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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Covid-19 India Highlights: 1.08 crore vaccine doses administered, says Health Ministry

There are as many as 1,43,127 active coronavirus cases in the country while a total of 1,06,78,048 people have recovered from the disease.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi |
Updated: February 22, 2021 1:32:57 pm
Thermal screening of passengers being conducted as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus, at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai on Thursday. (Express Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

 A total of 1.08 crore Covid vaccine doses have been administered till now with 1.86 lakh doses given on Saturday, the Union Health Ministry said. Of the 1,08,38,323 doses given, Joint Secretary in the Union Health ministry Mandeep Bhandari said 72,26,653 vaccination doses were administered to healthcare workers and 36,11,670 to frontline workers whose inoculation started on February 2.

Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have recorded an “upsurge” in daily new cases of COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday.

The ministry said Punjab has reported 383 new cases in the last 24 hours while Chhattisgarh has reported 259 new cases and MP has reported 297 new cases in the same time period.

India on Saturday reported 13,993 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total tally of cases in the country to 1,09,77,387, according to data from the Union Health Ministry. With 101 deaths in the last 24 hours, the death toll reached 1,56,212.

There are as many as 1,43,127 active coronavirus cases in the country while a total of 1,06,78,048 people have recovered from the disease.

Live Blog

New cases rising in Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra, says Health Ministry; India records over 13,000 new Covid-19 cases, 101 deaths in the last 24 hours. Follow this space for the latest Covid-19 updates

20:29 (IST)20 Feb 2021
1.08 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses administered: Govt

A total of 1.08 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered till now with 1.86 lakh jabs given on Saturday, the Union Health Ministry said. Of the 1,08,38,323 doses administered, Joint Secretary in the Union Health ministry Mandeep Bhandari said 72,26,653 vaccination doses were administered to healthcare workers and 36,11,670 to frontline workers whose inoculation started on February 2. --PTI

19:30 (IST)20 Feb 2021
Delhi reports 152 new COVID-19 cases at positivity rate of 0.24%, 1 fresh death

Delhi recorded 152 fresh COVID-19 cases and one new fatality on Saturday, as the positivity rate dipped marginally to stand at 0.24 per cent, authorities said. With the fresh death, the city's coronavirus toll has grown to 10,898. According to the latest health bulletin issued by the city government Saturday, Delhi recorded 152 fresh COVID-19 cases, while the positivity rate stood at 0.24 per cent, slightly lower than Friday's 0.26 per cent. --PTI

19:19 (IST)20 Feb 2021
COVID-19: Maha minister postpones son's wedding reception

Maharashtra minister Nitin Raut said he was postponing his son's wedding reception scheduled for Sunday due to the recent surge in coronavirus cases in Nagpur. The wedding took place on February 19, a statement issued on Saturday by the minister's family said. Some Vidarbha districts, along with Mumbai and Pune, are witnessing a spike in COVID-19 cases over the past few days. --PTI

17:14 (IST)20 Feb 2021
Karnataka makes negative RTPCR tests mandatory for Maharashtra passengers

Karnataka government issues a circular in view of rising cases of COVID-19 in neighbouring Maharashtra. "A negative RT-PCR certificate that is not older than 72 hours shall be compulsory for those arriving by flights/ buses/trains/personal transport," it reads.

16:33 (IST)20 Feb 2021
AIIMS chief calls for PPP for large-scale rollout of COVID-19 vaccination programme

Terming the recent drop in COVID-19 cases in the country as a 'small window of opportunity', AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria on Saturday called for a public-private partnership (PPP) for rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme at a large scale. Speaking at an AIMA event here, Guleria said the vaccine is the only weapon available to gain immunity and help reduce mortality rate due to the infectious disease. He noted that there was a need to put healthcare at the centrestage and not consider it only as a service sector. --PTI

15:21 (IST)20 Feb 2021
In Mumbai, 1305 buildings sealed after over 2,000 Covid cases were registered

"A total of 1305 buildings sealed in Mumbai after 2,749 Covid-19 cases reported. 71,838 households residing in these sealed buildings," Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said.

14:43 (IST)20 Feb 2021
Russia approves its third COVID-19 vaccine, CoviVac

Meanwhile, Russia on Saturday approved a third coronavirus vaccine for domestic use, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on state TV, though large-scale clinical trials of the shot, labelled CoviVac and produced by the Chumakov Centre, have yet to begin.

Russia has already approved two COVID-19 vaccines, including the Sputnik V shot, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, following a similar approach of granting approval before seeing any late-stage trial results.

The preemptive approvals had raised concerns among some scientists in the West, but inoculations with those first two shots began on a mass scale in Russia only after trials were concluded and showed success.

