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Coronavirus India highlights: Nearly 10 lakh healthcare workers received vaccine shots till Thursday 6 pm, says Centre

Coronavirus Vaccine India highlights: India's COVID-19 caseload crossed 1.06 crore with 15,223 new infections being reported in a day, while the recoveries have surged to 1,02,65,706, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 22, 2021 2:34:22 pm
Coronavirus India Live Updates: 6.31 lakh beneficiaries vaccinated; Centre cites 'vaccine hesitancy'At the Gotri Hospital in Vadodara on Tuesday. (Express Photo by Bhupendra Rana)

The number of healthcare workers who have received COVID-19 vaccine jabs in the country till the evening of the sixth day of the nationwide immunisation drive has reached 9,99,065 as per provisional reports, Union Health Ministry said on Thursday. It also said on Thursday, 1,92,581 beneficiaries were vaccinated till 6 pm through vaccination sessions held across 27 states and Union Territories, while adding the final report would be completed by late in the night.

India on Thursday handed over one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Nepal and 2 million doses to Bangladesh in sync with its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. On Wednesday, India had sent 150,000 doses of Covisheild vaccines to Bhutan and 100,000 doses to the Maldives. India had earlier supplied hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir and paracetamol tablets, as well as diagnostic kits, ventilators, masks, gloves and other medical supplies to a large number of countries to help them deal with the pandemic.

India’s COVID-19 caseload crossed 1.06 crore with 15,223 new infections being reported in a day, while the recoveries have surged to 1,02,65,706, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday. The total cases have increased to 1,06,10,883. The death toll mounted to 1,52,869 with 151 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,02,65,706 pushing the national COVID-19 recovery rate of 96.75 per cent. The COVID-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.44 per cent.


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Coronavirus India highlights: India on Wednesday reported 15,223 new cases of coronavirus infections, the most in the last one week; 7.86 lakh healthcare workers vaccinated, says Health Ministry. Follow this space for the latest updates on covid-19 spread in India and globally

22:20 (IST)21 Jan 2021
Delhi: 227 fresh cases; positivity rate plummets to 0.28%

Delhi recorded 227 fresh COVID-19 cases and eight deaths due to the disease on Thursday, even as the positivity rate slumped to 0.28 per cent, with Health Minister Satyendar Jain saying the pandemic situation in the city is now under control. The tally of COVID-19 cases stood at over 6.33 lakh in the city and the death toll due to the viral disease mounted to 10,782 with eight new fatalities, authorities said on Thursday.

The number of tests conducted in Delhi to diagnose COVID-19 has crossed the one crore-mark and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on Wednesday hailed the milestone as a "new record" for the city. "We have reached a milestone of one crore COVID tests, meaning nearly half of Delhi's population we have tested so far. The cases are coming low now, it was 228 on Wednesday with a positivity rate of 0.36 per cent. So we can say that the pandemic situation is under control," Jain told reporters earlier in the day. (PTI)

20:43 (IST)21 Jan 2021
Nearly 10 lakh healthcare workers received vaccine shots till Thursday 6 pm, says Centre

The number of healthcare workers who have received COVID-19 vaccine jabs in the country till the evening of the sixth day of the nationwide immunisation drive has reached 9,99,065 as per provisional reports, Union Health Ministry said on Thursday. It also said on Thursday, 1,92,581 beneficiaries were vaccinated till 6 pm through vaccination sessions held across 27 states and Union Territories, while adding the final report would be completed by late in the night.

"The cumulative number of healthcare workers vaccinated against COVID-19 has touched 9,99,065 (till 6 pm Wednesday) through 18,159 sessions, as per the provisional report," Dr Manohar Agnani, additional secretary in the health ministry, said. As far as adverse event following immunization (AEFI) are concerned, he said there was one hospitalisation in Rajasthan. (PTI)

19:12 (IST)21 Jan 2021
India provides 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Nepal

India on Thursday handed over one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Nepal under grant assistance in sync with its 'Neighbourhood First' policy. Indian Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra handed over the vaccine consignment to Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli during a function at the Prime Minister's residence at Baluwatar, officials said.

Health Minister Hridayesh Tripathi and senior government officials were also present on the occasion. In the first phase, the vaccines will be administered to frontline health workers, employees and security personnel, according to Tripathi. Earlier in the morning, an Air India aircraft carrying the first consignment of COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in India landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport.

