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Monday, August 02, 2021

Coronavirus India HIGHLIGHTS: Centre asks states to prepare plans for expediting 2nd-dose coverage among healthcare workers

Today’s Covid numbers –– Delhi (305 cases), Mumbai (660 cases), Kolkata (485 cases), Bengaluru (2191 cases), Chennai (1223 cases)

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, New Delhi |
Updated: June 15, 2021 7:28:29 am
COVID-19 patients receive treatment inside CWG Covid Care Centre in New Delhi.

Terming the low coverage of Covid vaccination among the healthcare and frontline workers a cause of “serious concern”, the Centre Thursday advised the states and Union Territories to prepare effective plans for expediting the second dose coverage among these priority groups, PTI reported. At a high-level meeting chaired by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan with the states to review vaccination progress, it was highlighted that while the national average for the first dose administration among the healthcare workers (HCWs) is 82 per cent, for the second dose, it is only 56 per cent, a statement issued by the health ministry said.

Delhi on Thursday recorded 305 Covid-19 new cases and 44 deaths while taking the positivity rat down to 0.41%. On Wednesday, the national capital had recorded 337 fresh infections with a positivity rate of 0.46 per cent and 36 fatalities.

India, in the last 24 hours, has reported 94,052 Covid-19 cases, and 6,148 deaths in the last 24 hours. This is the highest number of deaths that the country has seen in a day since the start of the pandemic. The jump in deaths come after Bihar revised its toll on Wednesday, adding 3,951 previously uncounted deaths to its tally.

Bharat Biotech on Wednesday said that the full data of phase III trials for Covaxin will be made public in July, ANI reported. The data will be first submitted to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, followed by peer-reviewed journals with a timeline of three months for publication. Bharat Biotech told ANI once the final analysis of the phase III data is available, it would apply for a full licensure for Covaxin.

Bharat Biotech had earlier said that Covaxin has demonstrated overall interim clinical efficacy of 78 per cent, and 100 per cent efficacy against severe Covid-19 disease in phase III trials. The interim analysis was based on more than 87 symptomatic cases of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to provide free vaccines to states for all citizens over 18 years from June 21 is likely to cost the exchequer an additional Rs 15,000 crore compared with the Budget allocation of Rs 35,000 crore. “It is too early to give a correct estimate with multiple suppliers and different prices. But the rough estimate is total expenditure for vaccines for this year may be Rs 45,000-50,000 crore. In the Budget, we had provided Rs 35,000 crore, and of this, the government has paid out about Rs 5,000 crore,” a senior government official who did not wish to be named told The Indian Express.

Live Blog

Over 1.33 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses still available with states, says Centre; Vaccination going to drive revival of tourism sector, says Union tourism minister; Follow this space for more updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

22:34 (IST)10 Jun 2021
Haryana reports 539 fresh Covid-19 cases

Haryana reports 539 fresh Covid-19 cases

21:26 (IST)10 Jun 2021
Unplanned vaccination can promote mutant strains of Covid-19: Health experts in report to PM

A group of public health experts, including doctors from AIIMS and members from the national taskforce on COVID-19, have said that mass, indiscriminate and incomplete vaccination can trigger emergence of mutant strains and recommended that there is no need to inoculate those who had documented coronavirus infection.

In their latest report, the experts from Indian Public Health Association (IPHA), Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine (IAPSM) and Indian Association of Epidemiologists (IAE) said vaccinating the vulnerable and those at risk, instead of mass population-wide inoculation including children, should be the aim at present. Read more

19:26 (IST)10 Jun 2021
Centres asks states to prepare plans for expediting second-dose coverage among healthcare workers

Terming the low Covid vaccination coverage among the healthcare and frontline workers, especially for the second dose, a cause of "serious concern", the Centre advised the states and Union territories on Thursday to sharpen their focus and prepare effective plans for expediting the second dose coverage among these priority groups. At a high-level meeting chaired by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan with the states to review the progress of vaccination, it was highlighted that while the national average for the first dose administration among the healthcare workers (HCWs) is 82 per cent, for the second dose, it is only 56 per cent, a statement issued by the health ministry said. --PTI

19:11 (IST)10 Jun 2021
Rajasthan reports 538 new cases

Rajasthan reports 538 new cases

19:05 (IST)10 Jun 2021
Mizoram reports record 346 new COVID-19 cases, 3 more deaths

