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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Coronavirus HIGHLIGHTS: Jaishankar says Vaccine Maitri based on availability of adequate stock at home

India detected 28,903 cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, of which 17,864 cases were from Maharashtra — the highest since September 30 last year.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi |
Updated: March 18, 2021 9:01:12 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during a meeting with chief ministers all states and Union territories over the spike in Covid-19 cases, via video conferencing, in New Delhi, Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (PTI Photo)

The average COVID vaccine wastage in India is 6.5 per cent, the Union health ministry informed on Wednesday hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked chief ministers to address the issue seriously. Earlier in the day, expressing concern over rising Covid-19 cases in some states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called for quick and decisive steps to curb the spread of the virus. In a virtual interaction with chief ministers, Modi said the emerging second peak of Coronavirus should be stopped immediately. The Prime Minister’s last interaction with CMs was in January, just before the vaccination roll-out.

India detected 28,903 cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, of which 17,864 cases were from Maharashtra — the highest since September 30 last year. More than 1.14 crore people have been found infected in the country till now, while the number of active cases in the country has increased to more than 2.34 lakh. At least 188 deaths were reported on Tuesday, with 87 casualties from Maharashtra and 38 from Punjab.

Meanwhile, former Union minister and BJP leader Dilip Gandhi died of COVID-19 at a private hospital in New Delhi early Wednesday morning. Gandhi, 69, was in Delhi in connection with some personal work. He had tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Tuesday and was admitted to a private hospital where he was put on a ventilator. He breathed his last around 3 am this morning, BJP leaders said.

In other news, Beijing has made it mandatory for people coming from India and 19 other countries to get themselves inoculated with Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccines if they wish to travel to China. For Indian travellers, this condition is a problem because Chinese-made vaccines are not available in India.

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Coronavirus India HIGHLIGHTS: India detected 28,903 cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, of which 17,864 cases were from Maharashtra — the highest since September 30 last year; PM Modi holds virtual meeting with CMs on Wednesday.

01:45 (IST)18 Mar 2021
Within 24 hours, cases surge by more than 1,000 in Pune district

New Covid-19 infections in Pune district rose to 4,745 on Wednesday, over a thousand more than the tally a day before, which was 3,574.

Pune District Collector Dr Rajesh Deshmukh told The Indian Express that the administration has intensified testing and contact tracing measures. “As part of our contact tracing measures, we are detecting several persons who are asymptomatic but have tested positive for coronavirus infection,” said Dr Deshmukh . Read More

01:18 (IST)18 Mar 2021
Over 6,000 new Covid cases in Vidarbha region, Nagpur district worst hit

The Corona graph in Vidarbha, Nagpur district in particular, is rising rapidly with the region recording 6,256 new cases on Wednesday, with almost all the districts registering substantial hike in new case numbers.

On Tuesday, the region had reported 5,113 cases, with Nagpur contributing 2,587 cases. Read More

00:33 (IST)18 Mar 2021
Jaishankar says Vaccine Maitri based on availability of adequate stock at home

Supply of Covid-19 vaccines to other countries is based on availability of adequate vaccines at home, and an empowered committee is overseeing the entire process, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar informed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. He added that the domestic requirement of the vaccine is being monitored continuously even as India sends vaccines to friendly nations across the globe.

In a statement, Jaishankar said, “The House should be aware that the supply of vaccines abroad is based on the assessment of adequate availability at home”, adding that “this is continuously monitored and takes into account the requirements of our domestic vaccination programme as it unfolds in different phases”. Read More

00:15 (IST)18 Mar 2021
Satish Kaushik tests positive for COVID-19, says ‘your love and blessings will help’

Veteran actor-director Satish Kaushik on Wednesday said he has tested positive for coronavirus and is presently under home quarantine. Kaushik took to Twitter to inform his followers about his COVID-19 diagnosis, while also asking people, who came in contact with him in the last few days, to get themselves tested.

“Attention please!! I have been tested Covid positive. I would request everyone to get tested, who came in contact with me in the last few days. I am home quarantined. Your love, best wishes & blessings will help. Thanks,” read Kaushik’s tweet. Read More

21:49 (IST)17 Mar 2021
First patient with S Africa variant of COVID-19 confirmed in Delhi

A 33-year-old man, currently admitted at LNJP Hospital here, has become the first confirmed case of COVID-19 caused by the South Africa variant of the novel coronavirus in Delhi, sources said on Tuesday. He was brought to the hospital about a week ago, and has been kept isolated in a separate unit, a source said.
The LNJP Hospital had earlier also admitted people who had been found positive for UK strain of COVID-19, and after their treatment  about two such patients had remained till February end, a senior doctor had earlier said.
Sources on Tuesday said the 33-year-old man has become the first confirmed case of COVID-19 caused by the South Africa variant of the novel coronavirus in Delhi. (PTI)

20:32 (IST)17 Mar 2021
Punjab to impose stricter curbs from tomorrow, Amarinder tells PM

Amid the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic in the state, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh told Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday that stricter curbs would be in place in Punjab from Thursday.