13:58 (IST)20 Feb 2021
RT-PCR negative certificates mandatory for those travelling to Karnataka from Kerala and Maharashtra: State health minister

Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar Saturday said those without RT-PCR cnegative certificates from Kerala and Maharashtra will not be allowed to enter the state. "On an avg, 4000-5000 cases being reported in Kerala & 5000-6000 in Maharashtra daily. We share borders with them. So, we issued circulars. Unless we see RT-PCR negative certificates from those coming from these states they won't be permitted to enter Karnataka," he told news agency ANI.

13:44 (IST)20 Feb 2021
After Covid recovery, Pune social worker donates plasma nine times

On Saturday, a 50-year-old Pune-based social worker Ajay Munot donated blood plasma for the ninth time, possibly the maximum by anyone in the city so far.

“I had hoped to donate on my birthday three days ago when I turned 50 but was told to wait as the last donation was completed on February 5. There has to be a 14-day interval,” Munot said.

Infected with Covid-19 in July last year, Munot recovered after a month and made up his mind to help others and started donating plasma. A resident of Kothrud locality, he donated plasma at least once every month after recovering. On Saturday, he donated plasma at the Sahyadri speciality hospital.

12:47 (IST)20 Feb 2021
After Kerala and Maharashtra, daily new Covid-19 cases rising in Punjab, Chhattisgarh and MP: Health Ministry

After Maharashtra and Kerala, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are witnessing a rise in daily new Covid-19 cases, the Union Health Ministry said Saturday.

The health ministry said Punjab has reported 383 new cases in the last 24 hours while Chhattisgarh has reported 259 new cases and MP has reported 297 new cases in the same time period.

12:31 (IST)20 Feb 2021
No new COVID-19 case in Andamans

Andaman and Nicobar Islands did not report any new COVID-19 case in the last two days, PTI quoted an official as saying on Saturday.

The coronavirus tally in the union territory remained at 5,014, the official said.

The islands now have four active COVID-19 cases and all the patients are in South Andaman district, he said.

The other two districts of the union territory - North and Middle Andaman and Nicobar - are COVID-19 free as both dont have any active coronavirus case, the official said.

10:58 (IST)20 Feb 2021
No new COVID-19 case in Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh did not report any fresh COVID-19 case in the last 24 hours, a senior health department official said on Saturday.

The total coronavirus caseload in the state remained at 16,836, State Surveillance Officer Dr Lobsang Jampa said.

Arunachal Pradesh has five active COVID-19 cases at present, while 16,775 people have recovered from the disease, and 56 people have succumbed to the infection so far, he said.

The recovery rate in the state has touched 99.63 per cent, while the positivity ratio stands at 0.02 per cent and the fatality rate at 0.33 per cent, the official said. (PTI)

10:41 (IST)20 Feb 2021
Temperature drop link to COVID-19 surge likely: Maha official

A sudden drop in temperature last week in some parts of Maharashtra may have caused a spike in COVID-19 cases, a senior health official said on Friday, reported PTI.

Temperatures in east Vidarbha started dipping due to moisture coming from the Bay of Bengal and this may have "helped the virus to spread with more speed, increasing the number of COVID-19 cases", he claimed.

However, non adherence to outbreak protocol also played a significant role in the case surge, the official said on condition of anonymity.

"The IMD, in its a predictions for February, had communicated to the Centre of possible jump in COVID-19 cases if temperatures drop in the same period," he said, adding that drop in the mercury level should not be seen as the sole reason behind the spike in cases.

10:07 (IST)20 Feb 2021
Maharashtra: Eknath Khadse, Bacchu Kadu test positive for coronavirus

NCP leader Eknath Khadse and Maharashtra Minister Bacchu Kadu claimed separately on Friday to have contracted coronavirus infection for a second time, reported PTI.

Khadse, a former minister who is admitted to Bombay Hospital here, announced the result of his COVID-19 test. "I was admitted in November last year for the same infection. I have tested positive again. I am feeling fine," he said.

Minister of State for Water Resources Bacchu Kadu also made a similar announcement. He had tested positive for the infection in September.

20:29 (IST)19 Feb 2021

Harsh Vardhan appeals to healthcare, frontline workers to get vaccinated against COVID

Union minister Harsh Vardhan appealed to all healthcare and frontline workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as per schedule. He also said the vaccines are safe and fulfil all the criteria of immunogenicity.

'I want to appeal to all healthcare and frontline workers to get inoculated with COVID-19 vaccine doses as per schedule. The vaccines are safe. Don't believe any rumour and misinformation,' he said.

He further said that no severe adverse event post-immunisation have been recorded in the country and those reported are also 0.0004 per cent.