Mizoram on Thursday registered its highest single-day spike of 346 fresh COVID-19 cases, which took the tally in the state to 14,533, an official said. The death toll rose to 61 as three more persons have succumbed to the coronavirus infection, he said. Of the new cases, 246 were reported from Aizawl district, followed by 50 from Kolasib, 31 from Lawngtlai and 12 from Lunglei. The remaining cases were recorded in several other districts. As many as 81 children are among the new patients, the official said. --PTI

18:57 (IST)10 Jun 2021
Ensure adequate vaccine supply instead of preventing states from sharing stock info: Sisodia to Centre

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday said the central government should focus on ensuring an adequate supply of vaccines to all states instead of preventing them from sharing information regarding the remaining stocks. His remarks came a day after the Centre wrote to states and union territories advising them not to share the data of the Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) system on vaccine stocks and the temperature of vaccine storage in the public domain, saying it is "sensitive information and to be used only for programme improvement". In a tweet, Sisodia said, "Am amazed at the order of Central Govt that prevents states from sharing information regarding vaccine stocks! The Central Govt needs to focus on ensuring adequate supply of vaccine to all, rather than hiding the true position of vaccine availability from the public." --PTI

17:35 (IST)10 Jun 2021
HC asks Maha to widely publicise advisory on preventing COVID-19 among children

The Bombay High Court directed the Maharashtra government on Thursday to give wide publicity to its advisory on preventing COVID-19 infection among children. A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni said the state government must consider broadcasting the dos and don'ts on regional news channels to ensure the message reaches a larger population, especially those in rural areas. The directions came after Maharashtra Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni informed the court that the state had constituted a task force to tackle paediatric cases of COVID-19 and related ailments. A detailed video conference was recently held between district and health officials and 65,000 ASHA workers, during which various factors, such as identifying symptoms, prevention methods, use of oximeters, were discussed, Kumbhakoni said. --PTI

17:14 (IST)10 Jun 2021
Tripura reports 625 new COVID-19 cases, 14 fresh fatalities

Tripura's COVID-19 tally soared to 56,794 on Thursday as 625 more people tested positive for the infection, while 14 fresh fatalities, the highest single- day spike, pushed the state's coronavirus death toll to 588, a health official said. The state now has 5,400 active COVID-19 cases, he said. As many as 363 more people have been cured of the disease, taking the total number of recoveries to 50,743. A total of 16,804 samples have been tested for COVID- 19 in the last 24 hours, in which the positivity rate was 3.72 per cent. --PTI

17:02 (IST)10 Jun 2021
Delhi records 305 COVID-19 cases, 44 fatalitie

Delhi on Thursday recorded 305 COVID-19 cases, 44 fatalities; positivity rate 0.41 per cent.

15:13 (IST)10 Jun 2021
Harsh Vardhan addresses first meeting of WHO high level coalition on health, energy

The COVID-19 pandemic has reiterated a massive interdependence among various sectors while underlining the need to ensure inter-connectedness across the sectors is reflected in policies for effective and sustainable service delivery, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has said. Vardhan made the remarks while addressing the first meeting of the World Health Organization High-Level Coalition on Health and Energy Platform of Action on Wednesday night through video-conference, a Health Ministry statement said.

"The pandemic, as well as the enormous efforts to manage it, have reiterated the massive interdependence amongst various sectors. It has also underlined the need to ensure that inter-connectedness across sectors needs to be reflected in our policies to ensure an effective and sustainable service delivery," he said in his address, according to the statement. "An expert body called the National Action Plan on Climate Change and Human Health was constituted by our government with the multiple objectives of creating awareness amongst the general population, health-care providers and policy makers regarding impact of climate change on human health," Vardhan said. --PTI

14:33 (IST)10 Jun 2021
Conduct audit of deaths during second wave of Covid-19: Uttarakhand HC to state govt

The Uttarakhand High Court has asked the state government to conduct an audit of the deaths that occurred during the second wave of coronavirus in the state, and also explore the possibility of carrying out door-to-door vaccination in remote hill areas. Hearing petitions related to the state's handling of the pandemic, Chief Justice R S Chauhan and Justice Alok Verma asked the state government on Wednesday if a district-level task force can be constituted with the help of the social welfare department to cater to people who are unable to get their immunisation due to lack of ID cards.

