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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Coronavirus India Highlights: Experts warn of imminent third wave of COVID-19 in Sept-Oct

Active cases were at their lowest in 155 days while the country's recovery rate increased to 97.63 per cent.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 24, 2021 9:17:13 am
Active cases in the country have declined to 3.22 lakh.People wait to receive the vaccine for COVID-19 at a vaccination center in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Coronavirus India Highlights: An expert panel, set up by an institute under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), has predicted a third wave of Covid-19 hitting the country anytime between September and October and suggested significantly ramping up vaccination pace, reported PTI. The committee of experts, constituted by the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), also said that children will have a similar risk as adults since paediatric facilities, doctors and equipment like ventilators, ambulances, etc. are nowhere close to what may be required in case a large number of children become infected.

The report, which has been submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), observed that only around 7.6 percent (10.4 cr) people are fully vaccinated in India and if the current vaccination rate is not increased, India can witness six lakh cases per day in the next wave.

Meanwhile, India recorded 25,072 new cases of Covid-19 in the 24 hours ending 8 am Monday, lowest in 160 days. The active cases stood at 3.33 lakh and accounted for 1.03 per cent of the total cases. Active cases were at their lowest in 155 days while the country’s recovery rate increased to 97.63 per cent. With 389 new fatalities, the death toll is now over 4,34 lakh.

Live Blog

India reports 25,072 new cases, 389 deaths; Shree Jagannath Temple reopens from today.

22:24 (IST)23 Aug 2021
Over 58.82 crore Covid vaccine doses administered in India so far: Govt

With 56,10,116 Covid vaccine doses administered in the country on Monday, the total vaccination count in India has crossed 58.82 crore, the Union Health Ministry said. As on day-220 of the vaccination drive (August 23), 39,62,091 beneficiaries were given the first dose and 16,48,025 received the second dose, according to a provisional report till 7 pm. Final reports would be completed for the day by late night. The vaccination exercise as a tool to protect the most vulnerable population groups in the country from Covid-19 continues to be regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level, the ministry underlined. (PTI)

21:24 (IST)23 Aug 2021
Uttarakhand extends Covid-induced curfew till August 31

Uttarakhand government extends Covid-induced curfew for seven days till August 31.

20:50 (IST)23 Aug 2021
Telangana to reopen all educational institutions including anganwadis from Sept 1

Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Monday said that the state will reopen all schools, anganwadi centres and other educational institutions from September 1.

20:15 (IST)23 Aug 2021
No RT-PCR test report for fully jabbed air travellers arriving in Chhattisgarh

The Chhattisgarh government on Monday exempted fully vaccinated air passengers arriving in the state from carrying a negative RT-PCR coronavirus test report, officials said. Earlier this month, the state government had issued guidelines in connection with mandatory Covid-19 test report for air passengers.

Under the rules, it had stated that travellers inoculated with both the doses of anti-Covid-19 vaccines will also have to produce at airports a negative RT-PCR report of test conducted within 96 hours of boarding the flight from outside Chhattisgarh. The General Administration Department on Monday amended this provision and stated that passengers who have received both the doses of vaccines have been exempted from carrying a negative report of RT-PCR test (considered gold standard for coronavirus testing), a public relations department officer here said. For remaining air passengers, the earlier rule of mandatory test report will continue to be in force, he said. The state has airports in capital Raipur, Bilaspur and Jagdalpur. (PTI)

19:36 (IST)23 Aug 2021
Covid vaccine trial participants to be issued digital certificates through Co-WIN

People who participated in Covid-19 vaccine trials will be issued digital certificates through the Co-WIN portal, the Union health ministry said on Monday.

19:12 (IST)23 Aug 2021
13,383 Covid-19 cases, 90 deaths in Kerala

Kerala on Monday saw 13,383 fresh cases of COVID-19 and 90 deaths, pushing the total infection count to 38,27,688 and toll of fatalities to 19,584 till date, an official press release here said.

