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Saturday, May 08, 2021

Coronavirus India Highlights: Centre to procure 1 lakh portable oxygen concentrators from PM CARES Fund

Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla Wednesday said his firm has decided to reduce the price of its anti-coronavirus vaccine, Covishield, to the states from Rs 400 to Rs 300 per dose

By: Express Web Desk | Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi |
Updated: April 29, 2021 10:16:02 pm
A man carries an oxygen cylinder in Ahmedabad, amid the Covid-19 pandemic (Express Photo: Nirmal Harindran)

The Centre has said 1 lakh portable oxygen concentrators would be procured from PM CARES Fund on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s direction to procure them at the earliest and provide to states with high case burden.

Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla Wednesday said his firm has decided to reduce the price of its anti-coronavirus vaccine, Covishield, to the states from Rs 400 to Rs 300 per dose as a “philanthropic gesture”. The pharma giant has received flak over its different pricing of Covishield for the Centre and states, with many state governments calling for equal pricing of the vaccine. The Centre gets Covishield at Rs 150 per dose from SII.

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope Wednesday said the Covid-induced restrictions in the state will be extended by another 15 days. The restrictions were to end on April 30. The state government also declared that it will provide free Covid vaccination to all citizens aged between 18-44.

The registration for Covid vaccination for all above 18 years of age began on Co-WIN portal and Aarogya Setu app from 4 pm Wednesday. However, high user traffic resulted in both the platforms crashing for a brief period. Both the platforms are working fine now.

India, in the last 24 hours, recorded 3,60,960 fresh Covid-19 cases and 3,293 deaths, which is the highest in the country so far. With today’s numbers, the total number of coronavirus cases rose to 1,79,97,267 and the number of fatalities reached 2,01,187. At present, there are 29,78,709 active cases in India and as many as 1,48,17,371 people have recovered.

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Coronavirus India Highlights: India reports 3,60,960 cases, 3,293 deaths in last 24 hours; Questions on price of Covaxin; Lack of tankers, plant location are challenges.

23:35 (IST)28 Apr 2021
Gujarat: 26 cases lodged for Covid protocol violation at weddings, 25 held, say police

As many as 26 cases of Covid-19 protocol and mask violations during wedding ceremonies were registered across Gujarat on Tuesday and 25 persons were arrested, Gujarat Director General of Police Ashish Bhatia said. 

The state government has put a cap of maximum 50 guests at wedding ceremonies while disallowing any programme between 8 pm and 6 am in 29 cities of the state, including the four metropolitan cities.

“On Tuesday, we registered 26 cases for violation of mask rule and guest cap at wedding ceremonies across the state and arrested 25 persons. A number of SOPs, including those for weddings, have been announced by the state government in the wake of the pandemic. We request the public to follow the guidelines, especially the cap on guests at functions and mandatory online registration for such parties,” Bhatia said. 

On Sunday, police had registered as many as 207 cases and arrested 78 people for violations of Covid-19 protocols at weddings, the DGP said. From December 19 last year to April 25 this year, a total of 17,571 weddings were checked and 727 cases were registered for mask violation while 149 cases were lodged for Covid-19 guidelines violation. A total of 254 persons were also arrested.

Over last week, more than 20,380 cases were registered under IPC section 188 for disobedience related to violation of night curfew, mask wearing and social distancing in Gujarat.

“Seventeen cases of black marketing of Remdesivir injections have been registered of which four cases are in Ahmedabad, three each in Surat and Rajkot, two in Vadodara, one each in Mehsana, Bharuch, Valsad, Dahod and Patan. Total 44 accused have been arrested till now,” the DGP said. ENS

23:12 (IST)28 Apr 2021
Allahabad High Court judge dies of Covid-19

Justice Virendra Kumar Srivastava of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court died of COVID-19 on Wednesday. He was 59.
Allahabad High Court Registrar (Protocol) Ashish Kumar Srivastava said that Justice Srivastava died at Lucknow's Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute (SGPGI).

The Allahabad High Court and its Lucknow bench will remain closed on Thursday to mourn the death of Justice Srivastava.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has expressed grief over the death of Justice Srivastava, the state government said in a statement issued in Lucknow on Wednesday. PTI

22:05 (IST)28 Apr 2021
AMC withdraws rule on admission of Covid patients arriving in ‘108’ ambulances

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) on Wednesday relaxed several of its rules regarding hospital admission to Covid patients, lifting the restricting of admission to only Covid-19 patients arriving in EMRI (Emergency Management and Research Institute-run) ‘108’ ambulances at the civic body-run hospitals and directed private dedicated Covid hospitals to free up a minimum 75 per cent of beds for Covid patients.

