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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Coronavirus India Highlights: Govt issues guidelines for Covid-19 vaccination drive

India reported one of the lowest cases per million in the world (158) in the last seven days; much lower than many other countries of the Western Hemisphere, the health ministry said.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 15, 2020 9:28:21 am
Rapid testing, Coronavirus test, COVID-19 testAs of Friday, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu is 10,938. Express Photo: Gurmeet Singh

Coronavirus India Live Updates: Vaccinating 100-200 people in each session per day, monitoring them for 30 minutes after administering the shots for any adverse event and allowing only one beneficiary at a time are among the guidelines issued by the Centre for the COVID-19 inoculation drive, PTI reported. According to the guidelines issued to states recently, the COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) system will be used to track enlisted beneficiaries for the vaccination and anti-coronavirus vaccines on a real-time basis. At the vaccination site, only pre-registered beneficiaries will be vaccinated in accordance with the prioritisation, and there will be no provision for on-the-spot registrations. The states have been asked, as far as possible, to allocate the vaccine from one manufacturer to a district to avoid mixing of different COVID-19 vaccines in the field.

Former Bihar Chief Minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha chief Jitan Ram Manjhi tested positive for Covid-19, he announced on Monday. In a tweet, translated from Hindi, Manjhi said “Today my corona test report has come up positive. People who have come in contact with me in the last one week are requested to get their corona test done.”

India recorded 27,071 new Covid-19 cases in the 24 hours ending 8 am Monday, taking the country’s total tally to over 98.84 lakh. Out of the total cases, over 3.52 cases are active while over 93.88 lakh people have recovered after testing positive. With 336 new fatalities, the death toll now stands at 1,43,355. This is the lowest single day spike in deaths in around 6 months. Total number of deaths reported from the national capital crossed 10,000. Only Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have more.

On the global front, the first batch of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine was shipped from Michigan on Sunday, commencing the biggest vaccination drive in American history. About 2.9 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will be delivered in the first shipment. Another 2.9 million is being held back for the second dose,to be given 21 days later.

Live Blog

India's tally over 98 lakh, over 1.42 lakh deaths; Oxford's Covid-19 vaccine could be available as early as first half of 2021; Kerala CM announces free vaccine in state. Follow this space for the latest updates on Coronavirus in India.

21:57 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Tamil Nadu's COVID-19 tally crosses eight lakh mark

Tamil Nadu's COVID-19 tally on Monday crossed the eight lakh mark with 1,141 new cases and the death toll mounted to 11,909 with 14 more fatalities. Of the 1,141 new infections, 343 were from here and the remainder was scattered in other regions of the state and the tally stood at 8,00,029, a health department bulletin said. As of Sunday, 7,98,888 people had tested positive for coronavirus in the state.

All the 14 dead had co-morbidites and the death toll of 11,909 includes 3,924 from the state capital. Over a span of 52 days, the state added one lakh cases and breached the eight lakh mark, a significant improvement when compared to addition of one lakh infections in just about 20 days in October. (PTI)

20:51 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Largest vaccination campaign in US history gets underway

The biggest vaccination drive in American history got underway on Monday as health care workers started receiving COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, providing a glimpse of hope as the nation nears the grim milestone of 300,000 coronavirus deaths. A nurse in New York City was among the first people to receive the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday morning.

"I feel hopeful today," said Sandra Lindsay, the critical care nurse at New York's Long Island Jewish Medical Center, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo watched via livestream.

The news comes as the United States approaches 300,000 deaths from COVID-19. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said he would be among those getting a vaccine. "People will believe much more in the vaccine if the CEO is getting vaccinated," he said Monday on CNN.

20:50 (IST)14 Dec 2020
No public new year celebration in Shimla as night curfew to continue till Jan 5

There will be no public new year celebrations in Shimla, Kullu, Kangra and Mandi as the Himachal Pradesh government Monday extended night curfew in the four districts till January 5 to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The decision to extend the curfew was taken in a state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur here, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said.

The curfew will be in place from 9 pm to 6 am in Shimla, Mandi, Kangra and Kullu districts, Bhardwaj said. Earlier, the state government had decided to impose night curfew from November 23 to December 15.

