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Coronavirus India News Highlights: India’s daily positivity rate over 1%; SC says Covid vaccination policy not ‘unreasonable’

Covid-19 News Highlights, Coronavirus News Today, 2 May 2022: India recorded 3,157 new Covid-19 infections, while the daily positivity rate increased to 1.07 per cent from 0.70 per cent.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 3, 2022 9:34:05 am
A healthcare worker administers a dose of the Covid-19 preventive vaccine to a man at a vaccination centre, in New Delhi. (PTI)

Covid-19 India News Highlights: India’s daily positivity rate was at 1.07 per cent on Monday, up from 0.71 per cent. The weekly positivity rate, too, saw a marginal increase from 0.68 per cent to 0.70 per cent.

Active Covid-19 cases in the country climbed to 19,500 in the 24 hours ending 8 am Monday, despite a dip in the daily infections. On Sunday, the country had 19,092 active cases. India recorded 3,157 new Covid-19 infections, down from the previous day’s 3,324. As many as five Covid-related deaths occurred in the last 24 hours, while 21 others were reported to reconcile figures, data shared by the Union Ministry of Health showed.

The Supreme Court Monday stated that the Centre’s Covid-19 vaccination policy “cannot be said to be unreasonable or manifestly arbitrary” after reviewing the material filed before it. The apex court, however, disapproved of vaccine mandates for now. Observing that no data was placed by the Union government to counter the petitioner’s data showing that the “risk of transmission of the virus from unvaccinated individuals is almost at par with the vaccinated persons”, the Court said, “restrictions on unvaccinated individuals imposed through various vaccine mandates by the states governments/union territories cannot be said to be proportionate.”

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Coronavirus News Live Updates: India reports 3,157 new cases, 26 deaths; Follow latest updates here

22:33 (IST)02 May 2022
Moderna says its vaccine for ages under 6 will be ready for US review in June

Moderna Inc's chief medical officer said on Sunday the company's vaccine for children under 6 years old will be ready for review by a Food and Drug Administration panel when it meets in June.

Moderna sought emergency use authorization from the FDA on Thursday.

An advisory panel of experts to the US drug regulator will meet in June to review the request.

"I think the FDA now have all of the core fundamental data they need to be able to begin an application review. So yes, we're very confident," Dr. Paul Burton, the company's chief medical officer, said in an interview with CBS' "Face the Nation."

Moderna's vaccine could be the first to win US approval for children under the age of 5. Pfizer Inc also expects to have its vaccine data for children under 6 ready by the June review. 

Moderna Inc's chief medical officer said on Sunday the company's vaccine for children under 6 years old will be ready for review by a Food and Drug Administration panel when it meets in June.

Moderna sought emergency use authorization from the FDA on Thursday.

An advisory panel of experts to the US drug regulator will meet in June to review the request.

"I think the FDA now have all of the core fundamental data they need to be able to begin an application review. So yes, we're very confident," Dr. Paul Burton, the company's chief medical officer, said in an interview with CBS' "Face the Nation."

Moderna's vaccine could be the first to win US approval for children under the age of 5. Pfizer Inc also expects to have its vaccine data for children under 6 ready by the June review. (Reuters)

22:03 (IST)02 May 2022
No individual can be forced to be vaccinated, says SC; "Bodily integrity protected under Constitution"

The Supreme Court on Monday held that no individual can be forced to be vaccinated against Covid-19, observing that bodily integrity is protected under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Asking the Centre to make public data on the Covid immunisation's adverse events, the top court, however, said that in the interest of protection of communitarian health, the government is entitled to regulate issues of public health concern by imposing certain limitations on individual rights, which are open to scrutiny by constitutional courts.

Upholding the government's current Covid vaccination policy, the court said on the basis of available material and considering expert views the policy "cannot be said to be manifestly arbitrary and unreasonable".

Noting that the Covid infection rate in the country remains low, the court also suggested a review of the existing orders and that no restriction be imposed on unvaccinated individuals on access to public areas or recall the same if already not done. The number of active Covid cases rose by 408 in a 24-hour span to reach 19,500 on Monday, according to the latest Union Health ministry data. (PTI)

21:24 (IST)02 May 2022
Children aged 12 to 17 can opt for SII's Covid jab Covovax at private centres; provision enabled on CoWIN portal: Sources

Children aged 12 to 17 can now opt for Serum Institute's Covid jab Covovax at private centres; provision enabled on CoWIN portal: Sources (PTI)

20:59 (IST)02 May 2022
Maharashtra sees 92 new Covid-19 cases, 1 death; active tally at 1,016

Maharashtra reported 92 new COVID-19 cases, a majority of them in the Mumbai Circle, and one more death on Monday, taking the overall tally in the state to 78,77,993 and the toll to 1,47,844, a health department official said.