The vaccines were unloaded from the aircraft and later they were transported in refrigeration van to the Department of Health Services in Teku on the outskirts of Kathmandu, where health workers unloaded and stored them as per protocol. (PTI)

18:42 (IST)21 Jan 2021
COVID negative report free entry in lord Jagannath temple starts; over 25,000 devotees visit shrine

After opening doors of lord Jagannath temple for the devotees without COVID-19 negative report, Sree Jagannatha Temple Administration (SJTA) Thursday urged Odisha government to provide coronavirus vaccines to servitors and their family members on a priority basis.

SJTA Chief Administrator Krishan Kumar in a letter to Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, P K Mohapatra emphasised on the necessity of undertaking early vaccination of servitors of the 12th century shrine.  "Devotees are allowed to enter the shrine from January 21, 2021 without insisting upon any COVID-19 negative certificate. It is expected that large numbers of devotees will be visiting daily. (PTI)

18:10 (IST)21 Jan 2021
South African coronavirus variant may escape antibodies, cause reinfection, say scientists

A lineage of the novel coronavirus, first reported to have emerged in South Africa, escapes neutralisation by antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients, says a new study which raises questions on the possibility of reinfection by this strain.

According to the yet-to-be peer reviewed study, published in the preprint platform bioRxiv, the novel lineage of the coronavirus -- 501Y.V2 -- has mutations in nine parts of its spike protein, which enables it to infect human cells. In the research, the scientists, including those from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, tested the neutralisation activity of plasma from patients who recovered from prior infection with other strains of the coronavirus against the 501Y.V2 variant.

They found that nearly half -- 21 of 44 -- of the samples had no detectable neutralising activity against this variant. According to the scientists, 501Y.V2 shows "substantial or complete escape from neutralizing antibodies in COVID-19 convalescent plasma."  (PTI)

16:57 (IST)21 Jan 2021
Health minister assures people on safety, efficacy of COVID vaccines

Vaccination against COVID-19 will lead to people not transmitting the disease and its eradication in some time, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Thursday as he unveiled IEC posters to address the emerging issue of vaccine hesitancy in some sections of the population. Commenting on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, he said, "The paradox is that countries across the globe are asking us for access to the vaccines, while a section of our own is fomenting misinformation and doubt for narrow political ends."

More than eight lakh healthcare workers were vaccinated against COVID-19 in the country till 7 am on Thursday, according to the health ministry. Vardhan reminded everyone of the achievements of India, the second-most populous country in the world, which is seeing a steady decline in the number of active coronavirus cases.

"The elimination of polio and small pox was made possible by large-scale immunisation. Once immunised, not only that person is not capable of catching the disease, he or she is also unable to transmit the disease to others, thus passing on the social benefit to the larger society he or she interacts with. This was also the logic of undertaking mass immunisation of women and children against 12 diseases under Mission Indradhanush. (PTI)

16:06 (IST)21 Jan 2021
Pune: Fire breaks out at Covishield-maker Serum Institute’s campus

A fire was reported on the campus of the Serum Institute of India (SII) located at Manjari in Pune on Wednesday afternoon, officials from the Pune Fire Brigade said.

A fire brigade official said that fire was reported on the fifth floor of a new building on the Manjari campus. “As per our knowledge, the building is not directly connected to Covishield manufacturing,” he said. Read full story

14:20 (IST)21 Jan 2021
Swiss resort St Moritz mass testing finds 53 COVID infections, 31 variant cases

Mass COVID-19 testing of thousands of people in the Swiss resort of St Moritz where luxury hotels were placed under quarantine found 53 coronavirus infections, including 31 cases of a fast-spreading variant, local officials said on Thursday.

Authorities said about 3,200 people were tested this week, and that the 31 infections caused by viral variants were discovered among hotel employees, not guests at the two hotels placed under quarantine, Badrutt's Palace Hotel and the Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski.

St Moritz said it was lifting emergency measures that had been put in place to protect the community. The town of 5,200 people had closed local schools, shuttered ski schools and required masks be worn in all public areas, for fear mutant virus was spreading quickly."The mutated virus was found particularly in hotel employees and was not transmitted to hotel guests," officials with the canton of Grisons said in a statement."This shows that the hotels' protection concepts work and that employee testing is a sensible, effective measure."