The Cabinet also granted ex post facto permission for three makeshift Covid hospitals, which will be coming up at Shimla, Nalagarh, Tanda and Nerchowk. The hospitals are being built at a cost of over Rs 13 crore and half the payment has been made in advance to CBRI Roorkee, the contractor, a government statement said.

The Cabinet also agreed to shift the office of Deputy Inspector General (Intelligence and Security) from Shimla to Dharamshala. It gave its consent to create a Pain and Palliative Care Cell under Radiotherapy Department in IGMC Hospital.

It also gave nod to the Himachal Pradesh Aero Sports Rules, 2020 to ensure safety measures during paragliding activities in the state.

The Cabinet also decided that condemned vehicles of various departments will be transferred to the technical education department so that they can be used in the Industrial Training Institutes.

It gave its approval to the recommendations of a subcommittee for exclusion of a few areas from the purview of HP Town and Country Planning Act, 1977. Palda, Rajour and Chaled in Bharmour Special Area; Bani, Barod, Malga and Sudharag in Waknaghat Planning Area; and Aarda and Manyana revenue mohal of Mandi Planning Area have been excluded from the Act. ENS

20:13 (IST)14 Dec 2020
'Congratulations USA, Congratulations World': Donald Trump says first COVID-19 vaccine administered in America

Outgoing United States President Donald Trump on Monday annonced that the first COVID-19 vaccine was administered in the country. "First Vaccine Administered. Congratulations USA! Congratulations WORLD!" he tweeted.

20:12 (IST)14 Dec 2020
AIIMS’ nurses begin indefinite strike over redressal of demands, better pay

The nurses working in Delhi's AIIMS announced on Monday that they would be going on an indefinite strike over redressal of their demands, including that related to 6th Central Pay Commission, news agency ANI reported.

20:08 (IST)14 Dec 2020
First dose of Covid-19 vaccine given to frontline worker in New York
20:02 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Manipur discontinues thermal screening of passengers entering state by road

Manipur Government has discontinued thermal screening of passengers entering the state via its two national highways. Thermal screening began in the state in March after the coronavirus pandemic gripped the entire nation. The state has set up two screening points, one at Mao gate, bordering Nagaland and another at Jiribam, bordering Assam.

Manipur health department said the decision to discontinue screening was to enable the department to give more emphasis on deploying manpower in COVID hospitals and non-COVID health care facilities.

As many as 12 health officials stationed at Jiribam and another 18 at Mao gate have been withdrawn and would be deployed at COVID centers or hospitals as per the requirement, the department said.“Thermal screening becomes less relevant at this point as there are no reports of detection of COVID-19 suspects coming by roads. Moreover, testing facilities have been set up in almost all the district hospitals for any testing requirements”, said Dr. K Rajo, director Health.

Earlier, Principal Secretary Health, Vumlunmang had also pointed out that COVID positivity rate is gradually declining in December as people are strictly adhering to COVID appropriate behaviour. Manipur’s recovery rate stands at 90.92 per cent, as per the data provided by the state Health department. In addition, the ongoing sero-surveillnace which started in November last week is also confirming that there is a lower prevalence rate. (With input from Jimmy Leivon)

19:32 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Russia repeats 91.4% efficacy rate in new Covid-19 vaccine data

Russian coronavirus vaccine developers published fresh results from their trial of the Sputnik V vaccine on Monday based on new data, and said the shot had again been found to be 91.4% effective in providing protection from COVID-19.

The new results are based on data from 22,714 participants in the trial, and were published after 78 confirmed coronavirus cases were reported among the group, researchers at the Gamaleya Institute said in a statement made on Monday with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which is marketing the shot. Read more here

19:20 (IST)14 Dec 2020
1,229 new COVID-19 cases take UP's tally to 5,66,728; death toll 8,083

The COVID-19 death toll in Uttar Pradesh rose to 8,083 on Monday with 11 more fatalities, while 1,229 fresh cases pushed the infection tally to 5,66,728 in the state, an official said. In the past 24 hours, 1,229 fresh cases were reported in the state while in the same period, 1,927 people were discharged, Additional Chief Secretary (Health), Amit Mohan Prasad told reporters here.

