaxations to shopkeepers by allowing them to open shops till 9 pm.

A decision to this effect was taken in the war room meeting. After detailed discussions, it was decided to keep all the relaxations intact with the only change that all shops will be allowed to open till 9 pm in place of 8 pm permitted earlier. The shopkeepers will, however, ensure that Covid-appropriate behaviour is followed.

10:29 (IST)30 Jun 2021
Chandigarh Admin allows shops to open till 9 pm, evening vaccination centres to operate from today

The Chandigarh Administration on Tuesday gave further relaxations to shopkeepers by allowing them to open shops till 9 pm.

A decision to this effect was taken in the war room meeting. After detailed discussions, it was decided to keep all the relaxations intact with the only change that all shops will be allowed to open till 9 pm in place of 8 pm permitted earlier. The shopkeepers will, however, ensure that Covid-appropriate behaviour is followed.

A woman receives a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at a centre in Kukshet Gaon Municipal School No 12 in Sarsole, Navi Mumbai. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

India’s Covaxin effectively neutralises Delta variant of Covid: US’ National Institute of Health

India’s Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research, effectively neutralises both Alpha and Delta variants of coronavirus, the US’ National Institute of Health has said.

The NIH said results of two studies of blood serum from people who had received Covaxin suggest that the vaccine generates antibodies that effectively neutralise the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) and B.1.617 (Delta) variants of SARS-CoV-2, first identified in the UK and India, respectively.

The top American health research institute, which has a history of strong scientific collaboration with India, also said that an adjuvant developed with funding from it has contributed to the success of the highly efficacious Covaxin, which has been administered to roughly 25 million people till date in India and elsewhere.

Government gives Moderna emergency use nod, may first come in only as donations

Meanwhile, the national drug regulator on Tuesday granted emergency use authorisation to US biotechnology firm Moderna for its vaccine against the novel coronavirus, paving the way for its Indian partner Cipla to import the first mRNA Covid-19 vaccine into the country for commercial use. This is also the first internationally developed vaccine to be granted a waiver from conducting bridging trials in India.

While the government said details on the quantity of doses to be imported to India by Cipla are still under consideration, The Indian Express has learnt that the vaccine is initially expected to be provided to India in limited quantities — as donations by the US drug maker.

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