14:05 (IST)21 Jan 2021
Merkel aide says border closures unavoidable if infections not curbed

Germany may need to close borders to neighbouring countries if they do not act to curb coronavirus infections, Merkel's chief of staff said on Thursday. Helge Braun told ARD television it was important to get infection levels under control so that countries could protect themselves from new, more transmissible strains of the virus. "The danger is that when the infections in a country go up, this mutation becomes a quasi majority variant and then the infection can no longer be controlled," he said. "And therefore even stricter entry rules at our internal borders are unavoidable, and since everyone does not want that, it is important that we act together now."

12:47 (IST)21 Jan 2021
UK suffers deadliest day, some hospitals ‘like a war zone’

The UK suffered its worst day in the pandemic on Wednesday, with more than 1,800 deaths recorded in 24 hours, as Boris Johnson’s chief scientific adviser warned some hospitals now look “like a war zone.” The record daily toll takes the total number of people who have died within 28 days of a positive test in the U.K. to 93,290. Almost 40,000 patients are now receiving treatment in U.K. hospitals.

12:02 (IST)21 Jan 2021
Dubai cancels non-essential surgery, live entertainment as COVID-19 cases surge

Dubai has suspended non-essential surgery for a month and live entertainment in hotels and restaurants until further notice as coronavirus infections surge. Dubai's health regulator said in a circular published on its website on Wednesday that the decision, which takes effect on Thursday and could be extended, was aimed at ensuring the preparedness of health facilities to manage COVID-19 cases. Similarly, Dubai's tourism department issued a circular, seen by Reuters, suspending entertainment in hotels and restaurants after recording an increase in violations.

11:21 (IST)21 Jan 2021
Thailand reports 142 new coronavirus cases

Thailand confirmed 142 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking its total infections to 12,795. There were no additional deaths reported, with total fatalities remaining at 71. Seventeen of the new infections were imported, the COVID-19 taskforce said at a daily briefing.

10:06 (IST)21 Jan 2021
15,233 new cases, 151 deaths reported in India

India on Wednesday reported 15,223 new cases of coronavirus infections, the most in the last one week. So far, more than one crore and 6.1 lakh people have been infected. Almost 97 per cent of the infected people have recovered, while 1.92 lakh cases are currently active. As many as 151 deaths were reported on Wednesday. Kerala reported 6,815 new cases, the highest in more than two months and Maharashtra had 3,015 new infections.

22:06 (IST)20 Jan 2021
Delhi reports 228 fresh COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths

Delhi recorded 228 fresh COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths on Wednesday, authorities said, as the total number of tests conducted till date crossed the one-crore mark. On Monday, the city had recorded 161 cases, the lowest in nearly nine months, with a positivity rate of 0.32 per cent.

The infection tally in the city stood at over 6.33 lakh and the death toll mounted to 10,774 with the new fatalities, the authorities said on Wednesday. These 228 new cases came out the 63,161 tests conducted the previous day, including 32,957 RT-PCR tests and 30,204 rapid antigen tests, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi Health Department. The number of tests per million was over 5.2 lakh as on Tuesday, while the cumulative figure crossed the one-crore mark.

20:26 (IST)20 Jan 2021
Israel includes pregnant women on COVID-19 vaccines priority list

srael has included pregnant women among those getting priority access to COVID-19 vaccines, seeing no risk to them or their foetuses, a senior public health official said on Wednesday.

The decision followed the hospitalisation this week of several pregnant women with COVID-19 complications amid surging coronavirus contagions. At least one was put on a ventilator and her baby delivered by Caesarean section, Israeli media said.

Israel launched a vaccination drive on Dec. 19 with a focus on the elderly, those with risky medical conditions and some emergency workers. More than a quarter of its citizens have now received the Pfizer Inc. vaccine, health officials say. (Reuters)

20:02 (IST)20 Jan 2021
Total 7.86 lakh healthcare workers got COVID-19 vaccine jabs till Wednesday 6 pm: Centre

In total 7.86 lakh healthcare workers have received COVID-19 vaccine jabs till the evening of the fifth day of the immunisation drive, according to a provisional report of the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday, PTI reported. On Wednesday, 1,12,007 beneficiaries were vaccinated till 6 pm across 20 states and Union Territories, it said, adding the final report for the day will be complied by late in the night.