17:57 (IST)23 Aug 2021
Expert panel warns of imminent third wave of Covid-19 in Sept-Oct

An expert panel, set up by an institute under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), has predicted a third wave of COVID-19 hitting the country anytime between September and October and suggested significantly ramping up vaccination pace. The committee of experts, constituted by the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), also said that children will have a similar risk as adults since paediatric facilities, doctors and equipment like ventilators, ambulances, etc. are nowhere close to what may be required in case a large number of children become infected. The report, which has been submitted to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), observed that only around 7.6 percent (10.4 cr) people are fully vaccinated in India and if the current vaccination rate is not increased, India can witness six lakh cases per day in the next wave. (PTI)

16:11 (IST)23 Aug 2021
Multiplexes, theatres in TN to welcome guests from Aug 27

Multiplexes and theatres in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu, as well, will start receiving film lovers from August 27, nearly four months after cinema halls were closed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners Association said on Monday. With the state government relaxing Covid-19 lockdown regulations permitting theatres to re-open from today, theatre owners are bracing for a grand re-opening this week-end hoping to draw a steady trickle of movie lovers. (PTI)

15:22 (IST)23 Aug 2021
Karnataka schools, colleges reopen for classes 9-12 after five months

Schools and Pre-University (PU) colleges here and in other districts of Karnataka where Covid test positivity rate is less than two per cent reopened for students of classes 9-12 on Monday after a gap of five months. Chief Minister Basavaraj S Bommai likened the reopening to freedom for students from Covid-19.

"Students are very happy. It's like, they have got a freedom today from Covid-19. August 15 is celebrated as a freedom for the country but for our students from classes ninth, tenth, 11th and 12 it's a real freedom for them with the opening of schools," Bommai told reporters after visiting a few schools in the city. (PTI)

15:05 (IST)23 Aug 2021
Over 57 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses provided to states, UTs so far: Centre

More than 57.05 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses have been provided to state and UTs so far, the Union Health ministry said on Monday. Another 13,34,620 doses are in the pipeline, the ministry said. Over 3.44 crore balance and unutilised Covid-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs to be administered, it said. The ministry said the Union Government is committed to accelerating the pace and expanding the scope of COVID-19 vaccination throughout the country. (PTI)

13:04 (IST)23 Aug 2021
Covid antibody that protects against broad range of variants identified

Researchers have identified an antibody that is highly protective at low doses against a wide range of variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19. The findings, posted as a pre-proof in the journal Immunity, could help develop new antibody-based therapies that are less likely to lose their potency as the virus mutates.

The new antibody attaches to a part of the virus that differs little across the variants, meaning that it is unlikely for resistance to arise at this spot, the researchers said. "Current antibodies may work against some but not all variants," said study senior author Michael S Diamond, a professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, US. "The virus will likely continue to evolve over time and space. Having broadly neutralising, effective antibodies that work individually and can be paired to make new combinations will likely prevent resistance," Diamond said. (With PTI)

13:03 (IST)23 Aug 2021
Puducherry witnesses dip in number of new COVID-19 cases

Puducherry witnessed a dip in number of new coronavirus cases during the last 24 hours reporting 42 infections, a senior official of Department of Health said on Monday. The union territory recorded 42 fresh cases as against the 60 recorded on Sunday, Director of the Department G Sriramulu said in a release. The new cases were identified at the end of the examination of 3,035 samples and they were spread over Puducherry (25), Mahe (12), Karaikal (four) and Yanam (one). The overall infection tally climbed to 1,22,934.

10:40 (IST)23 Aug 2021
India records 25,072 new covid-19 cases, lowest in 160 days

India recorded 25,072 new cases of covid-19 in the 24 hours ending 8 am Monday, lowest in 160 days. The active cases stood at 3.33 lakh and accounted for 1.03 per cent of the total cases. Active cases were at their lowest in 155 days while the country’s recovery rate increased to 97.63 per cent. With 389 new fatalities, the death toll is now over 4,34 lakh.

09:12 (IST)23 Aug 2021
Tamil Nadu Covid-19 tally breaches 26-lakh mark

Tamil Nadu continued to record a dip in the number of daily cases as the state added 1,630 fresh infections on Sunday, pushing its tally to 26,00,885. As many as 23 people have succumbed to the disease, taking the toll to 34,709 so far, a medical bulletin said. Recoveries eclipsed new infections with 1,827 people getting discharged in the last 24 hours, aggregating to 25,47,005 leaving 19,171 active infections. A total of 1,55,607 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, pushing the cumulative number of specimens examined to 4.09 crore till date.

09:11 (IST)23 Aug 2021
💉 Over 92,000 doses of Covid vaccine administered in Delhi on Saturday

Over 92,300 people were vaccinated against COVID-19 in Delhi on Saturday of which 64,931 received their first dose, according to official data. The vaccination bulletin released by the Delhi government on Sunday said over 1.23 crore doses have been administered in Delhi since the inoculation exercise started on January 16. As many as 34.86 lakh people have received both the doses, it said.