The move comes a day after the Gujarat High Court asked the state government to direct hospitals to admit all Covid-19 patients approaching them, instead of just those arriving through the ‘108’ ambulance service. Read More

22:03 (IST)28 Apr 2021
Maharashtra reports 63,309 COVID-19 cases, 985 deaths

Maharashtra on Wednesday reported 63,309 new coronavirus cases and 985 deaths, the state health department said. It took the tally of infections in the state to 44,73,394 and the death toll to 67,214.
     
Mumbai recorded 4,926 new cases and 78 deaths, raising its caseload to 6,40,409 and the death toll to 12,954.
    
A total of 61,181 patients were discharged from hospitals during the day, taking the number of recoveries to 37,30,729.

Of 985 fatalities, 392 occurred in the last 48 hours, 251 in the last week while the rest had taken place earlier but were added to the tally now, an official explained. (PTI)

22:01 (IST)28 Apr 2021
Maharashtra announces free vaccination to all in 18-44 age group, extends lockdown

The Maharashtra Cabinet on Wednesday decided to provide free vaccination to all those in the age group of 18 to 44 years. However, the government said that it would not start the vaccination drive from May 1 due to unavailability of vaccines.

The Cabinet also decided to extend the restrictions currently in place. However, it has not been decided how long the curbs will continue.

Making the announcement of free vaccinations for the 18-44 age group, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the health department is chalking out details of the programme. Read More

22:00 (IST)28 Apr 2021
Mumbai’s Covid death rate rises even as the number of cases plateau

Even as the daily number of fresh cases seem to indicate that Mumbai may have passed its second Covid-19 peak, there has been a grim rise in its death rate in the last few weeks.

Until March first week, the death rate was as low as 0.2 per cent. It gradually rose in a month and touched 0.87 per cent last week. The state death audit committee estimates it might climb up to 1 per cent by the end of this week.

Data shows the weekly death rate between April 18 and 24 stood at 0.87 per cent, at 0.56 per cent between April 11 and 17, and at 0.35 per cent from April 4 to 10. Read More

21:59 (IST)28 Apr 2021
Tamil Nadu: 16,665 fresh Covid-19 cases, govt orders 1.50 crore vaccine doses

Tamil Nadu on Wednesday reported 16,665 Covid-19 cases, taking the overall tally to 11,30,167. With 98 causalities in the past 24 hours, the death toll reached 13,826. As many as 15,114 people got discharged following treatment and there are still 1,10,308 active cases in Tamil Nadu.

Among the 37 districts in the state, Chennai recorded 4,764 cases and 32 deaths. The city has 31295 active cases. Apart from Chennai, Chengalpattu with 1,219, Coimbatore with 991, Thiruvallur with 751 and Tirunelveli with 714 recorded the most number of cases. So far 2,23,78,247 samples have been tested, including today’s tally of 1,30,042. Read More

21:01 (IST)28 Apr 2021
Co-WIN portal sees over 79 lakh registrations on Wednesday

The Co-WIN platform saw 79,65,720 registrations after registration for Covid vaccination for people in the age group of 18-45 years began on Wednesday.

20:24 (IST)28 Apr 2021
Manipur puts blanket ban on sporting activities amid spike in Covid cases

Manipur government has put a blanket ban on any sporting activities as the state witnessed sudden spike in new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday.

The Youth Affairs & Sports Department issued an order banning all sports activities with immediate effect.

“In view of the 2nd wave of Covid-19 and ever increasing cases in Manipur all sporting activities in the state including any sports related activity at Khuman Lampak Sports Complex, Imphal and other sports complexes in the Districts including privately run/managed sports complexes are banned with immediate effect," said the order.

The order further stated that entry of visitors at Khuman Lampak Sports Complex except for the Officials/ Staffs of YAS, National Sports University and other Department located at Khuman Lampak Sports Complex, is also banned with immediate effect. (Input by Jimmy Leivon)

20:04 (IST)28 Apr 2021
Karnataka reports 39,047 new Covid cases

Karnataka on Wednesday reported 39,047 new Covid-19 cases, with capital Bengaluru alone accounting for 22,596 cases.

19:48 (IST)28 Apr 2021
Andhra reports over 14,000 Covid cases, 71 deaths

Andhra Pradesh's active Covid-19 cases crossed the one lakh mark with 14,669 new coronavirus cases during the last 24 hours ending 9am Wednesday, the state government said.

The infection count has gone up to 10,69,544 with the addition of the fresh cases while 71 fatalities pushed the toll to 7,871, an official bulletin said.

The state has 1,07,611 active cases and over 74,000 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. As many as 6,433 people recovered from the disease, taking the tally to 9,54,062.