Asking the state government to explore the possibility of creating a system that reaches out to people in the remote hill areas on priority, the high court suggested setting up a panel of ASHA volunteers, home guards and nurses to carry out a door-to-door survey to ensure that the "dispersed" population in such areas is vaccinated. (PTI)

14:07 (IST)10 Jun 2021
Kerala tourist destinations to be 100 per cent vaccinated zones

All popular holiday destinations in Kerala may soon be declared as complete "vaccinated zones" as the state government is mulling to provide Covid-19 jabs to everyone in the tourism sector, which had suffered massive loss due to the pandemic. The government has already started providing vaccines to those working in the industry after including them in the prioritised list considering them as front line Covid fighters, Tourism minister P A Mohammed Riyas told the state Assembly here on Tuesday.

"We are mulling to make famous tourist destinations in the state 100 per cent vaccinated zones by July 15 with the support of the health department," he said during the question hour. The minister also said the state tourism sector had incurred losses to the tune of Rs 33,675 crore due to the Covid-19 situation. (PTI)

14:04 (IST)10 Jun 2021
Nationwide campaign to counter rumours on vaccination drive: Naqvi

A nationwide campaign will be launched by social and educational institutions to "curb and crush rumours and apprehensions spread by nefarious and vested interests" about the world's largest anti-coronavirus vaccination drive being conducted in India, Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said here on Thursday. State Haj committees, Waqf boards, their associate organisations, Central Waqf Council, Maulana Azad Education Foundation and other social and educational institutions will be part of the campaign "Jaan Hai To Jahaan Hai", to be launched especially in villages and remote areas of the country, he said. (PTI)

13:49 (IST)10 Jun 2021
Arunachal Pradesh logs 247 new Covid-19 cases, two more deaths

At least 247 more people tested positive for Covid-19 in Arunachal Pradesh, pushing the tally to 30,247, a senior health official said here on Thursday. The frontier state's toll rose to 128 with two more persons succumbing to the infection, the official said. A 37-year-old woman from Lohit district and a 41- year-old man from Lower Subansiri died of the disease on Wednesday, State Surveillance officer Dr Lobsang Jampa said.

Changlang recorded the maximum number of fresh cases at 48, followed by the Capital Complex Region at 44, East Kameng at 20, Lower Dibang Valley at 18, East Siang and Kra Daadi at 13 each and Lower Subansiri and Namsai at 12 each. Of the 247 fresh cases, 237 were detected through rapid antigen tests, three via RT-PCR and seven with TrueNat, the SSO said, adding that 130 people were found to have developed symptoms. (PTI)

13:25 (IST)10 Jun 2021
Delhi, Bengal govt reprimanded by SC for providing incorrect info on kids who lost parents to Covid

“The Delhi and West Bengal government were reprimanded by the Supreme Court for providing incorrect information about children who were orphaned or whose parents died due to Covid. This information is also not available on the Bal Swaraj portal. What else do you need than this mirror, Kejriwal and Mamata?” Union Minister Prakash Javadekar asked. (ANI)

13:14 (IST)10 Jun 2021
India to receive share from 80 million US vaccines through COVAX: US State Dept official

India will be receiving a share of the 80 million (8 crores) unused Covid-19 vaccines through the UN-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing programme that President Joe Biden has announced, according to a senior State Department official.

On June 2, President Biden announced that the US will allocate 75 per cent — nearly 1.9 crores of the first tranche of 2.5 crore doses — of unused Covid-19 vaccines from its stockpile through the UN-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing programme to countries in South and Southeast Asia as well as Africa.

The move is part of his administration’s framework for sharing 80 million (8 crores) vaccines globally by the end of June. (PTI)

13:02 (IST)10 Jun 2021
14 new cases push Covid-19 tally of Andamans to 7,168

The Covid-19 caseload in Andaman and Nicobar Islands rose to 7,168 as 14 more people tested positive for the disease in the Union Territory, a health department official said on Thursday. Of the new patients, four have travel history and 10 were detected during contact tracing, he said. The death toll remained at 125 as no new fatality due to the infection was reported in the last 24 hours. At least 17 more people were cured of the disease during the period, taking the total number of recoveries in the archipelago to 6,952. The Union Territory now has 91 active cases.