He was participating in the virtual Covid review meeting chaired by the Prime Minister. Sources said that the PM appreciated the efforts of the state government in handling the situation and enforcing curbs. He is learnt to have asked CMs of other states to follow in Punjab’s footsteps.

“We are making a policy, we will get stricter from tomorrow,” Amarinder told the PM. Read More

20:08 (IST)17 Mar 2021
Kerala Covid Wrap: 2,098 new cases, 13 deaths

Kerala recorded 2,098 new cases of Covid-19 and 13 deaths on Wednesday. The active caseload stood at 25,394 as the death toll reached 4,435.

Ernakulam has reported the highest number of cases (255) today, followed by Kozhikode (246) and Kollam (230). 

60,193 samples were tested in the last 24 hours as the test positivity rate stood at 3.49 per cent. Read More

19:03 (IST)17 Mar 2021
Covid-19 vaccine wastage in five states higher than national average of 6.5%: Centre

The average of Covid-19 vaccine wastage in India is 6.5 per cent, with Telangana and Andhra Pradesh recording 17.6 and 11.6 per cent wastage respectively, the Centre said on Wednesday as it called for optimal utilisation of the jabs.

Addressing a press conference, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said Covid-19 vaccine wastage in five states -- Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir is higher than 6.5 per cent, which is the national average.

“The message we have shared with states is that vaccines are invaluable commodities. They are public health goods and therefore vaccines have to be optimally utilised. Vaccine wastage has to be drastically reduced. Any reduction in wastage means that you end up inoculating more people and therefore the chances of disrupting the chain of infection grow that much more,” he said. Read More

18:14 (IST)17 Mar 2021
Gujarat: 7-day home quarantine must for people travelling to Surat

In the wake of a rise in COVID-19 cases, the Surat Municipal Corporation on Wednesday issued a notification making seven-day home quarantine mandatory for people travelling to the city from outside Gujarat.
The notification, issued under provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, said if a person shows any symptom of the viral infection while in quarantine, he should immediately get tested. "People coming to Surat city from outside Gujarat will have to undergo mandatory seven-day home quarantine and remain in isolation to prevent others at home from getting infected," the notification said.
Those violating the order will face action under Indian Penal Code Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act and the Disaster Management Act, it stated. (PTI)

15:31 (IST)17 Mar 2021
PM's Covid vision developed India's reputation as first and reliable respondent: Jaishankar in RS

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar Wednesday told the Rajya Sabha that PM Modi's Covid-19 vision has provided an overarching framework to make India's goodwill with other nations meaningful in terms of practical initiatives. This, as a result, has developed India's reputation as a first and reliable respondent, he said.

15:22 (IST)17 Mar 2021
India supplied medicines to 150 nations during pandemic: Jaishankar in LS

Even as the Covid pandemic was in full fury, there were already global demands of our pharmaceutical and medical capabilities, said External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar in Lok Sabha on Wednesday. "If we could meet them, it was largely due to extraordinary ramp-up of our Covid- related capabilities, he said.

Further, he said that India could meet the spiking requirement for Hydroxychloroquine, paracetamol and other relevant drugs across the world, adding that the Government has supplied 150 nations with medicines of which 82 are grants from India. (ANI)

15:13 (IST)17 Mar 2021
PM Modi speaks at International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the Covid-19 pandemic showed how impacts can quickly spread across globe and also how the world can come together to fight a common threat.

Speaking at the International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, he said Covid-19 has taught that in an interdependent world, no country is immune to the effects of global disasters. Effect of a disaster in one part of the world can quickly spread across the globe, PM said, adding that cooperation is a must for ensuring resilience of the global system. 

He added that just as the fight against the pandemic mobilized the energies of the world's seven billion people, our quest for resilience must build on the initiative and imagination of each and every individual on this planet.

14:59 (IST)17 Mar 2021
Success shouldn't turn into negligence: PM questions low testing, vaccination

Prime Minister Modi, while interacting with the chief ministers, questioned the low testing and vaccination rates in some parts of the country and urged them to contemplate on the matter. 

"It is a matter of contemplation that why is there less testing in some areas only. Why is there less vaccination in these areas? I think it's a time of test for good governance...Our confidence should not turn into overconfidence. Our success should not turn into negligence," PM Modi was quoted as saying by ANI.

He said states like Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are overly dependent on antigen tests and asserted that RT- PCR tests should make for over 70 per cent of overall testing.

PM Modi also called for ramping up testing in smaller towns and cautioned against spread of Coronavirus in villages.