21:30 (IST)22 Aug 2021
Delhi sees more vaccinations in 18-44 group as compared to people over 45

Four months into the vaccination drive opening for the 18-44 age group in Delhi, more doses have now been administered in this category than to those aged above 45. The nation-wide vaccination drive started on January 16 but had begun for people aged below 45 in Delhi only on May 3. Since then, the drive has been stalled multiple times owing to stock running out at government-run centres. Read full report here

21:13 (IST)22 Aug 2021
4,141 new cases, 145 deaths in Maharashtra; 4,780 recuperate

Maharashtra reported 4,141 new coronavirus positive cases on Sunday, which took its infection count to 64,24,651, while 145 deaths pushed the toll to 1,35,962, the health department said. A total of 4,780 patients were discharged from hospitals during the day. With this, the overall recovery count of the state grew to 62,31,999, it said in a statement.

Maharashtra's recovery rate is 97 per cent, while the fatality rate is 2.11 per cent. With 1,67,881 tests conducted on Sunday, the state's overall test count climbed to 5,22,92,131, it said. At present, there are 53,182 active COVID-19 cases in the state. Mumbai reported 294 cases and one death on Sunday that took its total case count to 7,41,164 and fatality figure to 15,947. (PTI)

20:27 (IST)22 Aug 2021
Covid curfew extended in Goa till August 30

The coronavirus-induced curfew in Goa was on Sunday extended till August 30, officials said. As per a notification issued in the evening, restrictions on the opening of auditoriums, community halls as well as ban on operation of river cruises, spas, massage parlours and casinos will continue as earlier. The curfew was first imposed in May this year amid a spike in cases and has been extended routinely since then. (PTI)

19:29 (IST)22 Aug 2021
Uttarakhand: 'Bagwal' stone-pelting festival held in low-key manner amid Covid pandemic

The 'Bagwal' festival, in which devotees traditionally pelt stones at each other, was held in a low-key affair at the Devidhura temple in Uttarakhand's Champawat district on Sunday due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The festival sees devotees divided into four clans, hurling stones at each other to please the deity. It was held for just seven minutes, Khim Singh Lamharia, chairperson of the Devidhura temple committee said. But even in that short span of time, 77 out of a total of 300 devotees sustained injuries, he said.

The festival is held every year as a ritual to please the goddess. As a precaution due to Covid-19, nobody from the administration took part in the festival, and no guests were invited from outside, Lamharia said. "Bagwal was played with flowers and local fruits. A total of 1,250 local people witnessed it," he added. (PTI)

18:41 (IST)22 Aug 2021
High schools, pre-university colleges in Karnataka reopen tomorrow after nearly 18 months

High schools and pre-university colleges in Karnataka are gearing up to welcome students back on campuses from Monday after a gap of nearly 18 months. Whiles classes IX and X will open in schools, pre-university colleges conduct classes equivalent to grades XI and XII. All institutes are required to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines. Read full report here

People line up to get inoculated against Covid-19 outside a vaccination centre in Mumbai. (AP Photo)

Haryana government misleading state on Oxygen deaths, says Hooda, cites media reports

A day after Haryana government informed the Vidhan Sabha that no deaths due to a lack of oxygen have been reported in state during the Covid pandemic, former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda Saturday accused the ruling BJP-JJP alliance of misleading the public.

Showing copies of news reports related to the deaths during the second wave of Corona, Hooda said, “The government has given wrong information in the Assembly”.

Year later, many participants of vaccine trials await certification

A K Khanna, 65, a former top official at a pharmaceutical firm and presently chairman of a healthcare company, was among the first five participants in the clinical trials of Covishield vaccine conducted by the Serum Institute of India and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) a year ago. Along with his wife and daughter, Khanna received his vaccine doses in August last year.

A year later, he has to furnish RT-PCR test results every time he has to board a flight, because, unlike other vaccinated people, he still doesn’t have a government software-generated certificate. The one that the trial site had provided has often been dubbed “fake”.

New research: People with prolonged or severe Covid have highest antibody levels

People who have had severe or long-lasting cases of Covid-19 are more likely to have high levels of an important antibody needed to fight against future infection, according to a new study from Rutgers University published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

The published paper, ‘Determinants and dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a diverse population: 6-month evaluation of a prospective cohort study’, was part of the larger Rutgers Corona Cohort study, which followed 548 healthcare workers and 283 others from the start of the pandemic.

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