South Andaman is the worst-affected district as it currently has 87 active cases. The local administration has been strict to contain the spread of the disease and has adopted an approach of tracking, testing and treating, the official said, adding that people arriving here from the mainland are mandatorily required to undergo Covid test. (PTI)

12:41 (IST)10 Jun 2021
Puducherry records 507 new Covid-19 cases, 9 deaths

Puducherry saw a slight decline in fresh Covid-19 cases as 507 infections were reported in the last 24 hours ending 10 am on Thursday.

Puducherry region accounted for 366, followed by Karaikal 98, Yanam 20 and Mahe 23. The new cases were identified at the end of examination of 8,215 swabs in all the four regions of Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam. While active cases were 6,705, 646 patients were discharged during last twenty-four hours from hospitals, Director of Health S Mohan Kumar said. The total case load in the Union Territory rose to 1,11,255 after addition of 507 cases. Nine more people succumbed to the viral infection raising the toll to 1,657. (PTI)

12:24 (IST)10 Jun 2021
Right to life also for those without internet, provide walk-in vaccines for all: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday demanded that every person walking into a Covid-19 vaccination centre should get the jab, saying those who do not have access to internet also have the right to life. The Congress has been batting for vaccines for the poor, especially those living in far-flung and rural areas, who do not have digital access or smart phones. The opposition party has also been demanding that CoWIN registration should not be mandatory for getting the Covid vaccine. "Online registration is not enough for the vaccine. Every person walking in at a vaccination centre should get the vaccine. Those who do not have access to internet also have the right to life," he said in a tweet in Hindi.

11:50 (IST)10 Jun 2021
Arvind Kejriwal takes stock of construction of oxygen storage tank

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal inspects construction of 57-ton oxygen storage tank near Siraspur. “To ensure there's no shortage of oxygen in the third wave, we've set up O2 tanks at various places. 19 more O2 tanks to be launched soon and two oxygen generation plants of nearly 1,350 tonnes to be set up,” he said. (ANI)

At Plaza in Sector 17 of Chandigarh on Tuesday. (Photo: Kamleshwar Singh)

India’s revised Covid-19 vaccination policy: All you need to know

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India will shift to centralised procurement of Covid-19 vaccines, after several states had faced difficulties in procuring and managing the funding of vaccines.

This marks a change from the previous policy from May 1, when the Centre had asked states to procure 25% of the doses from the open market to vaccinate the 18-44 year age group. Before that (January 16 to April 30), the Centre had procured and allocated vaccine doses to the states for free vaccination of three priority groups — healthcare workers, frontline workers, and persons above the age of 45.

On Tuesday, just a day after the Prime Minister announced that the Centre will directly procure 75 per cent of the total doses to vaccinate every adult in the country free of cost, the Ministry of Health placed an advance order to secure 44 crore doses from the two vaccine manufacturers in the country.

Agra hospital shut down after owner’s video: ‘mock drill… cut oxygen supply’

The district administration on Tuesday ordered the sealing of Shri Paras Hospital, a prominent private hospital in Agra, following a purported video clip of its owner where he talks about how the hospital cut off oxygen supply to Covid-19 patients for five minutes as part of a “mock drill” to find out “who will die”. He says that 22 patients were “filtered out” during this “experiment” as they “turned blue”.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Agra District Magistrate Prabhu Narain Singh confirmed that the person in the video clip was the hospital owner, Dr Arinjay Jain. The incident is reported to have occurred on the morning of April 26, and the video was made on April 28.

While Jain talks about 22 patients who “turned blue”, Singh said four Covid-19 patients died on April 26 and three on April 27.

First time since March, single digit deaths reported in Mumbai

Mumbai on Tuesday reported seven deaths due to Covid-19, the lowest in the last two-and-a-half months since the city recorded seven deaths on March 20 at the onset of the second wave of the pandemic. With this, Mumbai breached the 15,000 mark in Covid-19 toll.

Tuesday’s toll is the first time when Mumbai reported deaths in single digit during the second wave. The city’s overall toll now stands at 15,006.

On Tuesday, 682 fresh Covid-19 cases were recorded in Mumbai – daily case load is down from 900-1,000 cases a fortnight ago. While total number of active cases are over 15,000, the positivity rate has remained steady below 3 per cent since the last few days.

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