The active caseload of the state was 1,016, with Mumbai accounting for 639 and Pune 215, while 12 districts have no coronavirus patient under treatment, the official pointed out.

So far, 77,29,133 persons have been discharged post recovery, including 79 in the last 24 hours, he said, adding that the recovery rate stood at 98.11 per cent, the fatality rate at 1.87 per cent and positivity rate, or cases per 100 tests, at 0.006 per cent.

Of the 92 new cases, 65 were from the Mumbai administrative circle, which covers the entire metropolitan region, including 56 from the country's financial capital. This was followed by 21 cases in the Pune Circle, two each in Kolhapur and Nashik, and one each in Nagpur and Akola Circles. (PTI)

19:25 (IST)02 May 2022
US FDA declines to approve two more China-tested drugs

The US Food & Drug Administration declined to approve two China-tested cancer treatments on Monday, saying one of the companies - Hutchmed Ltd - needs to test its drug for the US population in a diverse multi-regional trial.

This is the second time the US regulator has declined to approve a drug that was tested mainly in China. In March, it declined to approve Eli Lilly and partner Innovent Biologics Inc's lung cancer drug that had been studied only in China.

Coherus BioSciences Inc and Chinese partner Shanghai Junshi Biosciences Co Ltd said the FDA indicated their China-only trial may be sufficient for its cancer drug, toripalimab, but declined to approve it over quality processes.

Coherus said the FDA indicated the target disease, a type of nasopharyngeal carcinoma that currently has no approved treatment options in the US, warrants flexibility with respect to the sufficiency of single-country clinical data on the drug. (Reuters)

19:12 (IST)02 May 2022
1,076 fresh Covid cases in Delhi; positivity rate rises to 6.42 pc

Delhi on Monday reported 1,076 Covid-19 cases, around 27 per cent less than a day ago, though the positivity rate rose to 6.42 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department.

No fresh death occurred due to the disease.

With these new cases, the national capital's overall Covid-19 tally has increased to 18,85,636, while the death toll stands at 26,175. (PTI)

19:11 (IST)02 May 2022
Modification of Covid-19 vaccination policy: SC asks petitioner to approach Ministry of Health

The Supreme Court Monday asked a petitioner, seeking a modification of the Covid-19 vaccination policy to allow voluntary revaccination of persons who have received the Sputnik-V vaccine, to move a representation before the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant said the plea has been filed under Article 32 without a demand for justice being made before the competent authority.

"The safety and efficacy of the measure require a careful and calibrated scientific assessment. Hence, the petitioner is permitted to highlight the hardship which is being faced by him and perhaps, by similarly placed other individuals, by moving a representation before the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. (PTI)

19:09 (IST)02 May 2022
Philippines planning to give Myanmar 5 million Sputnik V vaccines

The Philippines is considering donating to Myanmar five million doses of Sputnik V Covid vaccine that are close to expiry, a senior health official said on Monday.

The donation would be the first by the Philippines to another nation, after it scrambled for much of last year to procure vaccines for its 110 million population.

Health officials have said the Philippines now has ample supplies.

Authorities are seeking clearance to donate the Russian vaccines through the Myanmar Red Cross Society, health undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told a regular news conference.

According its health ministry, less than half of the 53 million population have received two doses of a Covid vaccine in Myanmar, a country in turmoil since the military seized power 15 months ago.

That compares to nearly 67.9 million people vaccinated in the Philippines, which has battled one of the worst Covid crises in Asia. (Reuters)

18:07 (IST)02 May 2022
Scientists discover pathways to severe Covid-19 in children

Researchers have discovered the pathways that are activated in severe cases of Covid-19 in children, an advance that can lead to earlier diagnosis and more targeted treatments for the disease.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, identified disease mechanisms in children with Covid-19 who present with multisystem inflammatory syndrome, where different body parts can become inflamed including the heart, lungs, and brain and acute respiratory distress syndrome, a type of lung disease.

The main triggers for severe Covid-19 in children were blood clotting and how proteins in the immune system reacted to the virus, the researchers said.

"Children are in general less susceptible to COVID-19 and present with milder symptoms, but it remained unclear what caused some to develop very severe disease,” said Conor McCafferty, PhD student at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

“Our research was the first to uncover the specific blood clotting and immune protein pathways impacted in children with COVID-19 who developed serious symptoms," McCafferty said in a statement. For the study, blood samples from 20 healthy children were collected and samples from 33 SARS-CoV-2 infected children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome or acute respiratory distress syndrome were collected. (PTI)

17:06 (IST)02 May 2022
Setback for Shanghai's Covid battle as Beijing ramps up mass testing

China's commercial capital of Shanghai was dealt a blow on Monday as authorities reported 58 new Covid-19 cases outside areas under strict lockdown, while Beijing pressed on with testing millions of people on a May Day holiday few were celebrating.