"At present, there are 18,918 active cases and the total number of people discharged after treatment stands at 5,39,727," he said.
The recovery rate in the state has now increased to 95.23 per cent, Prasad said.

With 11 new fatalities, the death toll has risen to 8,083 while the total number of cases is 5,66,728, he said. Among the fresh cases, 184 are from Lucknow, 89 from Gautam Buddh Nagar, 69 from Ghaziabad, 67 from Meerut, 62 from Allahabad, a health bulletin issued here said.

17:44 (IST)14 Dec 2020
305 new COVID-19 cases in Andhra, 541 recoveries

About 45,000 sample tests turned out 305 positives for coronavirus in Andhra Pradesh while 541 patients recovered and two more succumbed in 24 hours ending 9 am on Monday. The cumulative COVID-19 positives after 1.08 crore sample tests touched 8,75,836 at a positivity rate of 8.05 per cent. The recovery rate rose to 98.65 per cent after 8,64,049 Covid-19 patients got cured while the mortality rate remained steady at 0.81 per cent with the gross toll touching 7,059.

The state had 4,728 active cases on Monday, which was 0.6 per cent. As per government data, COVID-19 cases in Andhra Pradesh
grew at a meager 0.1 per cent in the last week while the recovery rate too improved at the same rate. After a very long gap, all 13 districts reported less than 50 fresh cases each on Monday, with eight of them adding below 25 each. (PTI)

16:41 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Govt issues guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination drive

Vaccinating 100-200 people in each session per day, monitoring them for 30 minutes after administering the shots for any adverse event and allowing only one beneficiary at a time are among the guidelines issued by the Centre for the COVID-19 inoculation drive. According to the guidelines issued to states recently, the COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) system--a digitalised platform--will be used to track enlisted beneficiaries for the vaccination and anti-coronavirus vaccines on a real-time basis.

At the vaccination site, only pre-registered beneficiaries will be vaccinated in accordance with the prioritisation, and there will be no provision for on the-spot registrations. The states have been asked, as far as possible, to allocate the vaccine from one manufacturer to a district to avoid mixing of different COVID-19 vaccines in the field.

As per the 'COVID-19 Vaccine Operational Guidelines', all measures should be taken to avoid exposing the vaccine carrier, vaccine vials or ice packs to direct sunlight, the document stated. (PTI)

16:00 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Over 100 from IIT-Madras test positive for COVID-19, institute shuts down

The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras has been hit by the coronavirus outbreak with over 100 people, a majority of them students, testing positive for the contagion, a top health official said on Monday. A total of 104 students and others have contracted the disease and all were doing well in a hospital, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said, allaying fears of further spread Of the 444 samples lifted till date, 104 have tested positive for COVID-19, he said, adding from December 1 to 12, samples from the institute turning positive steadily increased from a few to 33 specimens today. (PTI)

14:46 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Increase testing in districts where COVID infection numbers are high: HC to AAP govt

The Delhi High Court on Monday said it expects the AAP government to increase the number of COVID-19 tests in those districts of the national capital where the infection numbers are high. A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad orally suggested to the Delhi government to find out in which districts of the city the infection numbers were increasing and said "we expect you to increase tests in those areas".

The suggestion came during the brief hearing of a plea by advocate Rakesh Malhotra seeking increase in the COVID-19 testing numbers in the national capital and getting speedy results. As the matter could not be heard in detail due to paucity of time, the bench asked the Delhi government, represented by additional standing counsel Satyakam, to file a fresh status report within a week indicating the updated figures of tests carried out, district-wise infection numbers in the city, number of containment zones. (PTI)

14:03 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Maharashtra reports the highest fatalities in the last 24 hours

The total of 1,43,355 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 48,209 from Maharashtra followed by 11,944 from Karnataka, 11,895 from Tamil Nadu, 1,014 from Delhi, 9,057 from West Bengal, 8,072 from Uttar Pradesh, 7,057 from Andhra Pradesh and 5,077 from Punjab.