14:51 (IST)17 Mar 2021
Take quick, decisive steps, stop 2nd peak of Covid immediately: PM to CMs

Expressing concern over rising Covid-19 cases in some states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called for quick and decisive steps to curb the spread of the virus.

In an interaction with the chief ministers on the Covid-19 situation and the ongoing vaccination drive, Modi said the emerging second peak of Coronavirus should be stopped immediately.

He further asked the heads of the states to take the issue of wastage of covid-19 vaccine doses seriously.

14:50 (IST)17 Mar 2021


14:07 (IST)17 Mar 2021
S Korean capital orders tests for all foreigners

South Korea's capital has ordered coronavirus tests for all foreign workers as the country expands mass testing targeting expatriates in a campaign that has triggered complaints of discrimination. Seoul officials said Wednesday the testing requirement covers all foreign nationals employed in the city, regardless of their visa status, as well as their employers. They could face fines of up to 2 million won (USD 1,768) if they fail to get tested until the end of March. Seoul had around 240,000 registered foreigners at the end of 2020, but city officials didn't have an immediate estimate on how many of them would be covered by tests. The decision comes after similar measures in nearby Gyeonggi province, which is also forcing employers to require tests for new foreign jobseekers and hire only those who test negative.

13:46 (IST)17 Mar 2021
COVID-19 surge: Ahmedabad zoo, lakefront, gardens closed

The Ahmedabad civic body on Wednesday announced the closure of the city zoo, lakefront and all public gardens here in view of the rising COVID-19 cases. On Tuesday, the city recorded 241 new cases of coronavirus, a sharp increase from 40 cases reported a month back on February 16. The COVID-19 tally in the city has gone up to 60,992, as per official figures.

Ahmedabad police remain vigilant during night curfew (Express Photo/File)
13:31 (IST)17 Mar 2021
Europe’s Covid-19 vaccine suspension may be driver as much by politics as science

Germany’s decision set off a domino effect of defections from the AstraZeneca vaccine. A cascade of countries — Italy, France and Spain — soon joined the decision to suspend AstraZeneca, dealing a significant blow to Europe’s already shaky inoculation drive despite a lack of clear evidence that the vaccine had caused any harm.

On Tuesday, the European Union’s top drug regulator pushed back against concerns about the shot, saying that there was no sign of its causing dangerous problems and that its lifesaving benefits “outweigh the risk of the side effects.” The European Medicines Agency was still studying the issue, said Emer Cooke, its executive director, adding that there was “no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions.”

It appears increasingly clear that the suspensions have as much to do with political considerations as scientific ones.

13:11 (IST)17 Mar 2021
PM Modi holds virtual meet with CMs on Covid-19 situation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding a virtual interaction with chief ministers of the Covid-19 situation in India, amid a second wave of infections. Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee and Bhupesh Baghel are reportedly not attending the meeting. Nearly 84 per cent of the daily infections are now being reported from six states -- Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu and Kerala. However, other states too are seeing a rise in cases. 

12:45 (IST)17 Mar 2021
Mamata Banerjee, Bhupesh Baghel to skip PM Modi's meet on covid

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a virtual meeting with all chief ministers today amid rising COVID-19 cases across the country. PM Modi's last interaction with chief ministers was in January before the vaccination roll-out.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel will not attend the meet today

coronavirus, coronavirus news, india covid 19 news, covid 19 vaccine, covid 19 vaccine registration, coronavirus india, coronavirus india news, corona cases in india, india news, coronavirus news, covid 19 latest news, maharashtra covid 19 cases In Nagpur on Monday. Amid a new wave of Covid infections, with over 2,000 daily cases, the city headed into a weeklong lockdown starting Monday. (PTI)

Maharashtra's new Covid-19 guidelines for movie halls, hotels, offices

The Maharashtra government has said cinema halls, hotels, restaurants, malls and offices flouting Covid-19 regulations will be shut down "until the Covid-19 pandemic stays notified as a disaster by the central government". It also said these establishments, barring health and other essential services, would operate at 50 per cent capacity.

Nagpur city goes under week-long lockdown

Nagpur city and adjoining areas under the city police commissionerate went under a week-long lockdown on Monday, with only essential services remaining open. Nagpur is the first city in the country to go under lockdown during the second wave of Covid-19. Many violators of the lockdown were penalised; a total fine of Rs 1,37,200 was collected from 464 persons who were either not wearing masks or not maintaining social distance.

Domestic violence, trafficking rose in lockdown: House panel

A Parliamentary panel has found that the lockdown led to a spurt in cases of domestic violence and trafficking, and recommended continued cash transfers and moratorium on loan repayments, among other steps, to empower women. The report by Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs deals with “atrocities and crimes against women and children”. The committee is headed by Congress Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma.

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