Tough coronavirus curbs in Shanghai have stirred rare public anger, with millions of the city's 25 million people stuck indoors for more than a month, some sealed inside fenced-off residential compounds and many struggling for daily necessities.

While Shanghai officials said the situation is improving, images on social media have unnerved the public at a time when hospitals and mortuaries in the city are overwhelmed.

On Monday, authorities said they were investigating five officials after videos showed a local care home transferring an elderly person in a body bag to a mortuary. The person was later found to be still alive. (Reuters)

17:04 (IST)02 May 2022
No new case of Covid-19 detected in Pondy

Puducherry did not report any fresh case of coronavirus in the last twenty-four hours ending 10 a.m on Monday.

The department of health tested 14 samples today and no new infection surfaced.

While one patient recovered during last twenty-four hours, the overall active cases were eight and they were all in home quarantine.

The cumulative figure of Covid-19 cases in the union territory was 1,65,790 and the total recoveries were 1,63,820, Director of Health G Sriramulu said in a release.

There was no fresh fatalities and the toll remained 1,962.

The Department of Health has examined so far 22,34,625 samples and found 18,79,458 out of them to be negative. (PTI)

16:26 (IST)02 May 2022
Poland has no 'rationale to invoke force majeure in Pfizer vaccine deal -EU official

Poland has no "coherent rationale" to invoke force majeure in an existing contract in order to stop paying for more Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer , a European Commission official told Reuters.

In April Poland's health minister Adam Niedzielski said Warsaw had informed the European Commission and Pfizer that it would no longer take or pay for Covid-19 vaccines under a supply contract co-negotiated by the EU, acknowledging this would trigger a legal conflict.

Poland invoked the force majeaure clause in the contract with Pfizer in the wake of the war in Ukraine which saw an influx of about 3 million Ukrainian refugees into the country.

"There is no coherent rationale to claim force majeure," the European Commission official said, declining to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

"The war in Ukraine did nothing to change Poland's vaccination needs, if anything it now needs to vaccinate refugees."
The European Commission declined to comment. (Reuters)

16:09 (IST)02 May 2022
Delhi govt increases number of beds for Covid patients at two hospitals amid rise in cases

Amid a rise in coronavirus cases, the Delhi government has increased the number of beds dedicated for Covid patients at two of its facilities, including an 80 per cent escalation in its count at the LNJP Hospital, according to an official order.

LNJP Hospital has 2,000 beds and is the mainstay of the government's fight against the coronavirus pandemic. It was the first hospital to be declared a Covid-19 facility soon after its outbreak here in early 2020.

Delhi reported 1,485 fresh Covid-19 cases and zero fatality on Sunday, while the positivity rate was recorded at 4.89 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department.

The new cases pushed the coronavirus infection tally in Delhi to 18,84,560, while the death toll stood at 26,175.
In a recent order, dated April 25, issued by the city health department, the number of Covid beds at LNJP Hospital has been stepped up to 450 from 250 earlier, while the number of ICU Covid beds has been increased to 178 from 100 previously. (PTI)

16:08 (IST)02 May 2022
New Zealand welcomes back tourists as pandemic rules eased

New Zealand welcomed tourists from the US, Canada, Britain, Japan and more than 50 other countries for the first time in more than two years Monday after dropping most of its remaining pandemic border restrictions.

The country has long been renowned for its breathtaking scenery and adventure tourism offerings such as bungy jumping and skiing. Before the spread of Covid-19, more than 3 million tourists visited each year, accounting for 20 per cent of New Zealand's foreign income and more than 5% of the overall economy.

But international tourism stopped altogether in early 2020 after New Zealand imposed some of the world's toughest border restrictions.

The border rules remained in place as the government at first pursued an elimination strategy and then tried to tightly control the spread of the virus. The spread of omicron and vaccinations of more than 80% of New Zealand's 5 million population prompted the gradual easing of restrictions. (AP)

15:01 (IST)02 May 2022
Delhi HC allows Nizamuddin Markaz to stay open till October 14

The Delhi High Court on Monday allowed certain portions of Nizamuddin Markaz, where the Tablighi Jamaat congregation was held in March 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic and which has remained shut since then, to stay open till October 14.