'No death has been recorded due to COVID-19 vaccination. All state governments have been asked to vaccinate every healthcare and frontline worker,' he said.

Every state/union territory have been asked to schedule all healthcare workers for vaccination at least once before February 20 and immediately thereafter organise mop-up rounds for them.

Similarly, all frontline workers must be scheduled for vaccination at least once before March 6 this year and immediately thereafter organise mop-up rounds for them. - PTI

20:24 (IST)19 Feb 2021

UK vows to share vaccines, but details thin as G-7 meets

Some of the world’s wealthiest countries are promising to share coronavirus vaccines with the poorest, but details of when and how many remain scarce as leaders of the Group of Seven economic powers hold their first meeting of 2021 on Friday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, which holds the G-7 presidency this year, is meeting virtually with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan and the United States to discuss international challenges — chief among them the pandemic that has killed almost 2.5 million people around the world.

Wealthy nations have snapped up hundreds of millions of doses of vaccines against the virus, while some countries in the developing world have little or none.

Johnson, whose country has had almost 120,000 coronavirus deaths, will promise to give “the majority of any future surplus vaccines” to the UN-backed COVAX effort to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable people, and will encourage other G-7 countries to do the same, the British government said.

But Foreign Office Minister James Cleverly said it was is “difficult to say with any kind of certainty” when or how much Britain could donate.

“We’re not really able to give with certainty either a timescale or the numbers involved,” he told the BBC.

Anti-poverty group the One Campaign said Britain’s promise was not enough.

“The virus won’t wait on us to be ready before it mutates, so we need to get these vaccines around the world as quickly as possible,” said Romilly Greenhill, the group’s UK director.

French President Emmanuel Macron gave a firmer target, saying Europe and the US should allocate up to 5 per cent of their current COVID-19 vaccine supplies to the poorest countries “very fast, so that people on the ground see it happening.” In an interview with the Financial Times, Macron suggested Russia and China are engaged in a “war of influence over vaccines” by offering doses of their own products to some African nations.

America’s G-7 allies are keen to impress President Joe Biden at his first major multilateral engagement since taking office.

They are hopeful that US re-engagement with the world following the “America first” years under Donald Trump will mean a more coordinated response on issues including COVID-19 and climate change.

Biden has pledged to join the COVAX initiative, and the White House says he will emphasize the need for global coordination on vaccine production, distribution and supplies when he speaks at Friday’s G-7 meeting.

For Johnson, the G-7 presidency is a chance to demonstrate Britain is still a key global player following its exit from the EU, which became complete at the end of 2020.

A full G-7 summit is scheduled to take place in June at the Carbis Bay seaside resort in southwest England.

British officials are hopeful it can take place in person, though at a reduced scale because social distancing rules and other restrictions are likely still to be in place. - AP

18:25 (IST)19 Feb 2021

COVID-19 in Delhi: 158 new cases, one death; positivity rate 0.26 pc

Delhi recorded 158 fresh COVID-19 cases and one fatality on Friday, even as the positivity rate stood at 0.26 per cent, authorities said. With this, the death toll from coronavirus infection in the capital went up to 10,897.
    
On Thursday, 130 cases and two deaths were registered.
    
No death due to COVID-19 was recorded in Delhi on Wednesday, the third time single-day fatality count stood nil in February. On February 9 too, no fatality from coronavirus infection was registered in the national capital, first time this month, and after a gap of nearly nine months. No death from COVID-19 was recorded on Saturday as well.
    
On Friday, Delhi recorded 158 fresh COVID-19 cases, while the positivity rate stood at 0.26 per cent, authorities said, adding the infection tally in the city rose to 6,37,445, according to the latest health bulletin issued by the city government.
    
One fatality was registered on Friday, taking the death toll in the city to 10,897, it said.
    
Delhi recorded 94 fresh COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, the lowest in over nine months.
    
The national capital had recorded 96 coronavirus cases on January 27, that time the lowest in over nine months, and the first time the daily incidence count had stood below the 100-mark in that month.
    
Also, on February 5 and February 7, the fatality counts were two on both days, same as on February 2.
    
These new 158 cases came out of the 60,836 tests conducted the previous day, according to the health bulletin.
    
The active cases tally on Friday stood at 1053, the same figure as the previous day, according to the bulletin.
    
The total number of tests conducted the previous day, included 39,931 RT-PCR tests and 20,905 rapid antigen tests, the bulletin said. - PTI

16:47 (IST)19 Feb 2021

Sri Lanka to procure 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from India: Official

Sri Lanka will purchase 10 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India, officials here have said.
In January, under India's neighbourhood first policy, Sri Lanka received 500,000 doses of free vaccines. They were administered as a priority to frontline health workers and members of the Armed forces.