Ten cases of adverse events following immunization (AEFI) — four in Delhi, two in Karnataka, and one each in Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and West Bengal — have required hospitalisation so far, additional secretary in the Health Ministry Manohar Agnani said. “There has been no case of serious/severe adverse event attributable to COVID-19 vaccination till date,” Agnani said.

19:04 (IST)20 Jan 2021
China silent on why its top leaders are yet to take COVID-19 vaccine

China on Wednesday boasted that several world leaders have taken its COVID-19 vaccines, but remained silent on why the top Chinese leaders are yet to take the jab. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying in her daily media briefing here named leaders of several countries who have taken one of the two COVID-19 vaccines made in China, publicly reposing their faith in them.

Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan, leaders of the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Indonesia have been publicly inoculated with Chinese vaccines, she said. "China has started the inoculation of the vaccines in key groups. We will also carry out vaccination for all Chinese citizens for free. All people that meet the conditions should be vaccinated in an orderly manner," she said.

Responding to a query whether top Chinese leaders including President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and others have taken the jabs, she said: "As for the specific question you asked, I have no answer at this moment." (PTI)

17:33 (IST)20 Jan 2021
Nasal COVID-19 vaccine will be easy to give to children: AIIMS director

A nasal COVID-19 vaccine will be easy to give to school-going children who bear a "very mild" load of the disease but they are infectious, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said on Wednesday. The noted pulmonologist, who was interacting with the personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) during their 16th Raising Day celebrations here, also said that people who have contracted coronavirus should also get the jab about 4-6 weeks after recovery.

"It (coronavirus infection) is very mild in children but they are infectious. They can spread the disease."

"The vaccines that have come are not approved for children because there have been no studies conducted on children but this (vaccination) is a very important step and trials are being done," he said.

Once children start going to the school regularly and they contract the COVID-19 infection, they will not have much problem but if they bring it home they can spread it to their parents or grandparents, the chief of the premier Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said. (PTI)

16:50 (IST)20 Jan 2021
China records dozens new cases, defends response

China's capital Beijing recorded another seven coronavirus cases on Wednesday amid a lingering outbreak in the country's north. Another 46 were recorded in Jilin province, 16 in Heilongjiang on the border with Russia and 19 in Hebei, the province surrounding Beijing. China has now recorded a total of 88,557 cases since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, with 4,635 deaths.

China is hoping to vaccinate 50 million people against the virus by mid-February and is also releasing schools early and telling citizens to stay put during the Lunar New Year travel rush that begins in coming days. A panel of experts commissioned by the World Health Organisation criticized China and other countries this week for not moving to stem the initial outbreak of the coronavirus earlier, prompting Beijing to concede it could have done better but also to defend its response. (PTI)

15:55 (IST)20 Jan 2021
UN agencies working closely with India as country launches world's largest COVID vaccination drive

As India launched the world's largest COVID-19 vaccination drive, several UN agencies are working closely with authorities for the massive vaccination programme, a spokesperson for the UN chief has said. In India, the UN team led by Resident Coordinator Renata Dessallien is supporting the government and UN partners in the massive COVID-19 vaccination programme, said Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday.

"UN agencies are working closely with authorities to prepare and launch what is currently the world's largest vaccination drive," he told reporters at the daily press briefing, adding that as of Tuesday, the Indian government has vaccinated nearly half a million people.

India on January 16 rolled out the massive coronavirus vaccination drive under which two domestically manufactured vaccines -- Covishield and Covaxin --are being administered to frontline health workers across the country.  While Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the Covaxin is being produced by Bharat Biotech. (PTI)

Hospital staff waiting for beneficiaries of Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Sector 45, Chandigarh on Tuesday. (Express photo by Kamleshwar SIngh)

Meanwhile, India will officially begin its vaccine diplomacy on Wednesday by supplying Made-in-India Covid-19 vaccines to its neighbouring and key partner countries.

Bhutan and Maldives will be the first to get the vaccines from Wednesday, followed by Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles. Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius will also get doses once they give necessary regulatory approvals.

A consignment containing 1 lakh doses of Covishield vaccines will reach Male on January 20. With this, Maldives, along with Bhutan, will become the first recipient of the Indian government’s gift, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).

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