Justice Jasmeet Singh, while dealing with a plea by the Delhi Waqf Board, extended the interim order passed last month on re-opening certain portions of the Markaz premises in view of Ramzan and the festival of Eid.

The Board had moved the court in 2021 seeking directions to reopen the premises on grounds that even after unlock-1 guidelines permitted religious places outside containment zones to be opened, the Markaz comprising the Masjid Bangle Wali (mosque), Madarsa Kashif-ul-Uloom, and attached hostel continues to be locked up.

On April 1, the court had allowed the mosque to be opened for the month of Ramzan while clarifying that no "Tablighi activities" and lectures can be take place in the premises and only prayers can be offered. (PTI)

14:24 (IST)02 May 2022
China: Setback for Shanghai's Covid battle; Beijing focuses on mass testing

China's commercial capital of Shanghai was dealt a blow on Monday as authorities reported 58 new Covid-19 cases outside areas under lockdown, while Beijing pressed on with testing millions of people on a May Day holiday few were celebrating. 

Tough coronavirus measures in Shanghai have stirred rare public anger, with millions of the city's 25 million people stuck indoors for more than a month, some sealed inside fenced off residential compounds, and many struggling to secure daily necessities. 

Shanghai residents breathed a sigh of relief at the weekend on news that no cases had been confirmed outside areas under lockdown for two days, but disappointment came on Monday with the report of the 58 new infections.

Beijing, with dozens of daily infections in an outbreak in its second week, has not locked down, instead relying, at least for now, on mass testing to locate and isolate infections. 

Beijing's restaurants are closed for dining in and some apartment blocks are sealed shut. The streets are quiet and the residents who do venture out have to show negative coronavirus tests to enter most public venues. (Reuters)

12:10 (IST)02 May 2022
Delhi’s Covid-19 positivity rate drops below 5% after two days

After remaining over 5 per cent for two consecutive days, the Covid-19 test positivity rate – the proportion of samples tested that returns positive — in Delhi dropped to 4.89 per cent Sunday when 1,485 cases were recorded against 30,398 tests as per the daily health bulletin.

The test positivity rate is an indicator of the spread of the infection in a geographical location; the infection is said to be under control when a positivity rate of 5 per cent or less is maintained for over two weeks. As Covid-19 cases started rising after the mask mandates were withdrawn in April, the positivity rate started inching up along with the number of tests, which had dropped to a low level after the surge in January. A positivity rate of 5 per cent was recorded for two consecutive previous days and four single instances before that in April. Read more

09:58 (IST)02 May 2022
India's daily positivity rate climbs to 1.07%

The daily positivity rate was at 1.07 per cent on Monday, up from 0.71 per cent. The weekly positivity rate, too, saw a marginal increase from 0.68 per cent to 0.70 per cent.

09:39 (IST)02 May 2022
India reports 3,157 new cases, 26 deaths

Active Covid-19 cases in the country climber to 19,500 in the last 24 hours ending 8 am Monday, despite a dip in the daily infections. On Sunday, the country had 19,092 active cases. India recorded 3,157 new Covid-19 infections, down from the previous day’s 3,324. As many as five Covid-related deaths occurred in the last 24 hours, while 21 others were reported to reconcile figures, data shared by the Union Ministry of Health showed.

22:40 (IST)01 May 2022
Delhi reports 1,485 fresh Covid cases

Delhi reported 1,485 fresh Covid-19 infections, 1,204 recoveries, & zero deaths, in the last 24 hours. Active cases rise to 5,997; positivity rate at 4.89%

A healthworker administers a dose of Covid-19 vaccine to a student in the age group 12-14 years, as coronavirus cases rise, in Guwahati, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (PTI)

PMC urges eligible citizens to get second dose at the earliest

With around five lakh persons yet to complete their vaccination process, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has appealed to all eligible citizens to get their shots to protect themselves from a possible next Covid wave.

“The eligible citizens who have so far not taken the second dose of Covid vaccine should take it as early as possible at the nearest civic facility to protect themselves from the possible Covid wave. Also, the citizens who have taken second dose nine months or 39 weeks ago and have not suffered from Covid in last three months should take the precaution dose as early as possible,” said municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar.

NTAGI panel recommends inclusion of Covovax in vaccination drive for 12-17 age group

The Standing Technical Sub-Committee of the NTAGI has recommended inclusion of the Serum Institute’s Covovax in the national Covid-19 vaccination programme for children aged 12 to 17 years, sources said on Friday.

India’s drug regulator had approved Covovax for restricted use in emergency situations in adults on December 28 last year and in the 12-17 age group, subject to certain conditions, on March 9. -- PTI

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