The State Pharmaceutical Corporation has signed the order with Serum Institute of India (SII) for 10 million doses, officials said. This agreement has been approved by the Attorney General on Monday.

Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield is being manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute. The SII has collaborated with Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for making the vaccine.

Earlier this week, the vaccination was extended to the general public and MPs. About 250,000 out of 500,000 Oxford–AstraZeneca Covishield vaccines have been administered so far, General Shavendra Silva, the Army chief who heads the COVID-19 prevention operations said on Friday.

He said, the WHO has assured Sri Lanka that it would provide vaccines for 20 per cent of the local population free of charge. He added that China and Russia had also agreed to donate vaccines to the local population.

The Indian Army and the Russian military have also agreed to provide a quantity of vaccines to the Sri Lankan military.

Sri Lanka has recorded 78,420 cases by last night with 71,000 of them having recovered. At least 430 deaths have been recorded since the outbreak in mid-March last year.

India is one of the world's biggest drug makers and an increasing number of countries have already approached it for procuring the coronavirus vaccines.

India has sent consignments of domestically produced coronavirus vaccines under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Mauritius and Seychelles.

It is also undertaking commercial supplies of the doses to a number of countries, including Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Brazil and Morocco. - PTI

16:18 (IST)19 Feb 2021

Sena MP writes to Harsh Vardhan, urges roping in private hospitals for immunisation drive

Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi has written to Union Health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan regarding ensuring the availability and accessibilty of Covid vaccines in the wake of rise in infections and the emergence of various strains of the virus.

In her letter, she noted that Covid-19 vaccine supplies are under-utilised as per the health ministry data and suggested reconsidering the government's policy of regulating the availability of vaccines.

She said the CoWin App has been facing glitches with data, while there are loopholes that exist for those who have access to networks and money to get vaccine shots on priority She added that the weaker sections of the society are suffering the consequences of such government regulations.

Further stating that many many countries have benefitted from the Vaccine Maitri initiative by the Ministry of External Affairs, Chaturvedi asked: 'Isn’t it high time that Indians get the same benefits of having a vaccine easily available for them?'

The Shiv Sena leader has further urged the Union minister to consider roping in private hospitals for immunisation drive, open up more mobile vaccination centres and fix the issues coming up in the CoWin App.

She also urged considering de-regularising the sale of vaccines and capping the cost of the same to ensure that there is no heavy cost for the citizens to bear. 

13:33 (IST)19 Feb 2021
Delhi's Covid spread slows in past month but officials stay on alert

The city’s Covid graph over the past month has given healthcare workers a much needed breather. However, with the number of cases increasing in several cities and towns in Maharashtra, Delhi government officials have warned against complacency.

Between mid-January and mid-February the city’s positivity rate has remained under 0.5%, which experts say indicates that the spread has slowed down by a considerable degree.

The number of samples collected in a day, however, has also dipped from around 75,000 a day in November to 57,000 per day after the last month. (Read more here)

Covid-19 India Live Updates: 13,000 new cases; 1 crore vaccinated so far A health worker leaves a residential area after conducting swab tests for COVID-19 following rise in cases at Dharavi, in Mumbai, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Covid-19 cases up, ‘partial lockdown’, curbs in 5 Vidarbha districts

With the Covid-19 positivity graph shooting up sharply in Maharashtra’s Amravati division, the authorities have reimposed strict restrictions in all its five districts — Amravati, Akola, Yavatmal, Buldana and Washim — with a “partial lockdown” in two of them.

The five districts, of the 11 in the Vidarbha region, saw 1,188 new cases on Thursday, with Amravati leading the chart with 597, followed by Yavatmal (237), Akola (179), Buldana (134) and Washim (41). Yavatmal’s tally more than doubled, to 237 new cases, from 109 on Wednesday.

Amravati district’s active caseload stood at 3,468 on Wednesday, up from 423 a month ago. Officials said daily deaths due to Covid-19 in the district were up from one-two deaths a month ago to three-four a day now.

Covidiplomacy pitch by PM Modi: Visa for medics, air ambulance

Applauding the “spirit of collaboration” among South Asian and Indian Ocean island countries as “a valuable takeaway from this pandemic”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested Thursday the creation of a regional platform for collating and studying data on the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines, a special visa scheme for doctors and nurses to travel within the region during health emergencies, and a regional air ambulance agreement for medical contingencies.

Official sources later said “all countries, including Pakistan, supported the PM’s proposals”. They sought a structured discussion for regional cooperation on these proposals to take them forward, sources said.

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