14:00 (IST)14 Dec 2020
National Recovery rate rises to 94.98 per cent

The number of people who have recovered  from the disease surged to 93,88,159 pushing the national recovery rate to 94.98 per cent,while the COVID-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.45 per cent. Over 75 per cent of the new cases are observed from 10 states and union territories.

13:48 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Delhi crosses somber milestone of 10,000 deaths

Nine months after it recorded its first Covid death, the city’s toll touched 10,000 as 33 more people were reported dead Sunday.

The first person to have died of the disease in Delhi was a 69-year-old woman from Janakpuri, who contracted the disease from her son, who had returned from an international trip and had fallen ill. From over 8,000 cases in one day to 2,000 in a day, the rate of increase in Covid cases has slowed down considerably over the past month but the city’s death rate continues to be a point of worry.

The city’s 10-day average case fatality ratio on Sunday stood at 2.32% — over twice as high as it was a month ago at 1.07%. The city’s overall case fatality ratio stood at 1.56% on Sunday, marginally higher than the national average of 1.45%. (Read Mallica Joshi's report here)

12:57 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Puducherry adds 21 new COVID-19 cases, one death pushes toll to 620

A 57-year old man died of COVID-19 in Puducherry while 21 fresh cases were reported in the union territory, a top Health department official said on Monday. The man hailing from neighbouring Uzhavarkarai village succumbed to the virus taking the death toll to 620, Director of Health and Family Welfare S Mohan Kumar said in a release. The victim had comorbidities and had severe Covid pneumonia and ARDS, he added. He said 21 fresh cases were identified at the end of the examination of 1,981 samples during the last 24 hours ending 10 AM Monday, pushing the tally to 37,513.(PTI)

12:50 (IST)14 Dec 2020
As cases drop, experts say spread may be more than what is known

With new infections of Covid-19 having seemingly stablised for over a month now, experts believe that a larger share of Indian population may have already been infected by the virus than what serosurveys have been indicating.

For over a month and a half now, reported cases of the infection have dropped to below 50,000 a day. During this time, there have been festivals, elections, farmers’ protests, and relaxations in restrictions.All this was feared to result in a surge in the number of people being found to be infected. But not only has there been no surge, the numbers have been on the decline, slowly but steadily. For the last two weeks, the daily detection of new cases has remained firmly below 40,000. (Read Amitabh Sinha's report here)

11:01 (IST)14 Dec 2020
South Korea orders schools to shut as COVID-19 cases spike

South Korea ordered schools to close from Tuesday in the capital Seoul and surrounding areas as it battles its worst outbreak of novel coronavirus since the pandemic began, surpassing the previous peak in February.Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said such a step required careful review, as the government comes under mounting pressure to do more to step the rise of infections.

“The government will not hesitate to make the decision to upgrade to Phase 3 if it is considered necessary as it takes into account the opinions of related ministries, local governments, and experts,” he told a meeting of health officials according to a transcript from his office.(Reuters)

10:25 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Jitan Ram Manjhi tests positive for Covid-19

Former Bihar Chief Minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha chief Jitan Ram Manjhi tested positive for Covid-19, he announced on Monday. In a tweet, translated from Hindi, Manjhi said “Today my corona test report has come up positive. People who have come in contact with me in the last one week are requested to get their corona test done.”

India’s first indigenous mRNA vaccine candidate developed by Gennova has received approval to initiate human trials, the Department of Biotechnology said Friday. The mRNA vaccines are different from the conventional models of vaccine in the way in which they produce an immune response. These vaccines are “scientifically the ideal choice” and they are considered safe as they are “non-infectious, non-integrating in nature,” DBT said.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Friday ordered the extension of night curfew in the state till January 1, 2021 across the state. The chief minister also extended curbs on the number of people at gatherings until New Year. Directives have been issued to the Punjab police to ensure strict compliance by people in the state, especially in marriage halls.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has tested positive for COVID-19. Taking to Twitter, the chief minister tweeted that he is under home isolation and is experiencing mild symptoms and urged all those who had come in contact with him over the last five days to keep a watch on their health.

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