Nellore topped the toll chart with nine casualties followed by Krishna eight. (PTI)

17:56 (IST)28 Apr 2021
Serum reduces price of Covishield to states from Rs 400 to Rs 300

Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla Wednesday said his firm has decided to reduce the price of its anti-coronavirus vaccine, Covishield, to the states from Rs 400 to Rs 300 per dose as a "philanthropic gesture".

17:15 (IST)28 Apr 2021
Centre to procure 1 lakh portable oxygen concentrators from PM CARES Fund

The Centre has said 1 lakh portable oxygen concentrators would be procured from PM CARES Fund on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's direction to procure them at the earliest and provide to states with high case burden. 

The government said 500 new PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) oxygen plants have been sanctioned under PM CARES Fund, in addition to 713 plants sanctioned earlier. "PSA plants, portable oxygen concentrators will help provide oxygen supply near demand clusters, addressing logistical challenges," the Centre said in a statement. 

PM Modi says portable oxygen concentrators, new PSA oxygen plants will improve access to oxygen, specially in district HQs, smaller cities.

17:13 (IST)28 Apr 2021
After initial trouble, CoWIN portal back online for vaccine registration

After initial trouble, CoWIN portal back online for vaccine registration

17:03 (IST)28 Apr 2021
Vaccine availability would appear on CoWIN after states, hospitals come on board, says NHA CEO

On the opening of vaccine registration for the 18-45 age group, R S Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority on registration for vaccination, said some states and hospitals may come on board on May 1 or later, therefore, the visibility into the bookings/vacancy available for vaccination will be available then.

Those above 45 years will continue to be vaccinated free of cost by the Centre, he added. (ANI)

16:45 (IST)28 Apr 2021
Maharashtra lockdown extended by 15 days

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope says lockdown in the state will be extended by another 15 days. The restrictions were to end on April 30.

16:26 (IST)28 Apr 2021
Co-Win crashes as millions try to register for vaccine

The registration for Covid vaccination for all above 18 years of age began on CoWIN platform or Aarogya Setu app from 4 pm Wednesday. However, high user traffic resulted in both the platforms crashing for a brief period. 

15:30 (IST)28 Apr 2021
Maharashtra govt to provide free Covid vaccine to all between 18-44

Maharashtra government Wednesday declared that it will provide free Covid vaccination to all citizens aged between 18-44. A tweet by CMO Maharashtra read, "Today, the Cabinet under the leadership of CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray has decided to provide free COVID-19 vaccination to all the citizens of Maharashtra aged between 18-44years."

15:22 (IST)28 Apr 2021
'No mask, gloves': Sanitation workers in Bengaluru demand protective equipments

Sanitation workers in Bengaluru handling medical waste, including places where Covid-19 patients are in home isolation, allege no supply of mask, gloves, personal protective equipment, transportation to mustering centres.

15:20 (IST)28 Apr 2021
IAF sets up dedicated Covid cell for faster coordination with different ministries

Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria Wednesday briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi that a dedicated Covid cell has been set up by the Indian Air Force to ensure faster coordination with different ministries and agencies on pandemic-related operations, PTI reported. He also said that the IAF is in 24x7 readiness of its fleet to meet Covid related requirements across India and overseas.

An employee of a Covid-19 hospital in Gandhinagar carries an oxygen cylinder on Monday. (Express Photo: Nirmal Harindran)

Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria Wednesday briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi that a dedicated Covid cell has been set up by the Indian Air Force to ensure faster coordination with different ministries and agencies on pandemic-related operations, PTI reported. He also said that the IAF is in 24x7 readiness of its fleet to meet Covid related requirements across India and overseas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday chaired a high-level meeting to review Covid-19 situation in the country and asked the officials to ensure rapid upgradation of health infrastructure, PTI reported. The PM was also briefed on the efforts being made to ramp up the availability and supply of oxygen.

Meanwhile, with states complaining of vaccine shortage, the Centre on Tuesday released data to say more than one crore doses, to be administered to priority groups, were available with states and 86 lakh more would be distributed over the next three days.

The Delhi High Court Tuesday said the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government's entire system has failed due to the alleged black marketing of oxygen cylinders and crucial medicines for treating Covid-19 patients. "Set your house in order. If you cannot manage it, we will ask the central government to takeover," the court told the Delhi government.

Earlier on Tuesday, the country received 95 oxygen concentrators and 100 ventilators from the United Kingdom as the country continues to fight against depleting resources amid the second wave of the novel coronavirus.

The Supreme Court has said its suo motu proceeding on devising a national policy for Covid-19 management is not meant to supplant cases being heard by the high courts, but added that the top court cannot be a “mute spectator” at the time of national crisis. In another order, the top court allowed Vedanta to operate its closed oxygen plant at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, saying the order has been passed in view of “national need” for oxygen.

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